I've also been able to do a few taper runs. I try to keep them to ninety minutes or less, but it's been difficult to restrain myself since I found a scenic network of logging roads a couple of miles from Andy's house. Despite generally low energy levels (I always struggle with jet lag, and even after three days I still haven't been able to sleep through a night), all I want to do is explore these hills all day long. It's a beautiful region full of adorable farmhouses, narrow roads, green hillsides, lush forests, and old churches. I've really enjoyed my runs here, and we haven't even gotten into the real mountains yet.
We leave Sunday morning for Chamonix. Beat's race, La Petite Trot a Leon, starts Monday evening. My race doesn't start until Friday evening, so I'll have a bit more time to fret before the big hurt begins. I'll probably write blog posts about the gear in my huge backpack and how I plan to ration my limited supply of peanut butter cups to pass the nervous time. I finally packed up all of my gear today and the verdict — nine pounds without water, but including food. I'm going to try to think about ways to pare that down as best I can without sacrificing too much of my "safe" food (I'd hate to time out of UTMB because I can't eat anything.) On to France.