I have been a bit emotional as I stepped back on the MMT course the second time. I was not mad or disappointed the last time when I did not finish. I know I tried my hardest at the time. It is satisfying to be able to try it again.
I have been giddy all year looking forward to this. I have done plenty of training runs. January, February, March, and April. Now finally it is time for the real deal.
I know what to expect this second time around. I packed my drop bags, 10 of them for 9 dropbag stations (one station, Gap Creek we will pass by twice (there are total 15 aid stations)).
I spent whole Thursday night preparing. I did not sleep until 3 AM. I finished packing by 1 AM actually, but by then I was not sleepy. I know I need all the rest I can get. It probably pre race anxiety. Some runners go for med to put the body out for the night.
Friday. after work I drove to camp. It was exactly like last year. I was caught in the DC area traffic, but I used the Toll Road to bypass all the local traffic. Got to camp in time for the checking and dinner, but I missed the race briefing.
I met a new friend Zheng. This is his first year running the MMT. He was the sweeper of the last miles last year. Apparently I didn’t see him in the last year race. I know I was one of the last few on the course.
After dinner, I handed over my drop bags. They will be transported to various aid stations along the course the next day and will be available when I get there. I packed food, clothes, shoes, lubricant, wipes and various stuff. The race provides food, but sometimes it can get so crowded around the aid stations and there is no time to eat. Also the food the race provided many times would not be sufficient. As a runner, we learn to bring our own. The race provided food is supplemental only. I learned this the hard way last year. It is not that their food is not good or deficient, but that their purpose is to feed a lot of people in shortest amount of time, so it means to keep portions super small (finger food). The solution is to get a doggie bag and fill it up!
The night settled in. I slept in the back of my car. It is a perfect day to sleep under the stars. I brought a tent but too lazy to set it up (and to put in away the next morning). I just climbed on the back of my truck, laid down some yoga mats and blankets and crawled in.
I set an alarm for tomorow 4 AM. I made sure it is AM and not PM. Actually my watch is on military time this year so I will not mess up on the AM/PM thing. Last year, I messed up somehow and my alarm did not go off because I set it to PM. I almost missed the race. It was at the last moment I woke up in time and ran to the start line, which was only few hundred yards away.
I had everything ready this year. Even if I missed my alarm, as long as I could wake up, I could run any time. My hydration pack is filled. My shoes are right next to me. I dressed in the clothes I will be running in and I am sleeping in them. They will be the same set for the next couple days.
There are some annoying bugs. They don’t bite but they are crawling on me and are making me itchy. Soon I will get under my blacket and ignore the bugs.
It got colder at night. Of course the night dew too made things wet. I had a tarp on top of my sleeping bag so it kept my blankets and sleeping bag dry.
As you can see, I didn’t sleep too well. I checked my alarm every hour. Volunteers came a bit before 4 (maybe 3:30). A few early birds showed up and parking people were directing them how/where to park. I was awaken by then.
I didn’t feel groggy. It is race day. I am exicited. Race report will be continued in a later post. (This post was written before I felt asleep and added the morning bit subsequently)
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