I'm finally starting to feel my body coming back to normal at higher elevations. For the first several days here in Utah my resting heart rate was always over 50, but last night I slept at about 8,000 feet and my resting heart rate was about 45. This is still higher than my normal rate of about 38-42 but the downward trend is certainly a good thing. I still felt really weak on my short trail recon. run yesterday but that likely had more to do with the 50 miles I did in the previous two days than the altitude. I've also had a slight tweak in my lower right calf muscle for the past couple days so I'm planning to really take it easy between now and race day to be sure I'm ready to tackle this beast.
I've got about half of the route scouted. Will try to scout the other half, but at this point I'm going to be more focused on having my body rested and strong by next Saturday. If I haven't seen some of the first part of the route it'll be nice to have a little surprise anyway. We'll see, but more than anything right now I'm just going to focus on resting when my body says rest, with enough activity mixed in to keep me loose.
I've also decided that I'm going to use a pacer. After seeing half of the route I realize that I'm going to want (or need) every advantage possible just to finish, especially in the time that I would like to. That's not to say that I have a specific time goal, but I do want to run as fast as possible. If things go well, this should put me somewhere near the top runners in this race. Running such a difficult route at such a high pace will greatly increase my chances of not finishing (as compared to running it solely to finish). Having a pacer out there for several hours will greatly increase my ability to continue on in the later stages of the race when things are likely to get really low at times.
Anyhow, time to get back up into the mountains.