Sunday, January 3, 2010

13 days and counting...

...and I’m procrastinating. I don’t know if I’m in the mindset to hike 64 miles in 24 hours yet, and I don’t know that I have enough time to get there. Today I planned on going to a hiking trail and putting in as many miles as I could using the daylight I had left after church. But the smell of the BBQ chicken in the basement of the church caught me and I was done for. Adam and I grabbed a to-go conainer full of that BBQ wonderful-ness and head home. We sat down for our lunch, turned on the TV, then I grabbed a book with Peanut purring on my lap. I keep telling myself I’m going to still go for my hike today. But maybe instead of driving 45 minutes to a hiking trail, I’ll just jump on the sidewalks of Oshkosh and go as far as I can. Besides, on sidewalks, I can feel safe going well into the dark of night if I want to. Well, by the time I do finally get done here and go, I will HAVE to go well into the dark of the night! “Three hours,” I keep telling myself. And I’ll swear to myself to get onto the trails some time next weekend. Maybe even overnight if I have to.

I’ve got 13 more days to think and prepare. I need to round up a good chunk of inspiring music for the last half of the race and load it onto my Shuffle. I hope to not access that music until the 2nd half. I’ll probably force myself to follow this rule by leaving it in the car where I can pick it up and look forward to using it – another incentive to push me past 32 miles. I need to plan my half-way support, too. Who’s going to be there, how’s my car going to be running and warm, will I have hot coffee and a couple of cheeseburgers with salty fries waiting for me? Can I quickly change out of my cold, ice-chunck-heavy snowpants into a warm, dry pair? Sure, I suppose the changing and eating will be easy. But the big question is whether or not I’ll be able to do it quickly so I don’t get comfortable, then hit the trail fast. But not to win, 'cause I'm just not there yet. I'm afraid to put the pressure of winning anything on myself – the only thing I can focus on is trying to beat my time and distance from last year. I want to go more than 32 miles this year, and I want to accomplish it as a finisher, meaning I have to hike to a checkpoint and back to the start point at the very least. To do the full 64 miles would be an amazing accomplishment, but I’m not sure if I’m there yet. Whatever miles I end up doing, it’s going to be really hard, and I need to get ready for that.

There is just so much to think about and prepare. I haven’t done nearly as many long hikes as I’d have liked to do, and I’ve slowed down my workouts over the holidays because of busy schedules and super-fun family get-togethers. I wouldn’t trade those fun times with my family and friends for anything, but it worries me that I lost a couple of weeks. I feel like I need to play catch-up, yet here I sit: procrastinating.

As I write this, I’m learning that I need to organize myself, and fast. I need to make a list of what I need to pack. What I need for the first half and what I need for the second half. What do I need to do if my knees lock up on me? How much ibuprofin should I bring? I should bring Tylenol so I can alternate if I need to, also. I need to make some peanut-butter roll-ups and I need to bring some handwarmers to thaw my water hose if it freezes up on me. Oh, and duct tape. I can’t forget extra headlamp batteries, and I need easy access to a small light I can use to replace them if they die in the middle of the night.

Another list. I need another list. I need to get organized, I need to run, I need to hike, I need to think. I need to prepare and get my mind and body in synch. I think I better start all this with getting outside in the cold and pushing myself. It’s 3:15 and I hope I can be out there by 4:00 breathing in the cold air and smiling at the foggy breath of my exhale. I must… just… go.

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