Just 3 days until my family and I along with close to 40 other Fort Collins Trail Runners head out to Moab, Utah for the Red Hot 33K and 55K trail races. This will be my third time running this race. Tlast two years, I have approached this as nothing more than an early season race and a great chance to travel to warmer, less snowy trails and have a nice long run. This year has been different for a few reasons. First, I have had a much more solid, high mileage winter training season than I have ever had. I ran 300 miles in December and 345 miles in January. I ran plenty of hills, a little speed and several races. Secondly, I usually wouldn't taper for a race like Moab, but by the end of January after successive, 70, 80, 85 and 90 mile weeks, I was pretty beat. I was feeling tired with dead legs on every run. After the 90 mile week at the end of January, I cut the next week back to 70 miles, then last week I ran only 55 miles. So far this week, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, I have run only easy 4-5 mile runs. As of today I am starting to feel rested again. I am hoping now that my fatigue forced taper will pay off with a great race on Saturday.
Last year at Moab with the snow, I ran 6:04. In 2009, I ran 5:52. I think I should be able to run 5:30 or better this year. That works out to an average of exactly 10 minutes per mile for the 33 mile course. There are many sections of the course where 10 minute miles or better should be no problem, but there are also sections of slick rock climbing and technical descending where I know I'll be lucky to keep up 12-14 minute pace. The slick rock is my greatest challenge. If I can run well and maintain a steady pace on the slick rock, I should have a good race and a great day running trails in Moab with all my friends.