Taper Time!
  Snaptech Marketing 12:00 AM
There are only 12 days left until I begin one of the biggest physical running challenges of my life. Just to refresh your memory, I am partaking in the Western States 100 mile endurance run, which is taking place on Saturday, June 26th, 2010. I will tow the line with 450 other runners in Squaw Valley, California.

The departure from Vancouver takes place Tuesday morning and with a mere 16 hours of driving later I will arrive at the cozy cabin my boyfriend, Peter, and I rented on Lake Tahoe (he is also doing the run). I always like to get to a destination at least 2 days before the race, which leaves just enough time to shake out the nervous energy and excitement that so naturally occurs before a big event.

I have been training for this race and this race alone since January. The thought of actually running a hundred miles didn't really hit me until a week ago. And when it hit, it hit hard. All of a sudden I was really giddy and excited. Because I have never run this distance before I have no crazy expectations. Of course I have my own specific goals but I really have no idea what this experience is going to be like. There will be a lot of firsts for me- for example, running through the night with a headlamp, having a pacer (total stranger) run with me for the last 45 miles, running 60 more km than I ever have before, and eating for this length of time!

Of course there are things that I am really worried about. It is going to be hot in the canyons. People can lose a race if they don't take care of themselves in the heat and if they fail to have properly heat trained. I have spent the last 4 days in the sauna (up to an hour and a half) and will continue to do so until the day I leave. The heat also makes you more prone to blisters because of the moisture and friction. A co-worker of mine had to walk the last 30km of the race last year because his blisters were so bad.

With all this considered it looks as though I have some more planning ahead of me. I have a small crew consisting of my mom (who is flying down) and my younger cousin Caitlin. Both have no prior crewing experience, and I am no help because I have never had a crew before nor have I crewed anyone for this distance. The day before the race however the race directors put on mini talks where the runner's come to get their bibs etc. They have talks on blister/foot maintenance, how to crew, and nutrition and hydration etc. I am hoping to learn a little bit more there!

I also found a pacer on-line. What exactly is a pacer you ask? It is someone who runs with you and helps motivate you to keep going. In a race of this distance, it is expected that I will go through many highs and lows throughout the course of the day. The pacer helps to keep you focused and makes sure you're eating and drinking according to plan.

I will post a link in the upcoming days to the website so that you can follow along live and track my progress throughout the race. Alright, time to go pack a lot of high protein elevate me bars for myself and my crew, to keep us all fuelled on the big day!!!

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