Two weeks from today I'll be up in the mountains of Vermont running my way 273 miles south from the Canadian boarder. Since you could definitely say I'm 'champing at the bit' like a racehorse, I thought it was appropriate to include this photo from my trip to the Virginia MFA over the weekend with Lizzy. Among their vast and impressively varied collections was this sculpture of 'Christmas Goose', the horse who won the Virginia 100 mile ride in 1977, 1978, and 1979. Since I was wearing my Vermont 100 buckle (the VT100 is the only 100 mile run that still features horses and runners racing together), I thought this photo was necessary!
As for what I'll do over the next two weeks to try and stay relaxed, I'm really not sure. I couldn't be happier with how all of my training has gone over the past couple months, especially in terms of improving my leg strength for climbing those mountains. Since I live in flatter-than-flat DC, I've been a little creative in my training in order to maximize elevation gain during the week when trips to the hilly trails aren't as easy to squeeze in. My favorite workout (read: most insane) has been taking place in the 7-story stairwell at my office 2-3 times a week. Since it's 70 feet up, and I generally like to rack up at least 4,000 ft. of gain with every hill workout, I run that stairwell 57 times in a row! That might sound a little monotonous, but I actually enjoy it quite a bit....OK, I enjoy trips 1-40 quite a bit, then it's all pretty much screaming hell for the last 17, but still, it's a great workout! I highly recommend!
One more note about the Long Trail Adventure: After doing all my research on how best to let everyone follow along with my progress, I've determined that the SPOT GPS transmitter will not be a worthwhile option on this run. I was hoping to have that live GPS tracking available 24/7 during the run, but even the SPOT staff I spoke with said they can't guarantee it'll work under the heavy tree-cover of the Long Trail (those of you who saw Karl Meltzer's struggles with it on his AT run a couple years ago know what they mean). Since it's $300 to buy the SPOT unit and set up service, I think I'd rather use that $300 to donate to DFCI and just do my best to keep this blog updates 2 or 3 times a day via other means. I think the most common way I'll do that is by posting via text when I pass through an area with cell coverage. I'll be able to include a photo and up-to-the-minute status of my progress along the route that way. I know it's not the same as minute-by-minute tracking ability, but I'll do my best to make it entertaining for anyone who wants to follow along!