Somehow, the weather that was absolutely awful in 2012 has managed to contrive to be even worse this year.
|On the bright side, your legs only hurt if you can actually feel them.|
That 40kph (25mph) wind would be brutal even if it was supposed to stay dry, but with rain in the mix it's going to be tough to ward off chills even while trying to drag my sorry butt up the relentless hills. It was 8c with 20kph (12mph) wind last year, and I had trouble staying warm when the trail turned to mud as I was forced to walk large sections of that diabolical loop.
|From last year's race report. Probably still accurate.|
Despite there only being about a third of the rain predicted this year vs. 2012, I may still very well be doing a lot of walking. While my legs are feeling ok after running the Toad 50k just 3 weeks ago, I'm certainly not in tip-top condition and have only been running quite lightly since - longest outing was a little more than 15k on a washed-out riverside trail last Saturday, picking my way through the stones and puddles. Being only the second time I've run in my new trail shoes, it highlighted that they're not that grippy on muddy side-slope or wet rocks. Since there's some of each at Horror Hill, I'll most likely take things easy rather than risk an injury; I've still got a bit of a niggle in my right adductor magnus from the Toad, and I don't particularly want to take another header.
|Last year - right onto the broken wrist.|
Moving slower means being even colder, so I have to face the very real possibility that I won't be doing this race in the Skirt of Ultra Awesomeness. Bare thighs, rain and biting windchill seems like a combination so ill advised that even I am forced to raise an eyebrow and say "Really K? Really?"...so the trusty skirt that has seen me through so many other long, arduous races (including every prior Horror Hill outing) may have to stay at home in favour of something warmer.
That presents a problem, since almost all of my tights and knickers have forgotten how to tight. I'm thankful to have reached a lower weight this year than I have since 2009 - I'm doing Horror Hill tomorrow at the lightest I've ever been in my 4 years of running it - but damnit I really wish I could stay the same size (this one or a bit smaller, please) for 2 years together! I may have to do something ridiculous like go out and buy a new pair of knicks just to wear for the stinkin' race, tempting fate once more.
|Probably not to scale.|
As it stands right now, I'm basically wondering whether I'll freeze to death, chafe myself away to nothing, or become irrevocably mired in freezing mud first. I've already gone to the extent of packing my race bag and laying out most of what I plan to wear, because if I leave myself any choice in the matter when I wake up tomorrow, I may just roll over and go back to bed. Even at that, I should probably get dressed in race kit and slam my meal replacement shakes before I look outside, because there will be almost nothing that will entice me outdoors to run for 6 hours if I see snow on the ground, howling winds and rain falling first. I'm going to have to rely on warm thoughts and sheer bloody-mindedness to get me through this...if I get through this.
Tanker is the smart one - he's decided he's done with running, so won't be doing the 5k this year (3 years was apparently enough for him). He's going to hang out at the aid station, make himself incredibly useful as always to all of the runners on course, and secretly laugh at this bunch of idiots swanning around in the woods in the freezing cold rain. As for me? Well, I've got a staggering number of cookies in my aid station bag - the only real reason to run for hours on end.
Just focus on the cookies.