Another week passes with my focus solely on Hardrock, and my training has allowed me to find just a little more confidence in my chances in July (I'm still very reverent of the idea of actually doing it). No other race has ever dug into my subconscious like Hardrock has. I have yet to experience the race first hand as an entrant, but I've had dreams of being incredibly exhausted and spent on top of Engineer or Handies in the middle of the night. I've seen the look in runners' eyes, 85 miles deep, 35 hours in; it's insane what we choose to do to ourselves. It's a deep personal experience that ignores the traditional comforts of other, more civil mountain rituals. Aid is limited to a minute or so every 1-5 hours. Weather can be unbearably hot and dry or cold and hailing. The views that take your breath away also rob oxygen from your legs and brain. The desire to have special, alone, personal time with the mountains is more than indulged; the excess can be likened to a near drug overdose. My dreams swirl around these concepts, some of the positive aspects of incredible views and adrenaline rushes, and some of the cold, hard, painful, scary aspects of how much the event demands. Onward. "On y va."
22mi, 7200ft, 5:45 - Inspiration Point to Mt. Baldy and back. First 16 miles went well, expired maltodextrin ingestion causes severe indigestion. Walked a lot of the downhill back to Inspiration Point from Guffy. Pretty awful feeling, I'm swearing off expired food.
31mi, 6400ft, 5:30 - Wrightwood 50k Course: Big Pines, Blue Ridge CG, just past Guffy CG, back on the PCT, across inspiration point, down to Jackson Lake, a lap around the lake, back up to the PCT, down to Vincent Gap, and back all the way to Blue Ridge on the PCT, a lap up to resovoir and down to Big Pines. Fun course, I'm sure the last climbs will be a big hit :)