Saturday, June 30, 2012

7-day taper for a 7K run?

What, a 7-day taper for a 7K run? That's crazy!

Wait, I'm talking about the cumulative vertical altitude here: 7,000 meters (22,966 ft) up, and also 7,000 meters down. That's steep in English.

It's TVSB time again! The 4th edition of an ultra trail runner's Xmas on Saturday 7/7.


Trail Verbier St.Bernard is a well-kept secret, but if you're looking for an ultra running race with:
  • absolutely breathtaking Alpine scenery (Col de Fenêtre, Col des Chevaux, etc)
  • a clearly marked 110 km course (many believe it's actually 113 km = 70 miles, but don't worry they won't charge extra for that :)
  • the most effective, efficient and empathic race organisation anywhere on the planet
  • minimal bureaucracy (no medical certificates required, just show up in Verbier the day before with the obligatory gear)
  • fantastic aid stations with real foods (like fresh fruits, home-baked pies etc.) 
  • 32 hours total time & generous cut-off times at various checkpoints 
  • 4 points for UTMB 2013 (if you decide to apply for that)
  • helicopter rescue service and St.Bernard dogs available (hopefully not required though)
then this is your ticket. TVSB is the bomb, man. It's a goldmine of most valuable experiences in life.

I've been told it's common to feel nervous the night before a big race. But I'm scared to death a week out! Come on, let's relax! It's a win/win situation: either I will finish, or become the first runner in the world to DNF this race three times in a row :) 

All the hard work has been done now, except tapering - which may be the hardest part for endurance junkies. It's so difficult not to train for a full week. There's too much free time, so you end up writing blogs, imagining running through the race course, and assorted silly stuff like that.

In summary, it will be tough as always, but there's a silver lining to this storm cloud:
  • Sure, my legs will likely be shot before the race is finished, but I don't have any pre-race injuries. 
  • The mountain weather will probably throw some unpleasant surprises at us, but I will carry a full rainsuit, gloves & buffs.
  • The night will be pitch dark & possibly cold, but I have two headlights, and enough warm clothes to look like an Angry Birds plush toy should I need to wear it all.
In the end it will come down to not giving up. Self-confidence can be easily earned through consistency, just like stamina and health.

My ultimate race strategy: I won't back down. 


Peppe said...

That sounds like a beautiful adventure! I would love to run it, though maybe not this year and maybe not the longest course, 62 km sounds OK.

Good luck and enjoy!


Teuvo Vehkalahti said...

Teuvon kuvat Noormarkusta kävi täällä ja toivottaa hyvää kesän jatkoa.