Friday, May 29, 2009

Single Digits

This is it! Only single digits are left in my countdown to the Kettle...8 days as of today. My taper is becoming a growing frustration, as it should be, as I want to RUN! Right now, I'm at 23.9 miles for the week and feel like I haven't run since last week...that's a good sign. Take yesterday for example: I had taken Wednesday off and planned on the Thursday night group trail run, but I just had to run Thursday morning before work. It's not like I needed two runs yesterday, but there was just too much bottled up energy inside to not run. So, I did an easy 4.5 and then another 5.9 on the trails last night with 25 others at the Gorge Metro Park in Cuyahoga Falls. (Thanks to Chef Bill for the pic on the right) Afterwards, about 15 of us headed down the street (about 1/4 mile from the Burning River 100 finish line) to Hunt's Bar and Grille to get some eats and watch the CAVs game. It was a great, relaxing evening with friends and also a chance to chat with Lloyd and Andrea who just returned from Lloyd's great performance in his 2nd 100-miler at MMT. I like how Andrea put it: "in the taper, anything less than 4 miles just doesn't count"...perfect...justification to go burn some energy!

For the past several days, I've read again the race packet for the Kettle and studied once again the course description and aid station details. I also put together my spreadsheet for the aid stations and put together the list for my different drop bags. I've got a couple of things to purchase like replacement batteries for my headlamps, some more drop bags, and I'd like to find a light disposable camera I can carry with me to snap some pics along the way. There's no way I'm carrying my Canon, though. It'll get ruined for sure. For drop bags, I've become a fan of these Hefty bags I found at Giant Eagle (local grocery store) last year. They are 11 gallon, clear bags with a zip-lock closure. It's great because they have a built-in handle, easy open/close with the zip, and clear so I can easily see inside to get what I want. This will be especially helpful at night when I'm fumbling around trying to find something. I can just shine my light on the bag and see exactly what I need. Plus, the bags are really strong. They'll hold way more than what I'll fill them with so holding extra shoes or clothing are no problem with them. Possibly in another post, I'm going to go over drop bag contents and placement at different locations. Right now, I'm still strategizing, planning, and putting it onto the spreadsheet so I can see it all as one big picture.

The Next 8 Days: today, Marjie and I are taking the day to spend together and do some running around. We're heading to Akron to Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens, getting some lunch somewhere between Akron and Hudson, and picking up her new Asics 2140s and my new canister of Perpetuem at Vertical Runner. Tomorrow is going to be fun...we're taking a family trip down to the land of Mohican in Loudonville and taking a canoeing trip. We'll take the 2 or 4 hour trip (don't forget, we have a 6 and 8 year old), have a picnic riverside, and just relax away from the noise of cell phones, TV, etc. Plus, it keeps me off my legs and lets me work out those jitters commonplace with a taper. For next week, I'll work on Monday and Wednesday at my normal day job, be on active duty with the Navy for one day on Tuesday in Cleveland to support a Navy conference in downtown, then hit the road for the Kettle on Thursday morning. It's about an 8hr drive to Whitewater, WI where I'll be staying. On Thursday night, I'll hit the carbo-load hard then take a "mental" prep day on Friday...alone. Besides picking up my race packet, I plan to drive around and see some major points of the course simply so I can visualize them during the race and use as motivation to get to each one. Relaxing and doing nothing for the rest of the day is the plan. Saturday morning at 6am CST is the event start. In the next week as the event site goes "live," I will post information for runner-tracking during the event. The rumor is that we will be wearing chips...supposedly ankle-attached since many will change shoes during the event. I will NOT be carrying my cell phone nor doing any Facebook updates. I found out at Burning River last year that the cell phone is an unneccesary "life-line" in times of mental strife. It's a weakness to have it, not a strength...so it will remain locked up in the trunk of my car!

Have a great weekend, everyone, and Happy Trails!

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