I like to run. I've learned that it really isn't about where you're going, it's about the getting there - the how, the why, the who with. This blog is just a little repository for my thoughts along the way; the setbacks, the lessons learned, and the occasional triumph.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

An Epically Bad Idea

I'm doing it. I'm going to run the Burning River 100 Mile Endurance Race this weekend. Maybe the hyperbole in my header isn't necessary, but this is, most certainly, not the best idea I've ever had.

Is that keeping me from going? Well, no. So, who's the more fool? (Or something like that.)

I'm not even going to go into all the reasons why I shouldn't do this. I'm embarrassed to lay them out in detail. Suffice it to say, my training has not progressed in the most fruitful manner lo these past two months. I have been unable to put in the quality long runs that would have been ideal given the goal race at hand.

However, I have a few things going for me: I am not a novice. It will be my first attempt at 100 Miles, yes, but it will also be my 19th Ultra and my 4th of 50 miles or longer. (That, to go with 10 other, "regular" marathons.) I am also healthy. 100%. No aches, no pains, no tightness, no illness. So that's good.

And I will have a little help. My sister has volunteered to make the 2 hour drive over from Pittsburgh to be my crew for the event. She'll be able to drive in and see me at 14 different aid station during the event, and will have a trunk full of supplies for me at each one.

Best of all, I have absolutely no goals or expectation for the event other than to finish before the cutoff times. The finish line closes after 30 hours. There's a very high probability that if I'm able to finish at all, it will take the full 30 hours. (Woohoo!)

I'm just going to try to have fun and keep moving steadily forward.
But if I die before I'm done, I'll try to let you know...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Night Runner

I went for a run tonight up in Lake County near my freelance job. Started out just after sunset and used the Des Plaines River Trail. It’s an easy, wide, well-groomed, white gravel biking trail that runs 27 miles north all the way to the Wisconsin state line through the Lake County Forest Preserve. I used a one mile section of the trail that mostly stays on the grounds my employer maintains.

There was a light rain tonight and thick, low clouds that drooped over the tree tops and reflected back plenty of the orange phosphorous light that glowed from the well-lit parking lot. A permanent, pre-dawn aura lingered as I ran back and forth a few times along my mile. I had a flashlight, but could see well enough without it.

The animals were out enjoying the rain shower. Huge frogs that played chicken with me or dared to sit perfectly still and pretend that I couldn’t see them. Little bats fluttering about just overhead enjoying mouthfuls of evening insects. A huge, beautiful crane that soared over the path in front of me, which I could only see silhouetted against the copper-reflecting clouds. A skunk that, gratefully, I saw shambling along the side of the road in the half-light before he had time to see me or get annoyed with my presence. The ducks that slept in a group on a pond that rippled near the cut of the trail.

Explosive bursts of light ripped across the sky far away in front of me more than once, and then, a dozen seconds later, a rolling rumble of telltale thunder played out like a lazy timpani solo, much like summer thunder tends to do when the days are still long and the nights are steamy.

The miles pass by slower in the dark, but sometimes they are more pleasant in the night when they linger on that way.