Thursday, February 5, 2009

Soundtrack for 100 Miles

"Life may not always be the party we hoped for, but as long as we're here we may as well dance".

Yeah, I'm full of these quotes this week. I need to rebuild my ipod shuffle library tonight (and I also need to charge it up). I always take my ipod to these long ultra races - sometimes I'll use it and sometimes I won't, but when I do there's a certain type of music that really works for me. Some of my favorite bands to run to include the Rolling Stones (especially "Paint it Black" and "Little Red Riding Hood"), Oasis, the Doors, Iggy Pop, REM, the Sisters of Mercy and Pulp. Anything from the wonderfully gothic "The Crow" soundtrack is excellent, while Jace Everett's "Bad Things" (theme from the HBO series "True Blood") always gets me going (best when played in the middle of the woods at 1am). Throw in some laid back jazz and blues, Lynyrd Skynard, Warren Zevon, Nick Cave, Van Morrison, and the odd Welsh male voice choir track (especially Myfanwy and "We'll Keep a Welcome") and I have a truly diverse and eclectic playlist.

I also need to pack and label my dropbags. That won't take long as I usually go fairly light on these things - I like to get in and out of aid stations quickly - and won't use most of the stuff. I'll throw in some spare shoes and socks, some nutrition shakes (a different one since my usual brand has been discontinued), extra gels, salt caps and sports beans, some pedialyte, bodyglide, emergency taping supplies (for blisters), a long sleeved shirt and my spare headlamp.

I plan on taping my feet really well on Friday night and I have my race gear ready - new shorts, double layered Wrightsocks, Asics trail shoes (with the Montrail Hardrocks in reserve), gators, lucky $7 Walmart tech shirt, armbands and 2 handhelds. I don't know why I still wear the armbands - I used them in the summer when it was hot and sweaty, and just got used to them. Now they've become a standard part of my running gear.

I'm driving down to Huntsville on Friday with my friend Clea who is running the 50 miler and then hanging around to cheer me on, and we'll keep each other awake on the drive home Sunday. It will be great to have someone to talk to on the way up and back and I am very lucky that I will have so many friends out there rooting for me. I don't have a pacer and neither have I looked for one because I really enjoy running alone at night, and want to see how far I can push myself. Of course, I've never run 100 miles before either so we'll see, but I think I'll be fine.

The weather is heating up for the weekend - the latest forecast I saw called for highs in the mid-70s which is a little on the warm side. I would much prefer a cold one, but oh well. There's nothing we can do about it, and everyone's in the same boat so I'll leave the final word to Mr Frost.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep
But I have promises to keep
And miles to go before I sleep
And miles to go before I sleep

Robert Frost


Derek said...

Good luck, where ya'll staying at Friday night? I'm staying at the Holiday Inn Express.

johnt said...

You are one of the toughest runners I have met out there, bro! You are going to rock the house. If you get crazy we can switch Ipods for a loop. hahahah

Mark said...

Thanks John.

Derek - we're staying at the Holiday Inn too. I'll email you my cell number.

clea said... the case of severe loneliness at night, you would have the options of Meghan or I going out with you..but I think you should be fine. Can't wait! This has been a long week.

steve said...

All the very best Mark. Can't wait to read all about it....

Oggy, oggy, oggy!!

John said...

Good luck bro, you're going to rock it