Thursday, February 16, 2006

Down to the wire

We drove up to Anchorage today for the Susitna 100 mandatory pre-race meeting. Despite no real weight planning, my required gear barely made the minimum. The scale fluctuated back and forth between 14.9 and 15.1 pounds, before finally resting on 15.1. The girl let me go despite the fact that I had closer to 5,000 calories (I had forgotten that I had Geoff's race food in with my required calories.) Keep in mind, the 15 pounds doesn't include extra clothing, water or any food that I plan to eat along the trail. Still, I'm pretty stoked I came in that light.

I didn't learn too much at the meeting that I didn't already know. The race officials traveled the trail on Sunday to set up markers, and supposedly rain dumped down the entire time. There's still a threat of rain on Saturday, but if what some of the checkpoint volunteers have been saying about recent nighttime temps is true, the trail could be deliciously solid. Bad for the skiers - but good for me, if it stays cold (if not, bad for everyone.)

Right now I'm feeling a surge of optimism. Watching my gear pass the test, listening to race officials describe the trail, looking at their slides and comparing the images to my memories of the portion of the trail I've traveled - all this has worked my spirits up and right now I feel more excitement and less anxiety. My comfort level was also boosted by their description of the sheer number of markers they put up and the volunteers' heavy patrolling of the race course - basically nullifying my chances of getting hopelessly lost out there (even beyond cold, fatigue and injury, this has actually been my biggest fear all along.)

Now I guess all I can do is go out and Git'R'Done, as my friend Jessica suggested. (Jess actually worded it "As we like to say in Canada, just gid'er'done." That's pretty much the funniest thing I've ever heard. ) But to everyone who has supported me along the way, and who has been sending me good energy this week, I just wanted to say thank you. It means more to me than you know. That's the kind of energy that really makes or breaks life's hardest battles, and I just want you guys to know I'm feelin' the love. Now, it's just about time to go out and represent.

T minus one day, 10 hours, seven minutes and counting.