TUESDAY: My final heat training session in the sauna...I did 60 minutes and felt like I could have kept going...I was pumped. And the weather forecast for Auburn was only in the mid-80's.
WEDNESDAY: We left in the morning for a road trip of epic proportions when you consider the fact that we had 3 kids under 5 years old in the back seat. We hadn't even made it out of Corvallis before we were having problems. But similar to the Boston Marathon trip, it seemed like going was a lot better than coming back. Even with lots of stops we made it to Tahoe City in about about 10 and a half hours. My Mom's 60th birthday was the day of the race, so we had decided to rent a nice house to stay in before the race.
THURSDAY: I got up early and headed over to Squaw Valley for a hike up to Escarpment and run back down. There was an organized group doing this, but I started late. Other people did too and unfortunately I followed them up the wrong way...great, I thought, let's get the wrong turns out of the way now. It was nice to see a little of what I was going to be in for...the first 3 miles were snow free. The views from the top are amazing...you can see Lake Tahoe and all the snow covered mountains in the distance. That afternoon we all hung out in Squaw Valley awaiting the arrival of the rest of the crew.
When my parents and Kristin arrived we had dinner. And after dinner we walked around and checked things out. There was a WS panel discussion that night that I wanted to attend. I met up with William, Jason, and Kane there and afterwards we all drove back to the house together. One of my highlights from the discussion was Craig Thornley telling everyone that they will puke at some point during the race.
FRIDAY: I rode over to Squaw Valley in the morning with William, Jason, and Kane to get registered. This is when my nerves were in full force...I nearly flunked the medical check...my blood pressure was sky high! They told me to go sit down and relax for 15 minutes...the re-test was still pretty high, but they said it was acceptable. While I registered, William, Jason, and Kane did the hike up to Escarpment...pretty badass for a 9 year old. On the way down, William had a glissading accident, but felt like he could still fulfill his pacing duties...like shit talking with Sean Meissner! We did think it would be funny to tell my sister she was going to have to take over. Speaking of Sean, I ran into him while I was getting lunch...I was waiting for my sandwich and he made me go sit down and brought it to me when it was ready. Thanks for that! Once I had my sandwich, I headed over to the pre-race briefing. They went over the course conditions...they talked a lot about the snow...something like 13 miles of it...and I also remember specific warnings about ibuprofen and rattlesnakes. The big excitement for me was the raffle for free entry into next year's race. Yes, I bought raffle tickets again, but I swear they were not for me! The names on the first 2 tickets picked began with Mike...I was on the edge of my seat...but neither one was me. Then the last ticket they picked didn't have a name on it...they said the winner had bought the ticket earlier today and had told them he would be present at the raffle...this is exactly what William had said when he bought a couple tickets that morning! I'm holding my breath...damn, it wasn't meant to be. Afterwards, we all headed back to the house. Tonya and Kristin worked on a really nice birthday dinner and cake for my Mom. After dinner we went over the crewing plans, watched A Race for the Soul for inspiration, and went to bed. The final member of the crew, Andy Stallings, arrived later that night.
SATURDAY: I woke up excited at 3:30 on race morning...everyone else seemed a little tired! I pieced together a breakfast of bagels and fruit leather and William, Jason, and Kane drove me to the start. No one else was up when we left, so I wasn't sure if anyone else was coming to the start. It turns out my parents, Kristin, and Andy did come to the start, but I never saw them...it was really crowded. When I checked in, I got weighed again and I was down a couple pounds from the day before...I ended up having to explain this a lot because my weight was down for most of the race...there are limits for how much weight loss is acceptable. Talk about nervous energy...I was ready to get started. It was fairly cold, so, like most people, I stayed inside until just before the race started. Once we moved out, I barely had time to acquire satelites on my Garmin...I got it just in time and then we were off.