Into the Taper.

The Volcanic 50k is less than two weeks away, and I’m scared as hell. The ten day forcasts are just touching race day now, and it’s not to my liking but it’s not terrible. Looks like it’s currently predicted to be sunny and about 83 degrees for the high in Cougar, which is the town nearest to the start (about ten miles from the start). But the elevation of Cougar is only 500′, whereas the run will all be up between 2500′ and 4900′. So it should be a bit cooler at altitude. I hope. I found a website that doesn’t go out ten days, but compared to the forecast for the next few days at Cougar, it’s very encouraging, with temperatures at 3300′ around 60 degrees.

I did my last big training run Sunday, when I ran almost 22 miles and 3,500′ of gain on Cougar Mountain in Issaquah. It didn’t feel great but it also wasn’t miserable. I managed a sub-15 min/mile pace overall, not counting the aid station stops at the car. I’m not in my best ever shape, but I think I’m in good enough to finish. I hope. It’s going to be a lot of work. This is no joke.

As I’ve written before, Volcanic 50 is actually about 52-53 kilometers, and has about 8000′ of gain. They say to anticipate a time like a 50 mile race, but I’ve never done a 50 mile race so that doesn’t really help me. I know it will be harder than Badger Mountain, which was very, very hard. I’m hoping I’ve done enough. And I still have a bit more to do. But I am in the taper now and I need to maintain my strength and fitness while easing back on the mileage to rest up for the course.

I feel like I’m right at the edge of my possible. I don’t know if I can do this. But I have to try. I want to find out where my limit is. If I have one. Where I’ll break. Maybe this is it. Maybe I can’t do this. If I fail, then I fail. But I’ll do what I can until I can’t do any more.