Anxiety has set in full force, as have my dreams involving various athletic feats where I am clumsy and failing miserably. Last night I was attempting another surfing lesson (I had attempted this in real life this winter in El Salvador and got pummeled by my board) and was in a pool with a large group of people. I was using an insanely narrow board, and couldn't stand up, so my instructor (a beautiful, beautiful man) crafted me an impromptu one out of cardboard. I tried and tried, but couldn't stand up, as my board was really soggy, and not so stable.
Last week I dreamt I was at MMT, and somehow got onto the all weather track portion (sounds like MMT, no?) and couldn't get back on trail. I later woke up (in the dream) at a hotel (again, somewhere along the MMT course), and had accidentally taken a 4.5 hour nap. I had a heck of a time getting my teeth brushed and getting back on trail again.
Back to real life, I felt the need for a pretty strong taper, so have been taking it really easy the past couple of weeks. I'm still running to work (4-6 miles), but after an 18 miler on May 1, haven't done anything over 8 miles. I've also tried to stay off of my feet on a couple of recovery run days, venturing into the pool for a couple of mile swims. I was having some pains on the inside of my left foot/ankle, so hope that a couple of very restful weeks, will leave me rested and my foot happy. Tapers are hard. It doesn't take me long to make me feel like I'm 100% out of shape.
Now it's time for organizing gear, figuring out which shoes to wear, and of course, the most important, what color skirt to wear. I'm going with the Montrail Mountain Masochist. I wore them for an 8 mile run on some really rocky trails in the Catskills this weekend, and started to second guess my choice. It was a wet weekend, and there were several spots where I slipped on rocks. I'm not sure that it was the shoes though. Mossy rocks are slippery, and I don't know if anything is going to keep me upright at MMT. It's been a year since I've visited my hand surgeon, so hopefully the rain will be light, and the rocks sticky. I'll have some La Sportiva Fireblades and some old-school Montrail Hardrocks as back-ups for a shoe change. It's going to be muddy again, this year, so a shoe change will likely be necessary around Gap2, or so.
Besides some pre-run anxiety, I'm really looking forward to spending the weekend with old friends and new this weekend at the ranch, along the trail, and at the aid stations. The VHTRC puts on great events, and MMT is no exception. Here's hoping the rocks on Short Mountain have spontaneously combusted since the Chocolate Bunny.