Sunday, January 26, 2014

Well, that idea died fast!

I checked the temperature yesterday morning, to get an idea of what to wear for my run. -6. "That's not so bad" I thought to myself. "I won't even have to wear some of my layers!" No balaclava, no bun toaster, not even a jacket (opting for two long sleeves instead). So remember after Sawtooth when I said I was okay with never being hot and humid again? Ever. Yeah, that's still true. Just to make sure, I tried a hot tub in December - I lasted about three minutes before not enjoying it to such an extent that I crawled over the wall it shared with the pool and stood in the pool instead. So at the end of last year, I had this vague idea of a possible goal I wanted to set for myself - to only do races in 2014 that I hadn't done in 2013 (with the exception of Sawtooth). See, my problem is that I love races. So I go to a race and I LOVE it and I HAVE to do it again the next year. Except I also HAVE to do all the other races I usually do and still want to try new ones which quickly become races I HAVE to do. See the problem? So I figured trying this idea with my races would set me free a bit to explore some new races. I knew I would have two problem races (well three because of my favorite 5K but it went and got cancelled on me)- Spring Superior 50K and Voyageur 50 Mile. Well, registration opened up for the 50K and I caved and registered in an impressively short amount of time! Really, though, I'm very okay with breaking my sort of goal so soon in the year for a few reasons - 1: It turns out that Spring Superior is three weeks before Kettle (where I shall go after my 100 mile finish) which makes it perfect for getting a last weekend of good back-to-back long runs and anything that helps with that is a good thin; 2: Doing this race won't conflict with doing a different/new race so I'm not missing out on something new, so I don't feel I'm breaking the spirit of my idea. Other side reasons for being fine with my decision - this is really the first big race of the year (sure, I'll do Chippewa 50K and many of the same people will be there but this always feels like the opening of ultra season in Minnesota) and it's hard to turn down seeing so many friends on the trail; this is a Storkamp race which means it will be well done; more time on the SHT north of Duluth means good training for Sawtooth. So yeah, my idea didn't last very long, but I'm a-okay with that. I was never completely sold on the idea anyway, just more intrigued by it. Maybe I'll save it for a year where I don't have to attack Sawtooth again since making one exception just makes it easier to make others! I'd still have a problem skipping Voyageur, though. Honestly, I don't have much hope for avoiding Voyageur this year as it has a special place in my heart and I just don't see myself skipping it for a not good reason. It's especially hard to miss the close races this year since I'm taking a full week and a half off to head out west this year plus two 100 miles so that uses my vacation right there. Which means any race I have to take ANY time off for is pretty much out so no winter/spring adventure for me this year. Good thing there are lots of quality races close by!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

An older story

Happy 2014, everyone! I can't believe I've been such a blogging slacker for the end of the year. Apologies for that! I hope to do better this year. The problem with not blogging for a while is that you become stuck on what to write about. Do you catch people up? Do you just skip over all that time? Go through highlights? I'm telling you, it would be so much easier to just write on a regular basis in the first place! So instead, I'm going to start the year with a story from the end of 2012 because a friend just reminded me how awesome this run was. We were talking about it because today is the last day of Bentleyville, a Christmas lights spectacular in Canal Park, for those not in the know. Their last day includes fireworks because everything includes fireworks these days (not that you're hearing any sort of arguing from me!). Last year, the last day was on a Wednesday (they added days this year due to closing a few times for weather), thus falling on group-run-on-the-Lakewalk day. So we met at our usual time and ran through Bentleyville (which worked surprisingly well since I figured there would be a lot of people dodging). After that we headed to the Lakewalk to do our normal run. Well, at 6:00, the fireworks started behind us. I wanted to turn around and run toward them so we could watch because I LOVE fireworks of all types. I could only convince Rudy to come with me so we turned around and sprinted back to Bentleyville. We made it back just in time to be right there for the grand finale but were still able to watch the rest of the show as we ran at it, which was very awesome and I rather want to set that up to happen again. After that, we still wanted to run more, so we headed across the lift bridge and then ran down the beach for a while. It was a lovely night, quiet and calm on the lake. You could head some of the water sloshing against the ice and it was fabulous. We went out longer than planned because it was so nice. So here's wishing you lots of peaceful runs in 2014.