This works for me and should be taken as such and may be totally useless in your situation.
I never have the finish in my mind. I start with crossing Tamps Bay as my only goal. Then I just chip away at the pieces. I hate a schedule or a time frame. If I am on one of these I will slack off if ahead and work myself to hard if behind.
Smart things; always do your eating, rest breaks or just goofing off in the boat going with the current or wind. If you are fighting a current and cannot whip it coast a few minutes in an eddy and drink and eat then go for it.
Sleep when it is intolerable, (only you can decide what is bad conditions.) Wake up and go if the wind is slack or in your favor no matter what time it is. GO right then and nibble on food instead of cooking something. Get out of the mindset of sleep between such and such hours. Go when it is good and as long as you can. Schedules suck with this type of traveling.
You do not always need a shelter or dark for some sleep. You do not have to cook every meal. If you are cold get up and paddle. You should fall asleep as soon as you lie down. You do need to address any body maintenance as soon as it is apparent. Lack of doing this will hurt you so much later on and even cause you to DNF. DO NOT KEEP PADDLING OR WHATEVER IF ANYTHING IS DESTROYING YOUR BODY. Stop now and fix it be it a pfd or skirt or shoes. Any cuts etc should be handled when they happen, failure to do this can and has caused a few DNFs. Something as simple as putting some clothing between you and the skirt can resolve the issue.
Make your meals simple boil water and most no cook. I use a no cook meal that is over 700 cal and easily bumped to a 1200 with drink, and no I will not share. Something’s you have to work for .
At the end of the EC there is a little 35 or so mile stretch that anyone can paddle in less than a day, do not sell it short. This section can make you a true believer in hurt. Ya need a hold up spot you will find it just do not be picky.
Don’t sweat the electronic rules so much you become paranoid or drop out because of. You finish you and I plus a lot of others will know you done it. Hey every now and again look around and look at neat stuff and enjoy the adventure even if you are racing it.
Best advice I ever got was finish even if past the time limit (you know you did it.) and quit doing events if they are no longer any fun.
What a family you can even have a bad day and say dumb things and piss off people and still be part of it. GO WATERTRIBE!