In football you can make adjustments during the game. In distance running it is a bit more challenging. Once an event starts (at least for me) you try and stick to your plan. I think what seperates longer distance events from shorter events is the more mistakes you make up front the harder they are to recover from. The older I get the harder it seems to be to not make mistakes, so one tends to be conservative. My running today consists primarily of feel. In shorter races there is no feel. I should be able to rocket out at this pace and hold it because these specific workouts and trials indicated I could. I can't do that with longer events. If anyone is following this, here is the dilemma:
How do you train for feel?
How do you combine long runs and speed together without compromising the process?
Does anyone get the fueling process because I never have?
When does one hold back and when does one let it go?
I think the ultimate bullet answer for all of them is to run about 100 miles a week, get used to it, and just gradually run those miles faster. If I could do that I really wouldn't have to ponder how to race 50 miles. Because I can't or won't I'm left with the tinkering process.
If I could eliminate one of those questions, it would be the first one. I'm starting to believe I'm going to have what I'm going to have that day. You still have to put in the work, but I tend to have huge cycles of feel good and don't feel good and I must not be the only one. This is why in races I largely prefer to run alone. I tend to be all over the map in pacing and racing. One encouraging sign is when I run the hills I tend to get a spark of sorts. My downfall on the trails is the constant turning, weaving, and uneven terrain. I have a tough time getting into a proper cadence. I think mentally it wears me out.
I know I'm not old at 50, but I get pains that come and go during longer events I just don't get when running on the roads. This means I have to get out to the trails a lot more this spring. I also have to get back to getting fast so I have a better cruising pace. These races start and it just seems like people are flying. I have to stay back because right now I know I can't afford to go out and hang on. At one time I held back because it seemed to make the most sense. Now I have no choice. I have to run this pace and hope the people ahead of me get tired.
This is what makes me love the sport. Trying to figure it out. I'm not sure you ever really get to that point. Sure, I could be like Brother G and run 8 times a month on average, (usually in a 20 day period with 10 off days to follow), but that doesn't work for mortals.