It is officially race week. Friday, February 19th I will be toeing the line for my first in person race in a year. I was lucky enough to race the Joe Relaxo 24hr Challenge last year before all the shut down and before anyone heard of Covid-19. I wrote a recap from that 2020 race in a recent blog post. You should give it a read because this year will be different. The format is the same. One (1) mile, every thirty (30) minutes for twenty-four (24) hours. The rules are simple: no banking miles and each mile has to be ran in that 30 minute time period. The difference this year is location. Last year the race was hosted at the Maritime Park located on Escambia Bay. The was a great venue with a wide walking path and a nice breeze from the bay and Gulf of Mexico. Additionally the sunset and sunrise was spectacular. (See below).
Unfortunately the venue was damaged during hurricane season. Therefore the race has been relocated to Bayview Park. The park is located in an area known as North Hill and adjacent to a lake. The running path is a small black top path circumventing the park. This will lead to some congestion for the racers. The first half of each mile loop is uphill leading into a roller coaster type of multiple steep ups and downs. The second half of the path levels out and leads into a downhill to the finish line. Unlike last year I will have some race support. My girlfriend is in town this year and I have several local running friends participating. Last year it felt like I was on a island alone which compounded the mental part of staying in the race.
I cannot say that I am as prepared for the race as I would like. Of course, I consider this race more mental than physical. The doldrums can be tough while waiting for the next mile to begin. Additionally the stop and go nature of the race lends to tightening muscles. My goal is to stay loose this week with easy runs, eat really clean and reach max hydration. I am currently making my list and mentally preparing which is a big part of my process. I haven’t decided on my race day nutrition but it will probably be black bean on GF wraps and some Beech-Nut vegan pouches. This will be a fun new twist to a familiar race. I am looking forward to getting the 2021 banner added to my medal. Cheers to race week…easily the best week!