Scatter my ashes here...

Scatter my ashes here...
scatter my ashes in the desert...

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Did someone say Starbucks?

Today, the 5th, is Isabelle's birthday. She's seven. Yes we celebrate our dogs' birthdays. She went to Starbucks this morning, her favorite place to go. She gets very excited when we say "Starbucks". And she got a new hedgehog for a birthday present. Later I think I will get them some doggie ice cream.

Speaking of Starbucks, I just remembered I need to get some good coffee for the road, the coffee in the rooms at Furnace Creek won't cut it and I'll need my morning fix every day. There's no real coffee I know of once we leave Las Vegas.

I'm leaving in 5 days. Every day there are plenty of little tasks. Today I organized and labeled all my running clothes and gear for days and nights in bags, made sure all my shoes were laced properly and ready to go, packed my Mt. Whitney gear, and tried to make the pile of stuff as easy as possible for the crew to manage.

Over the past week I rode my bike a lot. Today I rode to Loveland and on the way out I almost bit it at the intersection of Harmony & Lemay, but caught myself. Didn't come out of my cleats fast enough. It's been warm, everyone complaining about heat and humidity but it hasn't bothered me. The sauna was extra hot this morning. I'm still hitting the sauna twice a day and limiting my runs to about 3 miles, and I've been walking fast for another 4 miles or so in addition to running.

This is the most extreme taper I've ever done, and I'm curious to see if it will make a difference. I'm of the mindset that it's better to be undertrained than overtrained going into a race. I'm scared that I will lose some of the preparation I've done on downhills and pavement by taking it so easy for 4 weeks. The worst thing that could happen is my quads get sore during the race. They're going to be sore from the downhill at Panamint but I don't plan on running it as hard as I did on the training run. This is my Badwater "rookie" race and that means it's all a learning experience.

When I do run, it feels so good to push myself, and it's been in the 90s here and it doesn't feel hot at all. I've been running maybe 8:45 to 9 minute pace on my short little runs and it feels easy and relaxed, and I won't need to hold that pace at all during Badwater.

Other than that, just resting and staying hydrated. The taper worm hasn't been too hungry. I'm still trying to figure out where the extra 5 pounds over last year came from. Probably a combination of age and the lack of intensity (speed) in my training.

Looks like there won't be any room left in my RAV 4 once we get Ken's cooler and his stuff in there. I tried putting the big items in and it looks like we'll have just enough room to stuff all our clothes and the food and anything that won't fit inside the coolers.

I bought a water purification filter with my dividend at REI. We'll be set for Whitney. I am so tired of buying things.

Felix is kicking butt on his Tour Divide ride, he's in New Mexico now. He is very tough. He had a lot of technical problems with his bike and gear on this ride and he has perservered. Good job Felix! I sent him an email telling him to come find us in Death Valley if he's up to it after he's done! He was in Chama on the 4th of July, I think it's only another 500 or 600 miles to the Mexican border.

So, here we are, the crew is set and ready to go, we're all tapping our feet and bouncing off the walls. It's time to talk about the plan and my goals. It's really simple and comes down to this...

My goals are:
1. To have fun and share with the crew the most memorable experience yet of my entire running career.
2. To finish.
3. To finish in under 48 hours.

After that, I could write a list of progressively more detailed and challenging time goals but it really doesn't matter about the time. I'm not in this race to be competitive with the clock or the other runners, the challenge is with myself, to finish in whatever conditions and circumstances I face during the two and a half days of the race. If I'm feeling good after Panamint, of course I'll want to motivate myself to get done faster and see how many runners I can pass but at that point it will just be a mental game, and an additional challenge. Getting to the finish line is enough, even if it's in 59 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds.

Dale Nagel sent me the Death Valley weather forecast over the next week and it looks like one of the days was supposed to hit 126 degrees! I'll have to keep checking. Lately it's been in the low 120s.

Sunny Skies says, No sweat, it was 133 in '03!


Tom@RunnersLounge said...

I just found your blog and am glad to read your posts just in time wish you the best at Badwater.

I can't imagine running what you're about to experience, but it seems you're ready.

I'll be following your posts to track your progress.

JeffO said...

I'm waiting for them to move it to January - then I'll sign up!
Good luck with the logistics. That's so hard.
Don't forget a jacket - a cold-front could blow in and the temps could plummet to 100 degrees!