Friday, May 16, 2014

Massanutten Eve

It's Massanutten Eve, and I'm not at camp, I'm in a hotel room! How strange!

I am NOT running MMT this year, I will be volunteering at the Picnic Area AS, mile 89.6..or 86.9..well whatever.

It's 10 pm now. If I was at the Lutheran Camp (race headquarters) I would be snuggled down in my sleeping bag, ready for that 230 or 300 am wake up call.  In the last three years, all I would be snuggled down in would be a sheet over me, as it's traditionally a hot and muggy race.

Strange weather this spring, it's been torrential downpours all week.  Tomorrow, race day, should be a high of 68 and a low of 48.  As a volunteer at an overnight aid station, I'm pretty happy I brought my down jacket, hat, gloves, and spares!

Pre-Race Ritual

Driving down, I was musing on what I would be doing, if running a race. This is kind of a synopsis of my pre-race day prep:


My clothes will decided and ready a week before the race. The only time I would make a last minute change if there was some last minute change in the weather-like a snowstorm.  I would have selected a pair of socks that did not have any thin or weak spots in them.  The shorts and shirt would be something usually well tested and favored.


Gear is also decided on.  Before-or at least the night before-I will get my hydration pack ready. I will fill my water bottles or bladder at the hotel or where ever.  I am not going to count on Race Headquarters supplying me with water!  I will tuck my first round of gels into my pockets. I will have my wetwipes in the pack.  I will have the race map with me if needed!

I tape my feet the night before.  I have had big blister issues in the past. I now tape the entire bottoms of my feet, and also my heels with Elastikon tape.  I should probably write a post with photos on this alone soon.  This takes about a 1/2 hour-you don't want any wrinkles in the tape-so I make sure I allow for enough time.  After I tape the feet, I don the race day socks.  No, I do not shower the morning of a race-that's valuable sleep time, and I am going to stink anyways!


I will have my pre-race breakfast ready.  I don't rely on food from race HQ, or the hotel buffet being open when I need it.  Last year, at  MMT, I took my Jet Boil out on the porch, had boiling water for my oatmeal and  instant coffee in minutes.  Incidentally, the peanut butter GU gel is very good to throw into your oatmeal for a big extra calories..

I will also drink down a cranberry juice drink.  Orange juice gives me heartburn before a race, but cranberry juice is the bomb for me.   I also tuck a few cranberry juice drinks in my drop bags.  The tartness is a great contrast to most of the sweetness of foods ingested at an ultra.

I need about one hour before race just to wake up, acclimate, get enough moisture in my eyes to pop my contacts in; start getting food in; remember to apply sunscreen and bug spray, and hopefully need to go to the bathroom.  With all my clothing and gear laid out, everything is organized.  I don't have to worry about forgetting something, because it was all planned out the night before.

When the alarm goes off, I always have the same thought " ..And so it begins"..  I lay in bed for another 30 seconds, just savoring the last time I will be horizontal, for the next thirty hours or so..

I am super stoke for the Massanutten runners! I think I will drive down to the race, and maybe hang out at the Elizabeth Furnace AS for a bit and get the gossip on how the first 50K of the race is going!

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