Tuesday: 3.1 miles, 214', 8:19 pace. Token morning 5k. Useful for clearing my mind and getting myself mentally ready for the day ahead. Lots to do before leaving for vacation Friday.
Last night I dreamed that I was running Manitou's Revenge and struggling way too hard to keep up. Like, sprinting while others jogged and I was still just barely holding on to them. Then the course markings lead me into an old house, twisting and turning down hallways and through closed doors. I was by myself and confused as the flagging had me climbing through windows and doubling back in crazy directions. This is a recurring experience for me in the days leading up to a race that I'm anxious about, usually a hundred miler. The race in the dream varies, as does the type of building; sometimes it's an institutional building like a hospital or school. This began before my first 100 miler, Vermont, in 2009 and it keeps coming back. I don't know why or what it means, but it's a clear sign that there's a lot going on in my sub-conscious that I don't have a handle on.
Wednesday: 7.3 miles, 400', 8:28 pace. I used to have to deliberately hold back to turn this kind of pace just a few months ago. Now this feels like a moderate effort. My sciatica pain is pretty mild but I wonder if it's affecting my stride and slowing me down.
A new video came out today, showing some of the early miles of the UTMA course; my first real glimpse at that part of the trail. https://viago.ca/video/sur-les-pas-de-logan/
Thursday: 5.5 miles, 300', 8:29 pace. Easy morning run. I slept poorly because of work, vacation, and race stress. Running helped me let go of the visceral sense that my nightmares were real. My cat greeted my at the door when I got back.
Friday: 3.0 miles, 210', 8:13 pace. Early morning shake out before the long drive tonight.
Saturday: Zero. Travel. Arrived safely at our campsite on the Baie de Chaleur. Seaside camping at its finest.
AM: 3.2 miles, 91', 8:49 pace. Morning seaside jog in Bonaventure, Quebec.
PM: 6.8 miles, 1326', 10:37 pace. Rode on a boat out to Bonaventure Island off Perce, Quebec. Ran some clifftop trails, reminiscent of Acadia N.P,, for a bit before rejoining the family to hike and check out the tens of thousands of nesting gannet birds.
Totals: 36.5 miles, 3000', 5h 22m. A good taper week, lots of short runs and nothing too strenuous. My sciatica pain and assorted other minor issues seem to be fading.
Work and travel stress have me feeling a little on edge, as does the race. Reading my report from last year, I talked about how I had no anxiety at the start because no one knew me and I had no expectations. That helped me run on my own terms that just so happened to put me in a competitive spot for the second half. I'm trying hard to get to that place in my head this year, but it's more difficult. I'd say being on vacation helps some, especially when I can listen to waves on the beach while I sleep, but traveling with two small children has his own added difficulties.
I just have to run from my thumb to my forefinger.