With the San Diego 100 miler only nine days away, I've been collecting a lot of advice from veteran ultra-runners like Leigh Corbin and Bill Ramsey, via Coach Charlie and in direct emails from these amazing, and amazingly nice, ultra-runners.
First, I want to say I am bummed that a leg injury has forced Chaz to sit this one out. Being a smart runner, he knows not to risk health for glory. He will have his chance soon. No race is worth risking serious injury. Chaz, I hope you feel better. I'll be thinking of you chilling at home while I suffer on the trails, you dweeb. Heh heh.
Here are some various nuggets of wisdom and practical advice from Bill, Leigh and others for first-time 100-milers:
* Focus on the positive. Your mantra should be, "I'm ready and I'm strong."
* Relaxing and finding an easy, comfortable stride early is important.
* Maintaining focus, managing discomfort, and keeping moving are critical.
* When negative thoughts creep in, chase them away with something positive.
* Try No-Doze or some form of serious caffeine during miles 70 and beyond.
* Don't eat or drink anything new during the run.
* Change your socks at least twice.
* Just remember, you only have to make it to the next aid station. And then the next.
* Run with a purpose and keep moving, but don't start pushing the pace until after Mile 50.
* Do not hang out at the aid stations any longer than you have to.
* Slam an Ensure or a Boost over ice in the late stages of the race if you can't keep down food.
* Use Desitin diaper ointment in sensitive spots.
* Drink at least every 10 minutes throughout the run.
* When it hurts so bad and you wonder if it could get even worse...it won't.
These and others thoughts will be swirling around my head when the "GO" is sounded around 6 a.m. on Saturday, June 7 on some dusty trail in San Diego County.