Floor hockey is one sport I thoroughly enjoy. It gets me my speed workout, but it also pushes my body and works on that stamina. Another thing that it does is helps me with my stop and go. When we do floor hockey, it's always a run and gun situation, you get the ball and you blast off, only to get it taken away and blasted back. There's a short stop and then I'll get back to running. Doing this for a couple hours really puts a lot of stress on your muscles... but it feels so good. Having a short stop in between helps you keep that fast pace going. It kind of reminds me of when I was in college. I would get bored of working on an essay, that after every paragraph, I would play minesweeper on hard, and once I clear it with a decent time, I would get back to writing that paper. This allowed me to get enough of a mental break that I could continue to work on my essay without losing my pace, and finish it a lot more effectively than if I would have tried to man through it. I have some friends that are capable of manning through it and are good at it, so it's not that my way is right... it's just that my way worked for me. Having that rest was important because it kept me at a good pace.
Running this 12 hour race is going to be the same. There is going to be a lot of running, but the most important thing is the pace. I am estimating how much my body can handle, and I know that compared to when I ran the 50 mile race, I would be more than just physically prepared for the race. This time, I know what I need to bring in order to get through the race. My goal isn't just to finish, but to get 1st place and a course record. I would like to work hard and get an average of a 9:40 mile for the whole duration. Should I get that average, I would be able to run approximately 74.4 miles in the 12 hours. I know that I will have a hard time running at that slow pace the first half, and not wanting to make the same mistake as I did in the 50 and go to fast in the beginning, I am going to go in with a plan. The course is set as a 3.1 mile loop (5k) and if I were to run a 9:40 pace, I would finish each loop in half an hour. If I keep up the pace, I would be able to do 24 laps. My plan is to run a slow loop, and after finishing the loop, walk til my half hour is up, and then run slowly again. My idea is that every loop that I run will be fast at first, but because of that, I would be forced to walk and rest til my hour is up. This won't mean that I will work my butt off for a loop and then walk and recover, and go again. It means that I am probably going to run a 9:00 or slightly faster pace, and use the extra time to recover.
Using a little math, I calculated that if I run at a 9:00 min/mile pace and walk til my time is up, I would have approximately 2:06 to walk (which, for an average person would be .1 miles worth) and then I would go back to running. Little by little, my running distance would slightly diminish, and the walking time would increase. However, because of the rate of increase, I would reach a limit in about 8 laps (a little calculus) and by then, should I keep the same pace, I would run for 25:48 and walk 4:12, basically running 2.9 miles and walking .2 miles. Should I keep the pace up, I would be able to finish with the last 4:12 to spare. Should I get behind, at the worst, I could probably drop to a 10:00 pace and still get first place and a course record. Every year brings new people and each person trained a certain amount for this race, so I don't really know what to expect, but what I know is that I'm going to do my best to keep that pace, whether there are people who are way ahead of me, or people who are way behind me. As long as I have this plan, I'm going to do my best to run smart. I don't know exactly what's going to happen, but as long as I have control over any part of it, I'm going to make sure to work to make that area that is under my control, to support me in my goals.
Have plans, and follow them, and stay in control.