1. In 48 hours (I hope) I should be finishing my longest race to date: the W.O.O.F. 15.9-mile trail race. And you know what that means? Carb loading! I like to start working on the carbs a couple days ahead rather than just the night before. Think oats, sweet potatoes, whole wheat pasta, ice cream. Wait. Ice cream isn't a carb. Damn!
2. I haven't really trained for Saturday's race. Sure, I worked on getting some mileage with long runs the past two Sundays but I haven't been on a trail. Ever. I decided, though, that running on the sidewalks in my 'hood, distorted and raised from old trees is sort of like running on a trail - especially in fall. Lots of acorns and leaves and stepping up and making sure you don't fall on your face.
3. I have no real expectations for this race (see No. 2). I registered on a whim with little time to train and have never ran a trail. It's a small race, and I'm not sure if I'll feel that "competitive spirit." I'd be lying, though, if I said I hadn't been running numbers in my head.
Primary goal: Finish. Plain and simple.
Secondary goal: Finish in less than three hours, just shy of a 12-minute pace.
"Can I dream?" goal: Finish in 2.5 hours, about an 8:55 pace.
Any which way I think about it, what's important is my commitment to finish and have a good time. And to be adventurous. After all, there will be bison burgers awaiting me at the finish!