That's it. The last run before the race. And now time to fill. Cleaning and preping the Camelbak. Laying out a zillion, I mean one race day outits. Getting things ready for Hubbs and the kiddos to do while I am gone. Driving the morning route so I'll know it in the dark. Cleaning the house. Washing laundry. Craving pumkins. Loading the car. Did I say, laying out gear. Oh yeah, I did. I'll be doing jus about EVERYTHING I can except thinking about the... ...race. Happy Halloween...or Harvest, if it makes you happier.
My I FINISHED goal: To arrive on time. To start. To finish.
The race has a 9 hour cut off. Which tells me the course may not be a challengening as The Skyline Challenge course was. If you remember, that was my all time favorite race EVER! I know that I can finish in 9 hours as long as I don't fall off the side of the mountain, which can happen you know!
My I CAN goal: Finish within 33 minutes of my last 50k trail ultra.
I say 33 minutes becuase that is the distance of this course in minutes. I figure I can finish easily within a minute either side of my previous time. Again barring not falling off the side of the mountain.
My I LOVE IT goal: A new distance PR.
Since trail ultras are not exact distances. RDs like to say their course is at least 50k, a new PR would be more about average pace than finishing time but with a 50k PR (time) of 6:46 I'd love to crush that on Sunday.
My I DREAM IT goal: Under 6 hours.
Yeah. You read that right. When I dream I don't have little baby dreams.
When I dream I jump in with both feet even on Day # 175
I dream that I can cover that distance in under 6 hours.
If I don't fall off the side of the mountain.
It can happen.
The only thing more I could pray for is to have that thought that has been with me so much lately stay with me as I run across that finish line and throw my log onto the bonfire!
Day # 171 p.m. run ~ treadmill ~ Movie: Daybreakers
1. A few days ago as I was getting my morning coffee at the McD's drive through, the nice lady who waits on me when I am too lazy to make coffee (in which I use Splenda and not sugar) looked at me and said, "Did you hear about Splenda and short term memory loss."
She said it in such a serious-concerned-for-me way I was a bit surprised and didn't really get a chance to respond before she continued briefing me on the reported effect of Splenda on my already failing memory cells.
This explains A LOT.
1. I stop for coffee waaay too often.
2. There are really nice people that I interact with each day.
3. It is not my fault that I forget things! It's the Splenda!
Another baby newt! I love these guys!
2. Probably because of the aforementioned short term memory loss, I forgot to tell you that I saw Morton the Muskrat! You remember him, right? We even had a giveaway to name him back this spring.
Well, with the thick growth along the river and his shy behavior I haven't really seen much of him all summer.
Due to my love all of all things nature, it was great to see he is thriving and storing up for the winter.
It doesn't take much to brighten my day, does it?
Day # 172 ~ a.m. run ~ 3.5
3. See it doesn't take much to distract my mind for the quickly approaching race. Okay, it actually takes a lot to get my brain to stop thinking about the race. Humm, not the actual race but the getting there!
Again that is my BIG worry.
What if I don't make it to the bus in time?
What if I am late and they leave without me?
I have 33+ mountainious miles to run and I'm worried about simply getting to the start!
I guess that is one way to keep my mind distracted from getting to the finish.
Last night the unseasonably mild weather drew me outside for a run with LBM. I know that in the last week before a race nothing you do can really help your performance as much as what you do can hurt your performance.
Still I went out for a run telling myself that it wouldn't be a fast one - it was really windy, yeah I won't think about the effort. We got all loaded up and we were off.
It was great to be outside. We paused at the neighbor's to see their puppies. We enjoyed the leaves falling as we ran. We had the wind in our faces.
the whole time.
How is that even possible?
I told myself I still had really cut back my miles and a 10 mile day was no big deal for me to do this close to the race.
I ran on.
Uneventful miles. Running. Breathing. Talking. Singing. Picking up tossed toys.
Ahhhh. The turn back to "our" road.
Only about a mile and a half to go.
Pick up another toy.
Why, Hello stomach.
Did you say something when I bent down to pick up that toy?
I think it was the "just too much on my mind" that kept me awake after getting LBM back to sleep at 4 a.m. so when we got ready to go for our morning miles I was happy to see the world was hidden in fog.
I just love fog.
It calms me.
And running in fog is even more calming.
The quiet stillness makes me feel like everything else simply doesn't exsist for those few miles.
All my worries are set aside just for a little bit.
It doesn't matter that life is stressful.
It doesn't matter that the BIG race is days away.
It doesn't matter that I might be running it completely alone.
It doesn't matter that work is so busy.
It doesn't matter for a bit.
And once I'm done running those worries don't seem quite as big anymore.
What helps you calm yourself when life and running and responsibility just add up to a little more than your shoulders want to bare?
But it is FALL and the spiders and insects are really big now and every.single.one.of.them is
LIVING IN MY BASEMENT.
I do not lie.
This praying mantis is pink.
I am not frightened of spiders however; I do not want LBM to get bitten because he picked the wrong one up.
Yeah. I said, "...picked the wrong one up."
LBM has two responses to insects and arachnids.
1. The squat and follow
This technique allows LBM to enjoy the little critter for as long as his interest lasts. He crouches as close as possible and stares, sometimes employing the "blow on it slightly" agitation technique. If the critter is agitated into movement, LBM simply follows slowly behind and crouches again. This series can repeat it's self over and over as the critter and attention spans allow.
