Ok, so I was nervous about today. 30 miles at Ouachita trail. 7,000 feet of elevation gain. Last long trail run before Leadville. I was reminded that the last time I did this trail I ended up out for a little over a week with hip/knee problems. NOt to mention this partidular course intimidates me. Not to mention I knew it was going to get to 105 degrees. Not to mention I've never done that many miles out there. So here's what I did with that....I "embraced" all those feelings and concerns and let that be "ok". I didn't fight it. Next I visualized success, the course, my form, being relaxed, taking it slower than I thought I needed to, hydrating and fueling well. I visualized healing and strength in those hot spots that tend to gibve me trouble. I determined it WOULD be a good day. Well I did it. I felt great till about 16 miles or so. Struggled with a little dehydration from 16-20 then got rehydrated and refueled and back on track. Stepped on a king snake at mile 22ish. Hit a creek fed swimming hole at 25-26 miles and jumped in and stayed neck deep for a good 15 minutes. About the time I was thinking I could stay there forever, I felt something touch my hand. I shot outta there like a ligtening bolt! "Ok, I'm done!" I shouted! Well I actually shouted several explitives first! Ran out of water at mile 24 and got pretty dry and icky feeling. Made it to car at 27 miles and called it a day. Of course I am neurotic enought to be kicking myself for not backtracking the trail to make a complete 30, but I felt I got what I needed out of what I did and with getting pretty dehydrated and high temps/heat I let it slide. Learned much today about hydration...hydration...hydration... Learned that no matter how crappy you feel at mile 16, you can feel great again at mile 22. AND it WAS a good day!