From Britta's desk
Last time before race day!
One week before the big day. One more blog on some pre-race musings!
I don’t know about you, but Kepler has been on the mind! Last night, for instance, I dreamt that, in the midst of a great start, I looked down to realize that I was wearing sandals instead of sneakers. It didn’t seem bad at first: my sneakers were in my pack at Luxmore hut. Turns out, though, that to get to the upstairs of Luxmore, one has to take a very, very, slow elevator and then sidle across an avalanche-prone mountain face. All in sandals, of course. I woke up before I found the shoes, but imagine on Saturday I will be very sure to wear my sneakers and also potentially unhappy that there isn’t actually an elevator up the mountain.
I don’t usually dream a lot, but attribute a bit of these mental gymnastics to the extra energy I have from my efforts to rest and recover this past week. After running Milford track super recently, I definitely need all the rest I can get before race day. Usually I forgo the whole ‘taper’ thing, but seeing as Kepler will be my longest race ever, figured I should get on board with the science.
Seems like we should all be doing less running than usual this week. How ever will we fill the time? Here’s my current list:
- Philosophize about running. It’s pretty fun to read other people’s thoughts about racing and training; oftentimes when I’m racing I wonder what other people are thinking about or if they’re in more or less pain than I’m in, or if their pain is different in some ineffable way. It’s pretty strange, if you think about it, to want to put yourself through pain; in fact the popularity of the Kepler Challenge seems directly at odds with one some deeply held convictions that can be traced back to thinkers like Bentham and Mill: pleasure is good, pain is bad. What kind of justification do we have for this seemingly irrational action? Having a good story about why pain is important and worthwhile might just be helpful at km 30. If you want to get really into it from a non-running standpoint, check this out. This one’s maybe a more fun introduction.
- Figure out your required gear. I just realized we need seam-sealed gear!
- Cultivate Spotify Playlists: I still haven’t decided if I’m going to bring headphones to race, but might as well have a few good playlists planned! Sometimes a little Taylor Swift can get you out of a dark place at 45 km.
- Write a Master’s Thesis: This might be a fairly me-specific agenda item, but if you’re really in need of something to do with your free time, writing 150 pages on philosophy could do the trick!
- Plan future missions. In all likelihood, after about 20k of thinking “I’m never doing this again,” I’ll wake up on Sunday and want to schedule the next event. But why wait? I’ve been spending a bit of time procrastinating with topomapnz.com. I’m in New Zealand until March 20th and there’s SO much left to do. Currently thinking I’d like to try and run every Great Walk on the South Island: Who’s in for Heaphy Track?
- Be Thankful: As I’m writing this, I am currently babysitting a thawing turkey and some baking apples pies in preparation for my third thanksgiving of the week! Luckily, the American tradition of eating too much (carbo loading) and falling asleep immediately after dinner corresponds nicely with pre-race recovery. Pre-turkey, we usually say something we’re thankful for this year; one thing I am incredibly grateful for is the NZ running community. I arrived a year ago not knowing a single person in the country, nervous to awkwardly turn up at my first Bivouac Dunedin Trail running night. I was welcomed in by a group of fun and friendly Kiwis who never say no to a ‘wee mission’ in the hills.
That’s it, see you Saturday! Hopefully your Kepler dreams have been more like THIS. See you in a week and enjoy your taper!