I'm 20 days out from the SHT fall 50 mile. Not entirely prepared, physically or mentally. A minor knee injury earlier this summer really threw a loop in my training (by cutting out five weeks of it) and I haven't got up to near the mileage that I did for the 50K. I have only put in one week where I ran in excess of 40 miles since the 50K. Oh well.
I did some trail running this morning at Afton State Park. Just a single loop, about 11.3 miles worth. It took me about 110 minutes, or just under 10 min/mile - this includes walking up some hills, so my actual running pace was faster. This is with a fudge factor built in to compensate for my missing 0.3 miles of timing (about 3 minutes). Not too shabby, but it is not the SHT. Afton has too many small rolling hills and a long 1.7 miles of flat dirt near the river. On the SHT, I will have none of that.
Perhaps if I average 10 min/mile, and then add a fudge factor of 10 percent, that's 11 min/mile and a 550 minute race - 9 hours, 10 minutes. This puts as a top-four finisher for the years online results are posted. And thus it makes the pace look flawed.
But perhaps not. I ran poorly at the 50K, yet averaged 10:51 mile/min average. And that's with a lot of walking and slow, slow running. So perhaps somewhere between 10-11 minutes per mile is not that far off.
Of course I have no clue how this will play out. I can only sit back and enjoy the run. Stay out of the front of the pack and get settled early. Last time, I went out too hard and paid for it with pain and sluggish struggling. This time, I am better prepared mentally, and have been biking more and more to compensate for my lack of running.