Starting a blog seems like a good thing to do during a taper week, right? Laurel Highlands is on Saturday, and it's not only twenty miles longer than anything I've run before, but it's also a race that allows you to enter the Western States lottery.
I think I have a good taper plan. Saturday I ran down to the Linc and participated in a pop-up November Project workout (a bit over 6 miles total including some stairs, partner push-ups, and leg throws).
Then was on my feet all day volunteering at the ODDyssey half marathon expo.
Except for some floor snuggles with adoptable Shelby!
Yesterday I didn't run but walked probably around 8 miles and carb loaded with generous quantities of IPA. This morning I worked out with Back on my Feet: due to my recent trip to Arizona, I hadn't run with the group in over a week, and it was great to be back. This evening I'm heading up to Bryn Mawr for an Altra run and Q&A - I'm looking forward to testing out The One 2.5 and, since I just got paid on Friday, chances are high that I'll buy some new shoes! Tomorrow I'm hoping to do a Monster Milers dogjog - always a great choice for a taper week, because runs with adoptable dogs tend to be not only immensely satisfying but also fairly slow and short. Wednesday will be a morning double-header of Back on my Feet followed by November Project. And I probably won't run at all Thursday and Friday! My thought is it might be fun to take Woody for an easy hike in the Wissahickon on Thursday morning. I want to take him to "the spot" and down to the stream that leads to Devil's Pool to see if I can coax him to splash in the water, muahahaha. Lots of fun, easy stuff! Volunteering at the ODDyssey expo Saturday was definitely a good call because it allowed me to hang out with runners all day and not miss my usual long run too much. Plus, it's a super fun race put on by great people: I'm sad I can't run it this year, but I'm not sure I'd make it back from Laurel Highlands in time for the start, even if I am by some miracle still able to run at that point!
I'll wrap up with a quick account of my goals for Laurel Highlands. My A goal is to finish under 18 hours. I chose this goal mainly because after finishing the ECSNY 50-Miler at the beginning of May in just over 15 hours, I spent a couple weeks terrified because I had misremembered Laurel Highlands as having an 18-hour cutoff. My B goal is to finish in under 20, as that's what Western States says you need to use the race as a qualifier. I'll be honest, I'll be pretty upset if I finish the race but can't use it to enter the lottery. I'm definitely interested in the race itself, not only in its status as a qualifier, but qualifying is my primary running goal for this year, and I really don't want to mess with my fall race calendar and try to get in a November hundred.