@ Greg -- Actually, I'm going to have to buy a new pair within the next week or two, I think. I love these shoes, but the tread seems to wear somewhat quickly. They'll be up to about 250 miles in two weeks time, and although they won't be completely destroyed by then, they won't be where I need them to be for the types of long hikes I'm doing right now. I think I'll probably save them and continue to use them on shorter runs and day hikes after I've attempted the speed hike.
Most likely, I'll probably have to buy yet another pair a week or two before the speed hike. It depends on how many miles I've put on this next pair, but if I'm near the 200 mark by the time the speed hike comes, it'll be worth getting a new pair and using those. Ugh. Lots of money.
Again, I won't be throwing those pairs out, I just don't want to use them for 30+ mile training hikes and for the big hike.
@ Bob -- I was assuming that my cramping was due to lack of electrolytes as well. I was honestly pretty stupid on that 35 mile hike, nutrition-wise. I woke up early in the morning and realized I had way less food than I thought I did. Since I wanted to be home before sunset, I just left and hit the trail with what I had -- 1500 calories in Clif Bars. I was rationing myself to about one Clif Bar every two hours and started to bonk pretty hard at around the 22-23 mile mark, but managed to keep going somehow. What really killed me was a 500 foot climb over a 1/2 mile at mile 32. That was tough.
I'm definitely being much more nutrition/electrolyte conscious now. I'm probably lucky I didn't get hurt on that one.
@ Art -
FKT - I've read about the business card method and plan to use that. I'm also going to do what Brett did on his JMT record hike and take video logs as I'm hiking. I really like that idea; it gives me a record of the trip and doesn't really waste any time.
My plan for the CT River is to try and barter passage across and just hope I can do it quickly since it'll be eating into my time. The trail crosses at a popular boat ramp (another reason why swimming would be dangerous), and on a Saturday in June, I should be able to get a ride pretty quickly if I'm flashing a $10 bill. It's only a 1/4 mile - maybe a bit less - to get across.
In my mind, since nothing is pre-arranged, it should allow the unsupported status to stand. Swimming here just seems stupid.
Painkillers - Again, I don't necessarily plan on using many. I take them very rarely as is, maybe once every couple of months. I was just curious if this is something lots of ultrarunners do. That said, it might not be a bad idea to pop a couple of ibuprofin before bed for the benefit to my joints, as others have mentioned.
Injinji - I used to be all about the quarter length, because I had this bad habit of knicking my ankles with the opposite foot. Having a sock over the ankle helped with that. I must have improved my form because this isn't a problem anymore, so I don't think the mini size will be an issue either. I already have a pair of Coolmax socks, so I'll start using them and watch how they wear. They're light enough that if I have to throw an extra pair in my pack for the trip, it'll probably be worth it.
Perpetuum - I'm planning to pick up one of those huge tubs of it in the next week or two. I'm planning to do at least 3 more 30+ mile days and hopefully a big overnight before the trip. There should be plenty of 20+ mile days in there as well. This should give me ample opportunity to get used to using it. I think what I'll do is use gatorade bottles for this trip. One for Perpetuum and one for water. I'll probably carry one Platypus bottle in my pack as well, as there are a couple of stretches where I'll need to carry more than one liter of water.
Tapering -- I was definitely planning on doing this at some level. The week before the big hike, I was thinking I'd limit any and all hikes to 3 or 4 miles. Enough to keep my joints and muscles in shape, but not enough to push them in any way. I'll give this some more thought and try to work out an actual plan.
Thanks everyone for your input. I'm now off to run a 12 mile trail race with 3800 feet of elevation gain in 85 degree heat and 72% humidity. Basically, I'm about to hate myself.