OK, there weren't really any cliffs, but things have been insane. It's been a pre-vacation insane, which I guess is a good thing.
Thursday was the second week of the trail running series. My result was better, but I'm still slow. (Pay no attention to my place. It's a really small pond.) My plan was to run the first mile, the crazy/fun singletrack one, slightly harder. Not much harder, just a touch. Then, really try to work the flat trails. Well, I was almost 30 seconds faster in the first mile, and, therefore, barely any faster in the final 2.3. Kind of discouraging. In all honesty, the flat section of the course is the hardest for me. I try to run fast, but I don't think I have a single fast twitch muscle left in my body. Again, this week, I did a 3-mile warm up and a 3-mile warm down. I was starting to bonk by the end of the warm down because it was getting late and I was hungry. But, it was a good solid day of training.
Friday was ridiculous. It was the classic day before a vacation. I was completely toasted when I got home. I could barely speak English. And, I developed a pain in my foot. Sort of in the ball of my foot at the base of my big toe, but I couldn't feel it by pushing on it. I could only feel it when my foot flexed. It was just sort of there all day. Needless to say, Thursday night was the last night for my 300+ mile trail shoes.
After a good night's sleep on Friday night that was bolstered by the fact that the Trail Monsters weren't meeting until 8:00, I felt good when I got up on Saturday morning. I knew that the plan was to mark the course for the Bradbury Bruiser on Sunday, but I sort of forgot it would be hard to really run and effectively mark the course. So, I showed up ready to run, but got in a nice 4-mile walk with Jim and Jeff marking a portion of the course. After the course marking extravaganza, I was lucky enough to meet up with Ian, and we headed out to run the non-O Trail portion of the course. He wanted to check the markings, and I still wanted to get a run in. We ended up running for about 1:20. I wore new shoes, and my foot pain disappeared. Let's hope good. I headed home, but Ian still had a lot more work to do. The lesson here: it sucks to be the race director. I joked with him that he won't get to race until he starts running the race tomorrow.
I have to admit I bummed that we won't be able to run the race tomorrow. It's an awesome race. And the course is so well marked! But, of course, we're excited to be on vacation and off to the 100 Mile Wilderness. We are just about at the end of our AT journey. It sure had been a long one. It's a wilderness, so don't expect any blog posts until Sunday or Monday of next week. Of course, I wouldn't want to leave you without something to watch over and over again next week.