On a typical year I enter races longer in distance as training runs for my annual marathon. I eat healthier as race day approaches to drop weight, and generally try to behave myself race week. Best laid plans are, well, you know.
I began the year optimistic and registered for my earliest race ever–January 4th. It would be my first ultra-marathon. Instead I spent the first four-months rehabbing my hip after a fall on the ice, so frustrated at times I wondered if I’d ever run long distance again. I finally began running in late April, and the distances grew longer over the summer. I ran my first race in September, a 30K trail run. It was a slog, but gave me the confidence (fool-hearted?) to register for the Steamtown Marathon.
Race Week: I squeezed hard labor between two writing classes, and then yesterday my fourth grandchild was born, Lucy Claire. So much for rest. Carb load? I’ve grown fond of 1/4 pound WaWa hot dogs and Coke.
So I’ll drive to Scranton sometime today, maybe tonight, and settle into my sleeping bag on the hotel room floor of Shawn and Chris. I roomed with Shawn, my son’s buddy, ten years ago when I ran Steamtown and qualified for the Boston Marathon. I’ll wake in the darkness, hop on a bus full of runners, and disembark in Forrest City, PA more than a half hour later. When a cannon blasts at 8:30 I’ll begin my trek to the finish line 26.2 miles away in Scranton.
Something tells me it’s going to be a good day, and who knows, maybe when I get home tomorrow night, after a Guinness or two at Andy Gavin’s Pub of course, I may register for my first ultra-marathon before the end of the year.