If there ever were a time when my dedication to training for this marathon would come into question, we're entering it right...now. As you can see (hopefully, pending image resolution), this weekend starts a string of 4 straight weekends where my long runs will be done "on the road," including one in a city I've never visited.
I have a friend- let's call him.....Seven - who loves to ski. His passion for the slopes, free-wheeling nature, "out west" connections, and disposable income led him for several winters to go on an annual skiing "rampage," wherein he would head to Colorado or Montana some 4 or 5 long weekends in a row and nobody would hear from him for a month or two.
I feel like this is my running Rampage coming in August. This weekend, we'll go back up north just for the weekend, and then the following week we head up for another full week's vacation, this time with my whole family. The vacation will be filled with beach picnics, cocktail parties, golf outings, sailing excursions, and my anniversary, so what time I do find to run will be slim and quick. This is definitely a test of what it means to be "in training" as opposed to "working out." I'll have to make time for other things to fit into my running, and not the other way around.
To top off the 3 straight weekends in Petoskey/Harbor Springs, I'm then headed to a Bachelor Party in Kansas City. I have another friend- let's call him....Petey Raindrops....who is marrying the love of his life in September. Before that, we need to give his bachelorhood a proper sendoff in the best way we can- by traveling to see his beloved Red Sox visit the Royals. Unfortunately, I also need to do 16 miles that weekend. Um, yeah. We'll see how that goes.
The way I see it, if I can get to Tuesday, 8/23 still alive, uninjured, and on track, then there's nothing stopping me from hitting my goal (beating my 2009 time of 4:29:45) in October. Until then, we'll see how the Rampage goes.
Lest anyone think I'm not grateful for the ability to spend so much time up north, let me make it clear that I LOVE it up there. If running along the lakefront is the hardest part of my day, I don't really have much room for complaint. Being 3 hours' drive from Little Traverse Bay is a big reason we decided to move to Pure Michigan, and we haven't regretted it for a minute.
But back to the running. Looks like Heat Dome '011 has finally moved on to the east coast. Even though it'll be hot this weekend again, it's always cooler by the lake, so I'm not too worried. My hip pain seems a bit better after more stretching and some rest, so I'm encouraged there. My 12 miler last weekend was done at a 9:40/mile pace including a little bit of walking (I equate it to walking through crowded water stations on race day), so I'm pretty happy with that.
That's all I've got from Camp BYT. I'll have another update probably next week. Till then, keep on runnin'
PS- I actually do have more than 2 friends, but Seven and Petey Raindrops are particularly cool guys!