I am finally at that point where I can say my goal race is this week, and I can't quite wrap my brain around it. Only five days until I attempt something I have never done before, and I can't wait to see if I can pull it off gracefully or not. I guess, I really don't question whether I can finish the 50K, but how long will it take me? How much will it hurt? How much will it appeal to me once done? Those are the questions I am waiting to answer.
With only five days left until race day, I had two three-mile runs scheduled for this week. Today was the first of those two, and I really questioned whether I should do it or not. Since the 21-mile trail run a couple of weeks ago, I have noticed my left knee more than I really want to. It's not that it out and out hurts, but it isn't as happy with me as it could be. So, I wondered about the wisdom of today's run. To be honest, I am so tired of the whole training thing that the idea of just not running at all this week held a certain appeal. In the end, though, and after a bit of dawdling, I ended up heading out and I am glad I did.
I made the trek out to High Cliff State Park and ran the Butterfly Pond trail, a beautiful, handicapped-accessbile trail that I often overlook when I visit the state park. If I am going to make the drive, I often opt for the much longer wooded trails and bridle trails - the ones that are made of actual dirt and have roots and rocks that try to reach out and grab me. The butterfly pond normally doesn't appeal with its paved pathways and benign character. Today, however, it was just what I needed, and I was reminded again of how lovely it really is. The trees are just starting to bud right now, but the birds have all settled in and are making themselves at home. The birdsong that accompanied me on my run today was quite soothing, and as a bonus there were no tripping hazards. I was sized up once or twice by one particular goose, however, but in the end he (or she?) decided to leave me alone. Of course, it helped that the sun was shining and the weather was warm but not hot. All in all, a perfect day for a run.
In a way, it made up for the attempted 10-miler I did on the trails on Saturday. I say attempted because I only managed 8 miles and change, due to just feeling tired and blah. It felt more like the end of a 50K than the start of anything - one of those days where I feel I should have quit while I was ahead and maybe stopped at about the 4-mile mark.
In fact, it was so bad that when I went out to meet some friends that evening for an impromptu birthday celebration (not mine), I really wanted to follow my friends' suit and drown my sorrows in a dirty snowball (I still don't know what that is, but the description of "tasty but toxic" that A. gave it gives me an idea.) Instead, I contained myself and opted for tasty but non-toxic - a Bitter Woman IPA and a Scottish Ale. Both are Wisconsin brews. The first I chose for the name; the second because it was on tap and brewed locally.
So, a busy week ahead after a very busy weekend. It's time to get back on a sleep schedule; eat some good and healthy food; hydrate, hydrate, hydrate; foam roll; ice; and generally just pamper myself a bit. If I do have problems with the race, I don't want it to be because I missed a step on one of these easily controllable factors.