Monday, October 5, 2009

One Single Bullet

I'm skipping my Monday morning traditional bullet points dubbed as M-Cubed. Truth is, my mind isn't in bullet-point format this morning...it's in a form of a singular bullet. A bullet so focused on the goal there is no other room to bother with others. I had a plan after the Akron Marathon to rest and thanks to a few fellow running friends telling me to do so with several exclamation points, I heeded their advice and have rested...a lot. Last week, I didn't run until Wednesday and that was only 3 miles. On Thursday night, I hit the trails at Virginia Kendall with the Crooked River Trail Runners for just over 7 miles. I'll admit, I started to push it and fly up and down the trails but backed off when I got an imaginary slap across the face. I was on Salt Run Trail which to some is nasty and rugged but it's my favorite trail in all the CVNP. I love to push it through that trail. I ended up doubling back and slowing down and just enjoyed the rest of the run with friends...chilled afterwards at the Lizard in Peninsula. On Friday morning, I hit the trails at West Branch with Bob "Gombu" Combs (fellow Oil Creek 100 runner and YUT-C race director) and Gavin...a new trail runner in the area. We ratcheted out over 7.5 miles in the pouring cold rain on the Buckeye Trail. It was a great run that never went silent as Bob and I talked about all facets of Oil Creek, Western Reserve Trail Running, and NEO Trail. By the end, he asked me to take over the news-posting duties at the NEO Trail blog. Of course, I accepted.

I took off Saturday which was filled with things like the movie "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs," mowing the soaked and overgrown lawn, a great soccer game, and a wedding reception. Sunday morning beckoned me with a huge desire to run so I pulled my new Princeton Tec high power headlamp out of the box, put my Nathan Elite Plus pack on, and hit the roads....for F I V E miles. Ugh....5 miles. Don't get me wrong, I was thankful to run...but I wanted much, MUCH more than that. I was thinking 50 at least. This large portion of rest I've been involved in along with a deep tissue massage, some foam roller action on little twinges that appear, and some dirt time on the trails has got me so fired up right now that I seriously feel sorry for my co-workers this week. They are about to encounter energy levels not previously seen for the next 4 days. I feel like a dang bottle rocket ready to launch sky-ward. But, it's all good! It's a great sign that I am well-rested and ready to go.

I just found out the data points that will be used during this Saturday/Sunday's race in Titusville, PA. I will be hugely impressed if all data points are updated and better yet, timely. My guess is that they will be updated manually unless we are issued some type of chip. That is highly unlikely though. This course goes to some very remote areas that don't even have a cell signal so my bet is that all of the updates will be done manually via call-in to a central location where they will be updated. With that said, the RunRace webcast site has the points as follows:

Checkpoint:

#1: Wolfkill Run @ 7.15 miles
#2: Egbert Farm @ 13.85 miles
#3: Miller Farm Rd Bridge @ 23.6 miles
#4: Titusville Middle School @ 31 miles (Race Start/Finish area)
#5: Wolfkill Run @ 37.95 miles
#6: Egbert Farm @ 44.65 miles
#7: Miller Farm Rd Bridge @ 54.4 miles
#8: Titusville Middle School @ 61.8 miles
#9: Wolfkill Run @ 68.75 miles
#10: Egbert From @ 75.45 miles
#11: Miller Farm Rd Bridge @ 85.2 miles
#12: Titusville Middle School @ 92.6 mile
#13: Titusville Middle School @ 100.3 miles (aka: BUCKLE!!!)

The aid stations above that are bolded will be the spots where I'll have a drop bag staged. So as you can see, I'll have 2 drop bags that I'll see multiple times. Those bags will be stuffed with not only a change of shoes and socks but lots of clothes and cold-weather accessories like winter hats, gloves, pants, jackets, etc. As we've seen in the past week in northeast Ohio, the weather is greatly changing day by day and I have to be very, very prepared. With temps that are now dipping into the 40s at night and approaching 30F, I have to be very careful with hypothermia. I will have lost so much ability to stay warm and will be moving at such a slower-than-normal pace that I can't rely on body heat to keep me warm. I'll be prepared to layer clothing if need be. I'll also have lots of extra baggies so I can isolate worn, wet, salty clothing from the clean stuff. Speaking of weather, I have to treat the current forecast very casually because it'll change more times than days left before the race but as of now, the forecast is calling for upper 40s, maybe low 50s during the day on Saturday and lows in the 30s!!!! Low 30s, to boot! Winter hat, here I come! Gotta keep the lobes warm! OK, the Kettle Moraine never got above 70F but never got cold, the Burning River 100 got up to 87F and then poured rain overnight and I shivered for a long while. Now, it'll be cold. BUT, I run best in the cold and always have. To me, excellent preparation can lead to picture perfect conditions...at least for me, that is.

So here it is, my schedule as I count down the final hours:

Monday: easy morning run of 5-6 miles and a super-tight haircut after work

Tuesday-Thursday:
lots of rest, drinking of water, good nutrition, solid nights of sleep, and one very short run on Wednesday. Hit the carbo-loading head on come Thursday.

Friday:
leave for Titusville, PA around noon, about a 110 mile drive. I'll be meeting up with Tanya, Gombu, Slim, Pebble, Maria, and Amy at the Blue Canoe Brewery in town just to hang out, shove down some more carbs, and relax with my like-minded friends. Afterwards, the pasta dinner and pre-race meeting and packet pick-up will happen between 6pm and 8pm. In the meantime, I'll stake my space on the Titusville Middle School gymnasium floor where I'll sleep for the night. Some runners grabbed a hotel, some are tenting outside, and some are setting up camp inside. My plan is to take our feather bed, fold it in half forming a really comfy bed and then using my sleeping bag to bury myself in. TMS (Titusville Middle School) lights out is at 10pm. (I feel like I'm going to camp again!)

Saturday:
I'll take my travel pot and after brewing some espresso and probably double-triple checking stuff, the race will officially start at 5am EST. Gombu, Slim and I are doing the 100 miler. Tanya, Pebble, Maria, and Amy are starting at 6am in the 50 miler. There's also a 50K that starts at 7am. After that, I've got 32 hours (1pm Sunday) to travel 100 miles!

I'll post the webcast link once again on Friday morning before I leave along with the current weather link. I make no promises about the webcast but I am optimistic.

The picture below is the ultimate goal, a gold and silver finisher's buckle. This is an actual buckle being held by race director, Tom Jennings. Thanks to him for sending it to me as a little dose of inspiration. Hopefully, the next buckle pic I post here will be MY hand holding THIS buckle.

Happy Trails, everyone!

1 comment:

Charlotte said...

Your blog was published in the Titusville Herald today and I cannot tell you with what interest I read it. I cried when you cried and cheered when you crossed the finish. To know what you have way down deep inside yourself is a wonderful thing. Be proud of yourself.