Updated: Nov 18, 2022
On October 29 I will be running 100 miles at the 2022 Javelina Jundred race! Javelina Jundred is a Halloween themed desert race that takes place at McDowell Mountain Regional Park in Fountain Hills, AZ, not far outside of Phoenix, AZ.
This year is the 20th edition of the Javelina Jundred! Javelina, as a Golden Ticket race in 2022 for the Western States 100, is lining up to be a very competitive race with many elite runners in the field. The course consists of 5 loops of runnable single-track and dirt roads with around 6-8k of total elevation gain. Normally the winning time is between 13-14 hours, which is around 8ish per minute per mile pace for 100 miles.
As of the writing of this blog we are about 1 week from the race start. The plan for this taper was a 3 week taper leading into the race. Normally I would only do a 2 week taper but this training block was a little longer so I decided to try out a 3 week taper. The plan for the taper was to reduce mileage from peak week (86 miles) about 30% week 1 (run 57 miles) and about 50% week 2 (run 43 miles). During race week I will likely run pretty short each day with a couple faster days to get the legs ready to race.
How do the legs feel? Ok, haha. One of the things I have realized (hopefully not too late) is that all of the flat-ish road running has really made my hamstrings crazy tight. While I always have pretty tight hamstrings they have gotten way worse during this training block. A good learning experience for next time I do a flat training block I will need to do a lot more hip mobility work during the training block.
Because of the tightness of my hamstrings I have been dealing with a little bit of a right upper calf strain the flared up on my last long run of the training block. Hopefully it will not affect the race but it is certainly there. I still have another week to recover so hopefully it will be mostly recovered by then. I can run just fine but being able to run 5 miles on a sore calf and 100 miles is quite different. On a side note, I need Javelina as my 2023 Western States qualifier so even if the calf flares up or anything else happens I plan on finishing, even if I have to walk it in, haha.
The Race Strategy & Goals:
I honestly am not really sure about the strategy, haha. I have run and finished 5 mountainous 100 miles races but I have never run a 100 mile race that is basically runnable the entire time like Javelina. Normally in a 100 mile mountain race I pretty much go by how my heart rate and rate of exertion feels the entire race. I do not spend much time thinking about how my legs feel because normally the primary limiting factor feels like fitness.
In my last 100 mile race, the Grindstone 100 (where I placed 2nd), I ran the first 50 miles in 10:04 and the last 50 miles in 10:11, which is about as even as a split as you can get in a 100 mile race. I was also able to average 142 heart rate for the entire 20 hours of the race, which is probably higher than most people could average for that long. If my heart rate got much above 150 for an extended period of time I could not hold that effort and started to feel it with the humidity.
All that to say I think Javelina will be the opposite, where the limiting factor will probably be the physical ability of my legs to hold a moderate pace for that long. In a mountain race you have up-hill hiking, maybe some flat running, and downhill running. In Javelina it will be slightly uphill, flat, and slightly downhill. In terms of effort, I know I can easily hold a heart rate between 140-150 beats per minute for that long. The corresponding pace for that type of heart rate for me on flat terrain would probably be around 7:30 pace. I did a training run during this training block that was 28 miles at around 7:20 pace and a heart rate around 150 beats per minute.
So how will this play into my strategy? Since I do not have experience racing a flat course, or this race in particular, I will probably be pretty cautious on lap 2-4. Each lap is basically 20 miles. I will probably go out a little faster on lap 1 as most people will, but it will also be cooler in terms of temps on lap 1. After lap 1 I will be more cautious and try the best I can to have 3 conservative laps and survive the heat of the day. By the time we get to lap 5 the temps should be a lot lower, and at that point its less than 20 miles to go, so its all about just holding on. As in all 100 mile races you can lose so much time or gain so much time in that last 20 miles. The hope would be that I could still jog at a reasonable pace.
Overall I have a few goals for the race. The main goal, and reason I am doing this race, is to get experience at running a flat race. Experience in training for this type of race and then experience in running this type of race. Running this race will help me know what type of training to design in the future and also understand the type of effort I can put out in a 100 mile flat race. Another goal is to break 15 hours. I have no doubt I have the fitness and running efficiency to be able to run a time like this, but I have no idea about the physical endurance of my legs to be able to run an average of 9 minute miles for a 100 miles. In the fastest mountainous 100 mile race I have done I ran right about an average of 12 minute miles for the entire race.
Another goal would be to get top 10. But that goal isn't really something I will be thinking about or gauging while I am out there. The main goal will just be a time goal and the place will be what it is. If I did run around 15 hours or even near 16 hours the placing would likely be near the top ten. I am definitely not going to be racing for place though. Maybe next year, but this year it is all about getting experience.
Well that's about it in terms of goals! If you are signed up for Javelina Jundred and need some coaching let's do it!