On a good note:
I'm feeling fit and ready for the 100-miler at Rocky Raccoon in a couple of weeks. In fact, I feel as fit or fitter than when I ran a PR there in 2006, which was a 22-hour, 4-minute effort.
In addition to my regular trailrunning training, I've been hitting the gym religiously for 9 weeks now, for 5 times per week. My core, upper body and shoulders are stronger, which helps a lot on a trail run...especially in a 100-mile trail run. The leg workouts have helped a lot, too. I am now a big believer in single-leg presses, and other single-leg exercises for runners. My speed is better, and I just feel good and strong at the end of every long or short run, now. I really feel tough as nails, right now.
Our Digs at Rocky
I'll have 4 bodies (including mine) packed into my Ultramobile for the drive to Rocky Raccoon. We won't have much room in the car, but it should be a lot of fun.
Gary "Luddite" Henry (from Lawrence), and Tony "Semper Fast" Clark (from Wichita) will be riding down with me. My son will be going, too. He will be our crew (and probably part of the entertainment). Hopefully, he'll be rested enough to help drive part way back to KC after the race. He and I love our road trips together, and this one should be a good one. Gary had his name mentioned recently (by me) on an Endurance Planet podcast...and he's still speaking to me. Tony is a young, fast Marine from Wichita, and I think he'll do well at Rocky; probably a sub-18 hour time. This will be his 2nd 100-mile run.
Other Trail Nerds that will be going down are: Kyle Amos, Rick Mayo, John King, and Gabe Bevan. It will be John's first 100-mile run, but he's well-trained and ready. Rick Mayo will be pacing for John. Kyle Amos' wife (Stacey) will help my son with the crewing duties.
I get to be "the grisled veteran" at this race, since it will be my 6th Rocky Raccoon 100, in as many years. I like the role of "trail mentor," and being able to help people avoid the mishaps that I've had along the way. Joe (the race director), will give me my 500-mile jacket this year, since the only thing he had in my size last year was the 500-mile shirt. He's an awesome race director, and never forgets a thing.
I just had my yearly company-mandated physical. The doc said that I was "as healthy as a horse and strong as an ox." He was surprised that I was as flexible as I am, though. He asked me to touch my toes, and I put my palms onto the floor. I did notice that my blood pressure is about 10 points lower than my normal pressure, without my morning coffee. Interesting.
Between now and Rocky, I'm going to Seattle for a 4-day weekend. I'm really looking forward to that trip. It will be an incredibly fun break from my "normal" life. Seattle equals True Love, to me.