Yes, it's time again for that popular spectator sport called "Marathon Day Weather Watching." My oh my, am I glad I decided to put NO undue stress on myself to get a PR no matter the cost, because the forecast for Missoula on July 11th is looking like anything but dream weather at the moment.
I guess I am due for a really craptacular forecast on marathon day considering that the worst I've dealt with is snow squalls before a start of one race, and sunny 60-ish temps late in another race. Still, I wasn't counting on the perfect storm (pun intended) of highs in the upper-80's to low-90's, chance of thunderstorms, and low for the day of 55. I'm holding out hope for a strange cold weather front to push through late in the week, but as it is, I think I am looking at a conservative start, taking things mile-to-mile, and being okay with turning the race into something resembling a training run if conditions wind up turning into a worst case scenario. My husband and I have always wanted to go to Montana, and the kids are ready for a road trip adventure. That in and of itself will be great, even if the race winds up being a bomb.
In other more exciting and cool news, I got an email from my local running club about two weeks ago with an item that jumped off the screen at me. It was a notice that someone was recruiting volunteers for a study to be conducted by researchers at our local college. To be considered, subjects needed to be between 25-44 years of age (let's see-check), run at least 30 miles a week (hey, that's me too), and be a beer drinker (are you kidding? This study has my name ALL over it!). All participants in the study get free dinner and BEER as part of the process. You would have me right there at someone else picking up the tab for dinner and a cold frosty one, but the exciting part of it all is that the volunteers will be given a battery of tests, including VO2 max, lactate threshold, various metabolic factors, body composition and a few other fun things at the new state-of-the-art human performance lab over at the college.
I have always been curious about all the science behind running, and how I might measure up when given these tests, but it's simply not something I could afford to do on my own. So, I sent off answers to the questionnaire for potential subjects and crossed my fingers. I did hear back from the contact that she received my e-mail, and that I looked like an ideal candidate. SWEET, I thought-but I didn't want to do that thing with the chickens and counting. Well, I finally got word this morning that I am IN-I'm on the list of guinea pigs for the study. I will be going to a meeting next week to get all the details and do all the legalese of signing consent forms and acknowledgments.
As a moderate drinker I really don't feel any difference between getting up in the morning to run after a drink or two the night before versus nothing at all, so I am curious what the study will reveal when all is said and done. Literally getting on the hamster wheel in the name of science is pretty cool, too. If the information they gather helps runners to train better in the end, it would be neat to know that I got to play a little part in the process. Until then, it's back to weather watching, and maybe doing a little dance to the weather gods in the hopes of bringing something good to Montana this weekend.