Oops! I forgot to post a post explaining why I'm not posting this week.
So this is the post I didn't post.
I'm in Washington (the state, not the dead president) this week for the Plain 100 mile race which starts Saturday at 5AM. The last time I was up at 5AM was, um, yesterday, but that's only because I hadn't gone to bed yet.
Anyway, this my third (and last!) attempt at Plain. The first was '03- I got as far as Portland before finding out the race was cancelled due to fire.
The second was '04. I got as far as the halfway point before falling apart and quitting. It's still my most disappointing race ever.
Plain has no aid stations and no course markings. It is run largely on dirt bike trails that have large deep ruts filled with six inches of powdery dust. It's supposed to be hot Saturday. My friend Hans, who has run almost every 100 mile race around (he does a dozen or so a year, I think), tried Plain once. At Hardrock (considered the toughest 100M race) I asked if he would come back. He said, "No, too hard". Hans has finished Hardrock numerous times.
It's kind of spooky heading out onto unmarked, unknown trails in the middle of the night (last time I finished loop one around 11PM and was too tired and freaked out by fear of getting lost and winding up in Canada, exhausted and delirious). So this time I came down early. Monday evening I went out on the loop part of loop two (35 miles); starting at 7:40PM, just as it was getting dark. I sped-walked the whole loop, finishing at about 6:10AM without getting lost or eaten. I did get a couple blisters from the dust and no, it wasn't easy. Now I'm resting up in nearby Leavenworth, WA (sort of a Disneyfied version of a European town).
I'm determined to finish this time. I'm expecting the last 15 hours or so to be extremely unpleasant. The first loop, when I'm still feeling good, should be "fun". Except for the part about getting up at 4AM.
Thus concludes the post I forgot to post but which now has been posted. My next post will be a post-race post posted post-race.