And the taper begins...

Just like that, I'm now tapering for my first 100 mile race on March 23. Insert your favorite phrase: The hay is in the barn. The cords of wood are stacked. Whatever. For better or for worse, this is what I have.

Research into 100 mile plans varies so much that I think it's really impossible to know if I'm ready. Broadly speaking, what I've done is taken what worked well for me in a 50 mile race build and added as much as I could. Here are some stats:

Running up to my first 50 mile build (which I'm using for comparison since it was the same time of year):

1. I had 6 weeks 50+ miles per week. For this 100 mile build, I had 8 of those and will likely have a 9th this week.
2. I had 4 weeks 60+ miles per week. For this 100 mile build, I had 5 of those.
3. I had 0 weeks of 70+ miles per week. For this 100 mile build, I've had 3.
4. I had 3 long runs of 30+ miles with the longest of 35 miles. For this 100 mile build, I had 5, maxing out at 39.4 miles. I also had an additional weekend with a 20 on Saturday and a 15 on Sunday, but really didn't feel it was as worth it to me so I stopped doing the back to backs.

In a perfect world, all of the stats from this build would've been 1 week better, but a head cold 2 weeks ago derailed one of the long runs. While that was unfortunate, I'm pretty much glad I rested that weekend, as it meant a fairly speedy recovery.

My final 35 mile run in 2011 averaged 9:25 per mile (including all stops). My 39 miler last weekend was similar for the first 31 miles, but then my pace lagged to an overall average of 9:52. Still, the weather was a lot windier yesterday than 2011 and I felt that, all in all, the run was a success. Some of the slowdown yesterday was intentional, too, as after 30 miles I started putting walk breaks in, which will be a critical facet to the 100 mile effort. And all in all, if I come through 50 miles around 10 min/mile on race day, I think that'll be a good start.

Even so, I find myself sitting here absolutely as unsure of my ability to complete this race as I was prior to my first 50 miler. I take solace knowing that on that particular race day, I was shocked how ready I was for it and am hoping something similar happens here. I'm also comforted knowing I've never dropped out of any race, though I've been tempted several times. That doesn't mean I won't DNF. 100 miles is a very long way. But it does mean that I have faith that if I can't do it, I will have given it everything I have.

But that's all 3 weeks from now. Now, the long runs are over and the time I spent doing them will likely be replaced by the worrying.


  1. I can't wait to hear about it!

  2. You can do it, dude! You have worked and worked and worked. All little pieces to the 100-mile puzzle. Don't forget that you'll have a little extra race-day pep to help get you through.

    Rock on!

  3. Anonymous3:00 AM

    Good luck with the 100-mile race Marcus. You've definitely put in the work for a great outcome.
    Al Stitz

  4. You will do amazing Marcus!


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