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With less than a week to go before A2A how is everyone feeling?

kjg's picture

Share your concerns, hopes and fears and generally how you are feeling about your form, fitness etc. with less than a week to go - maybe someone will have some words of wisdom to help you through!

This will be my first A2A - I am getting a little scared. I think I will make it through (based on Tanglewood and training performance) my concern is that I don't want to be disappointed in my time becuase I shouldn't be (it should be an accomplishmant to finish) but somewhere deep down I can't help holding on to times I would like to be under, times that I would be ecstatic about etc.

I feel like by fitness is good and my technique (and confidence) are both leaps and bounds from where they were at this time last year.

One of my concerns is water. maybe someone can help from a practical level. I usually use waterbottles in my back pocket. I have heard that they give out bottled water - can anyone tell me whether they drink from the bottles they are given or attempt to refill there own bottles/camelbak whilst skating/stopping. This sounds stupid but I am wondering whether I should ditch my own bottles and just drink from theres and then chuck them - hopefully that makes sense to someone?!

See you all friday! 


eebee's picture

Don't Panic!

Are you saying you don't use a hydration pack/bladder type thing, but water bottles only?


There always have been plenty of water stops, rest stops and water bottles handed off by volunteers and spectators. It's still pretty rural for the first 38 miles or so, and this is the stage where you probably won't be gasping for fluids. The lower 49 (miles) however, are well-developed areas with plenty of convenience stores if you find yourself between rest-stops, badly needing water.


There have been 6 rest stops in recent years up to mile 76 or so, and I'm guessing there will be that many this year too. So that averages out at something like 12 miles between them (give or take a few miles - I don't have my own shredded mileage sheets with me) up to mile 76, which I believe is where David Lampp's concrete factory oasis rest-stop is (Oh! Maybe it's not a concrete factory! I just associate it with cement because of the huge lumps of it in the road that torture 76 mile feet!). The last 11 miles of course take you to Piedmont Park.


If you do use a hydropack of some kind also, I recommend preparing a second one to switch out of your camelbak somewhere mid-course, say at the 38 mile finish line in Dacula (mile 38) or checkpoint 4 (mile 56). This is much easier than trying to fill one at a rest stop from little water bottles.


As far as hopes and dreams go: My best 38 mile event time (back when I believed I was not good enough to go 87 miles) happened because I had printed out ahead of time my projected arrival times at different rest stops, based on my miles per hour on similar hills throughout that year's training season. This kept me sane, happy when I beat those projected times, able to resist a 'sprint' in the beginning, or from blowing myself out trying to keep up with a pack that was outta my league. I'd think "It's ok! Let the pack go! I have plenty of time to make it to the next checkpoint by my optimistically-projected time". Getting into a pack that was a comfy pace for me shortened my time, too. Knowing myself, if I hadn't given myself permission to hold the reins early on, I would have gone out too fast in the beginning, instead of saving energy for later when I really needed it. So it's a good idea to have a positive expectation, printed out and stuffed in your pocket somewhere, as long as you are the type not to crumble mentally, if for some reason you don't meet those projections (I do that with other projects but never with skating: Exercise Endorphins!). I will look to see if I can find my notes on checkpoint distances. I couldn't see them on the A2A site.


Sorry if this offends anyone, but completing A2A (87 miles) is kinda like giving birth - after you're done you're just giddily euphoric that you got through it at all :-) And along the same lines - you can try to prepare for it mentally before you've ever gone through it, but nothing anybody else who's already been through it can say will really have any meaning until you've done it yourself!

roadskater's picture

Get A2A Turn Sheets and Study Those

I'm sure you guys noticed I put and article in the forum, too...




...but one good thing is to get the turn sheets printed early and study them, or use CutePDF to create PDFs for your laptop or palm or whatever. a2a.net has turn sheets available so there's no need to wait.


Water stops are at 15, 27, 38, 56, 71 and 78. So in terms of miles between stops counting start and finish, if you hit them all, it's 15, 12, 11, 18, 15 and 7 with 9 to the finish. Dacula is a big one since it's 18 to the next one. If in good shape going up the climb after Silver Hill I say keep going as it is only 7 miles to the next one and I think the Silver Hill climb is easier if you don't stop in the middle of it.


It should be water bottles unless volunteers go to extra effort and personal expense. You may want to keep one water bottle of your own and be sparing in using it, taking water bottles at stops when needed (even with a Camelbak on this is not a bad idea).


PLEASE DO NOT LITTER! It is very bad for the event, and especially for the volunteers, if you don't just keep your water bottle until the next stop.




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