I've never done a steep taper before, never severely chopped miles, but I can't say that again! This past week's total tips that scales at a mighty 22.5! Whew! Needless to say I'm just wiped, torn to shreds (insert sarcasm font). But to be perfectly honest, my legs do feel just a bit dead, but I digress, I'll explain that later. More along the way of not having the time or energy, this week and last weeks running were fortunately placed that they could be considered "tapreing".
I got up to Green Mountain with the intentions of running 2 laps, but with the approaching lightning storm, I decided it was time to head home. Good bye 30 mile taper week, hello 22! Actually, it may have been a good decision because I find it hard to not push the pace there, it's just so inviting the last 4 miles, like the trail is saying, "you can do it, just a little faster!"
I spent the other runs/hikes this week focusing on what will be a very important factor: the opening 6 miles. To do this I ran/hiked twice up some really steep stuff with Xavier on my back and was actually able to establish a good rhythm. Not to mention he LOVED it! He'll be an ultrarunner before I know it. I know that the distance is 50 and to focus so much on one aspect, especially so early on, is a bit foolish. Still, the biggest most significant climb by a LONG way is the first 6 miles, roughly 3500' of ascent. From there is seems, I repeat as I have yet to go there, SEEMS to be relatively moderate in terms of gradient. So, by not killing myself, setting a good tempo, I should be able to really focus for what I feel will be the telling signal of my race: miles 28-44.
I think that those miles are mostly uphill, but never steep, thus I could fall into an easy habit of feeling like I'm moving along, but actually going absurdly slow. I don't think I'll make up a huge block of time that final descent, I think I can hit it solid, as that's the strongest aspect of my running, but still. I want to be able to run well for miles 28-44 and stay steady. As I've never done it yet, that will be my biggest task. That and of course the mental aspect, gotta stay strong, gotta be tough.
I've got one other motivator, since this is a young race (just 3 years old), I've got a chance to set an age course record. For the first time ever, a 24 year old male will toe the line, actually 2 will. All I've got to do is beat that other one and I'll have my first (and probably only) CR. I know it's not a real big deal seeing as it's probably not going to be fast, but it will be cool for me.
So, here we go. Only one thing is certain, I'll be coming down that final 6 miles way out of control with all guns a-blazin'