Saturday, April 11, 2009

It's Happy Trails in Virginia . . . But Heartbreak for Boston!

OK, it’s been a while since I last had any input to my blog, so it’s time to get my ass back in gear . . . in more ways than one! Since my last couple of weekends of racing, I have felt a bit whooped, so I kicked-back my training to give my body and my mind some time to rest and recover. At first I felt guilty for not keeping-up the tempo of training that I had gotten going, but then I realized that my big goal race – the Vermont 100 – is a way off and that, although I am using some other long races as training for The Big One, they are still races and I do like to put my best effort into them. So less running and putting some longer rides in on my bike on the trainer has helped my recovery, I think.

However, this past Saturday was the Fly With Eagles 10K, a nice home-town race with great people. The race director, Dick Shaw, is a great friend who is battling cancer and Joe and I could not think of a better way to celebrate his battle than to push ourselves through the pain of running a hard 10K for him. It’s a beautiful but ball-busting course. The day was extremely windy and cool, but it was a good day to run. Somehow I managed to WIN the women’s race. My time was 46:46, a bit slower than my usual 10K time, but not bad for this tough course. And afterward we had a great time visiting with friends and enjoying the wonderful homemade chili that the volunteers made. This is another great race that is a throw-back to what racing is all about – no frills, just good hard running, good food, and good friends. Unfortunately, Dick could not make it to witness how much fun everyone was having, thanks to him. We wish him all the best and he is in our prayers.

And now this weekend brings the long-awaited Bull Run Run 50-Miler in Virginia. I have never done this race before and have heard so many good things about it, so I am really psyched. And there are all sorts of competition going on with this race. There is a team competition – cue the original members of “Diane’s Team” from the 2007 VT100. We have reunited and will kick butt again! There is little that spurs me on more than knowing if I don’t do my best, I am not only letting myself down but my teammates as well. And then there is the “North-South” battle that the BRR promotes (check-out the website for full details – It’s like the Civil War coming alive again. I would like to be a “counting member” of the North team, although that means I have to finish in under 10 hours. So we’ll see how that goes – I will really have to bust some hump to make it happen.

(note the infamous Citgo sign - barely visible - in the background . . . visible in the last miles of the Boston Marathon, but you feel like it never gets any closer!)

And despite my excitement for going to Bull Run this weekend, I am a little torn, as I will be missing the Boston Marathon. Boston has been a regular staple in my running diet for the past four years. And it doesn’t seem to ever get old. I have never experienced any race like Boston and I am a little heartbroken to not be going this year. But running in Virginia on Saturday and then Boston on Monday just did not seem feasible.

Heineken Cup rugby is in full swing now. My Munster men, the reigning Heineken Cup champs, just had a great weekend, killing the Ospreys 43-9. It was an awesome game. Ronan O’Gara was his usual spectacular self, nailing all of his kicks, some from some really tough angles. But the biggest show of the match was fullback Paul Warwick, who deservingly was named Man of the Match. He scored tries, kicked a couple of drop goals, and made some amazing runs. Now Munster is in the semi-finals and I fully expect them to make it into the finals.

So good luck to all of you who will be running in Boston next week – I’m jealous! But it is off to the land of Happy Trails for me and Joe and the rest of my Diane’s Team members. Have a great week.

“Doing reckless and stupid things is as much a part of our gene pool as red hair and a taste for peanut M&Ms.” Florence Williams, Outside Magazine, April 2009 issue
(read . . . it's not my fault when I do some of the things I do!!)

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