Friday, June 19, 2009

The Magical Mystery Tour

It's waiting to take me away, all right.

As mentioned in the last blog, my first half marathon in a full year is tomorrow. I will be running the Steamworks Animas Valley Half Marathon in Durango, and it's truly a mystery as to how I will perform. I've completed two marathons, and countless other races between 5 and 10K in the past year, but the Festival of Ugly that was the Slacker Half was my last time at 13.1. That race was an utter disaster to start, though I finished strong. I just never made up the time I lost early from my palpitating heart/throbbing hand/altitude sickness walk break. I limped in around 1:53 (after a half PR of 1:47 three months prior), and haven't had a crack at the distance again since then.

My training and mileage have changed considerably since then so I truly don't have a clue what a realistic goal should be for tomorrow on a brand new course to me. It sounds like it'll be a hot one, and I'm going up slightly in altitude, though not enough that I should experience any sickness or fatigue along the lines of that nearly 11,000 foot start at the Slacker. The bridge at the start of Steamworks was featured in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, but hopefully I won't have an unexpected demise as I make my way from there to the finish line.

I almost ran the Slacker again, but I a)don't think I necessarily needed to go back to the same event as a "revenge run," and b)it's really important right now that I budget well for out of town races, and it made good financial sense to race closer to home, where I can drive down to Delta, pick up fellow runner Jen, then continue on to Durango where we will both be staying with fellow runner Ilana.

Comaraderie with a Western Slope crowd and beer/burgers at the Steamworks Brewery after the race just sounds a bit more fun than the-um-a few of those Front Range runners take themselves a bit too seriously. Don't want to start an East-West rumble but I've learned over the past two and a half years of running that I love our hot mess club races and other larger, yet still small regional races, and the mountain runners who show up for them.

So, as I type, the last of my laundry is spinning in the dryer. Nothing like waiting until the last second, though to be fair, I've had a mostly productive week around the house, and have been trying to streamline the weekly square dance that is dropping kids off at various classes, camps and other activities. When I return on Saturday night, I'll be making a quick trip to the grocery store with my middle daughter, who is also my Father's Day brunch planning partner in crime. She already came to me weeks ago with an elaborate breakfast in bed meal plan, right down to how the food will be served, and how her Daddy should take the first bite with us all watching. She was similarly "in charge" of my Mother's Day food festivities. I swear this kid may have a future career in event planning.

All things considered, I'm excited and optimistic about this weekend. I don't know how things will pan out tomorrow but it's going to be great to get a little 24-hour staycation-like day to myself, and then return and do a whole lot of nothing, and whatever else my husband feels like doing on his big day.


Oz Runner said...

have a great race! can't wait to hear about it!

Preston said...

Good luck, run strong!

L.A. Runner said...

Best of luck tomorrow! I'm looking forward to a great race report.