Lets see - only 11 days left until I head into the George Washington National Forest and feel the lactic acid start building in my legs. The SS was a possibility for this race but at this point I think that would be a big mistake. Especially since I haven't done an SS ride this year - or ever - over 20 miles. I think that was the main reason I've decided against it. The other reason is that I really would like some redemption from last years poor effort. I remember it being a little greasy but nothing that would have made me finish in my time of 10:39. That was the longest 100 miler(timewise)by 3 minutes that I have ever completed. And at that point I was lucky just to have completed it.
I remember last year thinking that the race should be pretty manageable but I didn't realize the recovery I would need for a race like this. I pre-rode the course last year two weeks prior and bonked hard and that would not set me up terribly well to perform in the SM100. This year I'm coming off of a good race at the Fools Gold 100 and a nice 3 week span until the SM100. This gives great recovery time and should help me have some juice to take a nice bite out of the time it took to finish last year.
Admittedly I knew that last year that I could be pretty cooked at that point in the season and looking back I was. I came off the 4th climb in BAD shape. Actually once I crested the top of the climb I was so shaky on the descent that I actively had to dodge trees and stop myself from blacking out. One of the photographers got a great shot of me rolling out of the next aid station with my face flushed and my eyes practically rolling back in my head as I start the 18 mile climb. Not the shape I want to attempt any race in.
So as the early prediction I am hoping to complete the SM100 in 9:15 or quicker. There's too many races under my belt this season to hope for a sub 9 - although that would be a treat. So that's my call for now and I'm going to see what the weather brings and how reachable that goal is. Either way I've already had a great season and I'm just looking forward to besting my PR and putting back a few cold ones after wrapping up my NUE experience for 2009.