I put "race" in quotation marks because Mt. Disappointment really really REALLY should not be a "race" for me. It has to be a training run. Yeah, yeah, I said that in the days before Bishop too and I meant it then. But I mean it even more this time. With AC100 just three weeks away, if I push it at Mt. Dis, I really risk ruining my final couple weeks of prep for that race and could put the race itself in jeopardy. That's the reason just about everyone I know who's running AC decided NOT to run Mt. Dis. Except me. Hmm.
OK, so, with all that in mind, my ideal plan for Saturday sounds simple: Take it easy. Treat this like a training run as if it were just the first 31 miles of a 100 mile race. Let people beat me even if it looks like they shouldn't. Make sure I'm ready to get back out for another long day on Sunday.
Here's my realistic plan: start easy, keep an eye on who goes out fast and try not to let too many of them get too far in front. (There are a few fast dudes who I know are running, and I'm sure some others I don't know. I have to let them all go and see what happens later.) Eat and drink as much as I can. Get through aid stations quickly. Power hike all the big hills - or maybe all the hills. If I can get through the first 25-or-so feeling strong and comfortable, then maybe - maybe - I'll push the pace a little towards the end. Most importantly, smile and enjoy the day. If I can do that, then I've run the right "race".
As always, I'll be sure to let you know how it goes!