The North Coast 24-Hour Endurance Run is now just three days away. Over the past week, a number of elite ultrarunners, including the legendary Scott Jurek, have entered the 24.
When people ask me about this race, I tell them it's like playing in a golf tournament with Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, etc. Outside of the Northeast Ohio ultrarunning scene, I'm a relative no-name up against some of the biggest stars in the sport. Once again, I'm an underdog--status that I love to have because it allows me to dig deep. In the face of such talent, I remain firmly committed to my goals:
2) Make the US 24-hour team (requires top-3 finish among Americans and 135 miles)
Based on what I've read, what I've heard from others, and what I myself have come to realize, the key to success in the 24 is running my own race, according to what I do best, and not getting sucked into what others are doing. My focus will be on possessing mental and physical strength and resolve in the latter hours of the race, when so many will be struggling. This was the story of the Mohican Trail 100-Mile Run. I exercised patience, made my move at the right time and right moment when the leader took a wrong turn, and closed the deal, finishing first overall by more than 20 minutes. Even that late in the race, I was intense, locked in and aggressive--just what I hope to be in the last few hours of the North Coast 24.
Last week was my first week of tapering. I ran about 55 miles. This week I'm doing some light running and walking and will basically shut down on Thursday and Friday. On Monday and Tuesday mornings before dawn, I ran a 2/3-mile loop in my neighborhood eight times. It was cold, rainy and, in the case of Monday, windy--great practice for the 24. As of today, the forecast for Saturday is 59/49 with a 40% chance of rain--not so good. On Sunday, we're looking at 57/49 and mostly sunny--good. Proper apparel will be crucial.
This will probably be my last post before the North Coast 24, so I want to make my final call for support of my fundraising efforts for Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital. Thanks to support of family and friends, I'm now likely to exceed $2,000 in contributions (provided all of my commitments come through). If you have contributed to my run, thank you! If you have not yet contributed and would like to, please e-mail me and I'll tell you how to make your (tax-deductible) gift--which is an easy process.
Get busy livin' or get busy dyin'.