Ran the river bottoms with Karyn this morning, she is getting ready to do the River City Ramble 1/2 marathon next weekend and I will run it with her. It will be a middle distance taper for me ahead of the Haulin' Aspen and for her, hopefully she will run her fastest 1/2 marathon of the year.
We discussed Superior and it does sound appealing, so my plan is two fold, run at Afton tomorrow morning for 5 or so hours as my final long run before HA and if everything goes great then maybe commit to Superior. If not, then the plan would be to run the HA and Grizzly marathons and if they go ok then sign-up.
So I am back to leaning towards doing Superior. The only things I wouldn't have going into it beyond speed is experience running in the dark and course familiarity. I can solve the first by running out at Afton after vacation as a final long run, I would plan on doing what Matt did a week or so back except my evening would be planned to be no more than 20 miles. Here is a link to his post on the results of his Fat Ass 100k and if you read a few others you should get the gist of his plan. I would go there after work on Friday and start running around 7 or 8 PM and then continue into the darkness, I would be able to check out my lights (of course I will need to buy some - advice welcome) and footwork for a few hours of running in the darkness. My backup plan would be to do it on Saturday but I think I need to try this if I am going to attempt Superior. It would give me a little confidence about running after dark on trails that might mimic Superior, the only difference is I know Afton so it would be somewhat familiar which leads me to my other issue running Superior which is course familiarity. Actually, I am probably ok with not knowing the course. I kind of like not knowing what lies ahead, it makes it more interesting except that my other fear in doing ultra's is getting lost. So I might be running a course I don't know, having gone farther than I would have ever gone, at night with lights, could be interesting.
I was encouraged about my current lack of speed by reading Julie's recent post about her second 50 miler (Voyageur), where she took 14+ hours. If she once took that long and is where she is now, why wouldn't I be willing to try a 50 and risk getting swept? Everyone has to start somewhere and I probably should quit beating myself up about my speed, I am where I am, the only real issue is, what am I going to do about it? I also appreciate the encouragement and advice from Londell and Steve as I contemplate my first 50.
So I think it all comes down to this, sometimes you just got to risk failing by getting to the start line, giving it your all and then let things take care of themselves.................