2. The see and squash
This technique does not allow for much appreciation of the critter and is often the result of LBM's failed attempts to pick up the critter. Once the critter has been spotted, LBM moves in to attempt to capture it. If the critter successfully evades capture several times LBM will attempt to immobilize the critter to aid in capture. This is often accomplished via the bottom of his shoe. Even after several explanations regarding the effects of one's shoe bottom on such a small critter, LBM refuses to discontinue this observation technique. (I attempt to thwart this technique as often as possible)
For now I attempt to teach a distanced appreciation of all the little critters that we find along the way
...and stay current on my insect identification, just in case.
Day # 164 p.m. run ~ 7.2 miles - 59 minutes praying
We had no trouble finishing our miles last night. We ran our usual 6.5 mile loop and then added on .7 to have run 59 minutes. I spent what quiet time LBM gave me in prayer for a fellow blogger and her family. But I also used that time to remember my own family and those who have passed away.
A nice way to focus your thoughts...when the little one is napping.
After our first 6.5 LBM could not wait to "Me Run" in the moonlight for the last few minutes. He is amazingly fast but stops whenever he wants to and not always the "finish line."
But he always declares, "Me Win" no matter where he decides he is done running.
10 more days to the Big Race. It is on Halloween Day and we have been asked to wear something bright; yellow, orange, pink, due to the proximity to private lands and potential hunting. Plus if I fall over and pass out they will be more likely to spot me. Any suggestions on what I should wear?
We practice running hills. We practice running in the rain. We practice running fast. We practice running slow. We practice our breathing while runnng. We practice our fueling methods on long runs. We practice practice practice. I don't think it's wrong to practice carb-loading. I think it could be the missing component in my running! And who's to say that a warm pile of rice krispie treats at 10:45 p.m. isn't the secret edge I've been looking for in my racing? I'm just sayin'
In case you are not familiar with the antics of rural hoodlums children I give you a brief run down.
TP = to waste copius amounts of toilet paper by winding it through trees, bushes, cars, over houses, under porches, through railings in an attempt to waste as much of the homeowner's time as possible in removing the wasted toilet paper.
TicTac or Corn = to throw handfuls of shells corn at passing vehicles from adjacent corn/wheat fields or from overpasses.
Soap = The liberal application of bar or liquid soap to the windows of a house, car or tractor in the attempt to "get away with it." I mean can there be any other reason??
Spot-lighting = The attempt to get every deer in the area on the run to increase the already high chances that someone will hit them with their cars. Alternative definition: The attempt to annoy every homeowner by shining really bright lights into their homes at night.
Now you are completely prepared for the fall season and can speak the lingo!
Of course there was some running for me too.
I needed that to get rid of the frustration of owing the house that always gets TPed!
My kids think it's an annual fall event.
At least the hoodlums kids are getting better at it year after year.
Today is Day # 162
Oh well. At least it saves me another trip to Sam's Club!
This morning while I was running my little wake-up-make-sure-life-doesn't-get-in-the-way run, I could not stop thinking that the highlightof my weekend was the race.
Should I feel quilty that I selfishly feel that way?
Getting to share another race experince with my Hubbs and kiddos was amazing!
Here is our experince in photos:
Waiting near the front of the pack.
Over 160 runners showed up for our little local event.
20th Anniversary of an event will help boost the numbers!
My first mile was 7:20. I held pretty steady the entire race (7:32 pace).
I held the lead for the first half of the race but simply didn't have the push for the last two hills (go ahead say it, over trained under rested!). I allowed just a little too much distance to get between me and the other runner. I gave it everything on the last strech but did not have enough distance to catch her.
46:46 ~ Second
I'll take that on Day # 153
Hubbs took over 2 minutes off his time in two weeks!
I set a 5 year PR for the distance and course!
Once you've been running for decades it's hard to compare your current running with what you were able to do when you were younger...and childless.
Yes. That is LBM laying on the pavillion floor still in his pjs.
Do you see the donut I was eating! Yummy!
okay half of it went into the trash because that was just tooo much sugar even for me.
There was a giant cake to celebrate the anniversary of the race. LBM loved it and helped eat 2 pieces!
Our race director is a wonderful woman. Who works very hard to put on a smoothly ran event.
I have to give my S'ghetti girl a huge That'a Girl for learning to use the sewing machine and making headbands to sell at our local Fall Foliage Festival this weekend.
Rarely can I get her to do things out of her comfort zone but when money entered the equation all bets were off and she really did a great job!
I know she is going to enjoy the experince of interacting with all her potential customers and probably more than a few friends who stop by her booth.
And she stepped out of her comfort zone last night by going to basket ball camp. She did not want to! I really felt she would find something about the activity and social interaction that she would like. And guess what? She did! I am so proud of her for trying something new!
I have been like a kid a Christmas. You might think I have been feeling this way because of the race I'll be running Saturday morning but that is not the reason. You might like it was surpassing the 150 mark in my days of running but wrong again. The reason I was so exited was I had done something that I have never done. I got something to commerate 100 days of running. I have never bought myself something after a marathon or after my first ultra. And in a way I still haven't because what I was so excited about was the fact that I surprised another blogger with a little unexpected happiness!
There isn't anything better than giving! Add in a surprise giving and it is the BEST feeling ever! So no matter how I run this race today, I am filled with happiness that I was able to uplift someone else.
And doing well in the race would just be icing on the cake!