4 days…

In four days, I’ll be at the start line of the Bridger Ridge Run at 7,500 feet, which I think will be the highest I’ve ever been outside of an airplane. I’ll then run 19.5 miles, rising 2,000 feet in the first 2 miles, with a total elevation gain of 6,800 feet, and a total loss of 9,500 feet.

I’ll have at least 4 names written on my limbs in sharpie. No names shaved into my head as yet, though (your $200 donation makes it happen).

It’s currently looking like I will not be wearing a tutu, either (just need another $700 to make that happen!).

I’ve discovered that summer is charity season (never noticed before), and even if it wasn’t, it feels greedy asking people to donate again, so soon after they so generously donated to my Ironman fundraising. Lesson learned: one crazy charity event thingy per year. But THANK YOU to all who did donate again (or for the first time). Even if the mountain beats me we will still have gathered several hundred dollars to help sick kids, which is awesome.

My training has gone pretty well, and I feel as prepared as I could possibly be given my time constraints, and going from ZERO trail running to taking on the “most technical trail run ever created.” I’ve been to Mt. Rainier twice, and Hurricane Ridge once, and I enjoyed each run more than the last. I’m a little annoyed it took me so long to get into trail running, as it’s just so much FUN!

The constant shift in scenery, the wind in the trees, the buzzing of the insects (even if the deer flies make me want to run with an electric swatter)… it all just adds up to make me feel more ALIVE than ever. Pace becomes a secondary concern, and my usually rambling thoughts go fuzzy as I need all my focus to keep my balance and place my feet on different angles, different terrain, with every step. I fly through mud, over rocks, under branches, over logs, and I can’t get enough of it.

I am not without trepidation, however. I’m concerned that my calves will get completely toasted in the first two miles and I’ll have to walk the rest of the way. I also worry that, not having had time to do a lot of downhill training, my quads will disintegrate from all that descending. Even if my muscles work perfectly, there’s the technical aspects, wherein I could easily trip and break my wrist, or twist an ankle, or slice open a leg on a sharp rock. Or I could get lost and end up wandering around for a few hours. All of these things are possible, and indeed have happened to people in previous races.

But no matter. I can’t help but be totally psyched.  It’s going to be one hell of an adventure, no matter the end result.

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