6 Days until my dance with the destiny of the desert.
Details are falling nicely into place. I'm thankful that I didn't leave too much planning until the last minute. I put my newfound sewing machine (thanks, Nancy) skills to the test last night and fashioned a desert hat. I had an OR desert hat, but wanted white. I simply added a neck/face shield that I cut from an old Coolmax singlet. I think it came out pretty well.
I've noticed that my body is craving a lot of rest right now, which seems a bit odd for me since I'm smack dab in the middle of my taper. It might be related to our kitchen remodel (did two hard days labor of demolition on Thursday and Friday)...a training regimen that I would not highly endorse for endurance athletes--that is, unless you want some really good heat training.
And speaking of heat training, mine is progressing well. Nightly visits to the sauna (160 to 175 degrees) have done wonders for my temperature regulation. I've taken to wearing sweatshirts on most days when short-sleeve t-shirts are de rigueur. My complaints to Mrs. Desert Fish about the meat cooler environment that we've been living in have been heeded...she reminded me yesterday that she turned off the A/C at night to give me some relief. Thank heavens--I thought that icicles were going to start forming on the ceilings of our house.
I've had many questions about the race itself, so I'd direct you all again to the links on the right side of this page, particularly THIS ONE, which gives a number of bullet points about Badwater.
Media hits and interest are continuing to rise. In addition to the CBS news piece that I'll film this week, the Oregonian has informed me of their intent to run a feature story on my race prep. Anything to help Soles4Souls!
I don't plan on making any blog entries once I depart on Saturday, 7/21. I could cart the laptop with me, but I'd rather focus on preparing my mind and body for the task at hand, and I fear that the computer would be an unnecessary distraction. Look for my final pre-race entry on Friday, 7/20.
Finally, a nod to a friend who is making a valiant attempt at something that makes Badwater seem a bit whimpy: Ronda Sundermeier is one of a handful of ultrarunners who each summer shoot for what is called the "Grand Slam" of ultrarunning. That is, successfully finishing four of the most legendary 100-mile races in the United States: The Western States 100, Vermont 100, Leadville 100, and Wasatch 100. To finish any ONE of these four is a remarkable achievement. To finish any two of them in one year would be something to tell the grandkids. But to complete the "slam" is another thing altogether. The sheer logistics alone are daunting enough, to say nothing of what a turned ankle, missed time cutoff, or succumbing to altitude sickness can do to your best laid plans.
Perhaps 10 or 15 talented and incredibly strong-willed individuals will attempt and complete the task each year, and knowing Ronda, I'm more than confident she can do it. Read about her training and racing HERE, and please join me in wishing her success.