Friday, April 15, 2011

Big weekend ahead! (70 days to go!)

I woke up to a thunderstorm this morning. The plan, according to my coach, was five easy miles, but the pouring rain and distant rumbling of the clouds made me hit snooze a dozen times and decide to make this what is known by the acronym 'USRD'-unscheduled rest day. I haven't actually taken a rest day from running since mid-August 2009, so I still tied up my laces and got a quick mile in before heading to work. The daily running streak remains alive, and my legs kicked some of their cobwebs before I ask them to do some big things this weekend.

Tomorrow is the Double Chubb 50k trail run. The two loop course has a variety of terrain, and today's rainstorm, along with the rain we're expecting overnight tonight, nearly guarantees a sloppy good time. The nice thing about this race is that it's only about a 20 minute drive from home. I've been given the green light to race tomorrow in an effort to gauge my fitness level, and I won't lie: I've got high hopes that the legs respond. The field is typically pretty strong, so I'll focus on me and not other runners...until the last few miles, of course!

Sunday morning I'll head to the airport for an impromptu trip to Boston for the 115th running of the Boston Marathon. I registered for this race back in September and decided not to run it when I was accepted into Western States in December. That lasted until Tuesday, when I booked a flight to my all-time favorite race. I have run two personal records at Boston, but this year nearly guarantees that I'll run a personal worst marathon time since only 48 hours will have passed since Chubb. The highlight of the day will be the opportunity to run with so many of my running friends from across the country and even the world--friends from Vermont, Wisconsin, Baltimore, California, Ohio, the Caymans, Canada, and Great Britain, just to name a few of their origins. We only see each other a couple times each year at best, so that post-race toast to another 26.2 miles in the books will be bittersweet since our next reunion is still to be determined.

Special thanks to my friends Lisa and Adam for putting blurbs about my Western States journey raising funds for the Wounded Warrior Project in the most recent edition of Notre Dame magazine. To my fellow alums visiting the blog after reading those notes, welcome! Please feel free to contact me to say hello, and I invite you to look back at the training, charity, and race information I have posted since December. The blog documents my training for the Western States Endurance Run, but the true purpose behind this all-my running the race, the daily grind of training, even this blog-is to raise at least $10,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project, a charitable organization that serves the needs of wounded veterans in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. If you are able to give, know that your donation will go to a great cause...and that you have my gratitude.

To all those racing this weekend, run well!

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