Going Into My First Ultra

A day out from the race and feeling really....uncertain.

Tomorrow I will race my first ultra, a race longer than the marathon's 26.2 mile standard.  While my race is barely squeaking into the ultra category at 28 miles I am certain the challenge will be tough.  Climbing from 6,000ft elevation in Logan to 9,700 at the top of Logan Peak in the snow and difficult terrain left by the spring melt... well, I have never done anything like that before and it sounds pretty freaking hard.  So yeah, I think it's safe to say:  CHALLENGE ✔️

Typically the race has an aid station that you pass through at miles 12 and 16, but given the deep snow this winter the jeep road to that area is impassible.  The runners will be self supported for 22 miles!  This seems concerning but then I supported myself on several 20+ mile runs this spring so I should be capable.  Maybe I am just disappointed in not seeing the crazy things ultra runners eat at those aid stations?

Overall, I just don't know what to expect.  I want more control in a type of racing that doesn't cater to control freaks.  The thoughts racing through my head include:

- I have run snow glades once but I kept getting lost.  This course is supposed to be well marked.

- My road running background makes me anxious with obstacles, but that is an essential element of the ultra trail race.  
- I don't know how much to carry for the run that will strike that perfect balance of not packing too much weight and making sure I don't bonk, or die in the woods. Be over prepared, especially with water
- Wait!  What am I doing?  Am I even ready for this?  Have I run enough miles?  Enough Hills?  oh crap...  Shut up brain
- What do I wear to warm up?  Is this like a road race with sweats and a checked bag at the start or is it super laid back where no-one seems affected by the weather.  (I'm fussy.  I notice 5* temperature changes and have a different outfit for each).  wear what you want, who cares?  In fact, wear lip gloss!

So, these are my insecurities and my battling brain's replies.  Next week I'll have perspective on it all and I'm counting on this list to remind me of all of the concerns to I can address them and all of the other issues that present themselves in the next 24 hours.  That's the fun and the pain in trying something new.  No matter how many people you talk to in preparation, to really know the experience you just have to toe the line and give it a try.  Be the (wo)Man in the in Arena, make yourself vulnerable, feel all the feels.

Here goes nothing... :) :) :)

Will these supplies get me to the top?