I was planning to run 8 last night. But, right from the start, I could tell my legs were tired. I had done 30 just 3 days earlier, then done a bike ride on Sunday, and then done a mountain hike that lasted over 2.5 hours on Tuesday. It's too late to increase my fitness a whole lot at this point, but certainly not too late to injure myself. So, I slowed down, mixed in some walking, and did 5 miles instead of 8. I might have pushed through 8, but it was my left hamstring that felt the most tired and there's no sense re-injuring that part of my leg.
I spent a lot of time with the foam roller after I ran and then my wife did some massage work on the hamstring. I feel better today, but my legs are still feeling a bit tired. We are also expecting thunderstorms about 5:00 today, so I may simply take a rest day. If the weather stays nice, I'll run whatever feels comfortable, whether that's 2 miles or 10 miles.
Overnight, I had a dream about WS that seemed to be tied to my DNF three years ago. That year, I missed the time cut-off at mile 93.5 - 6.7 miles from the finish. In my dream, I came into an aid station 6 miles from the finish. I got there right as the clock ticked over to 29 hours. The aid station people tried to get me to drop out, telling me I'd never make it, but I hadn't missed the cut-off. So, I told them that I was going to keep moving until I'd actually missed a cut-off. I took off and discovered quickly that the last 6 miles in the race were on a flat, paved road. I was able to run 9 minute miles and I was passing people. I was hoping I could maintain that pace to the finish. About 3 miles from the finish, my alarm clock went off.
So, I suppose I'll have to wait a couple weeks to see how the dream ends. I'm pretty sure that the terrain from Highway 49 to the finish has not been shortened, flattened, and paved. There are two real climbs in there, the descent to No Hands Bridge, and perhaps a mile of pavement at the end. You have to make the Highway 49 aid station in 28:15 or you get pulled. I was about 20 minutes late last time.
When I went to WS in 2006 to pace, the runner I planned to pace timed out at Duncan Canyon. I went to Foresthill looking for someone else to pace. Because there were a lot of drops that year, I was way back in the line to pace someone. But, someone needed a pacer just to the river crossing, and no one in front of me wanted to pace "just" to the river. So, I hopped to the front of the line and got a hurting runner to the river, where his other pacer took over. The runner had been behind 30 hour pace at Foresthill, but he finished in the 27s.
On the Monday morning after the race, I got up early in the morning. We were still in Auburn. I ran from the hotel to Robie Point and from Robie Point to the finish line. I wanted to run that route and promise myself that the next time I had a chance, I'd do those miles in the race. It's just about time to see if I will pull that off.