Saturday, June 25, 2011

Musings in Boston (Again!)

"It takes all the running you can do to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that" - Red Queen, Through The Looking Glass

Flew up yesterday to Boston for my bi-monthly visit to see my son Michael, daughter-in-law Joanie, and especially our 20 month old grandson, Adam. Man, it is amazing how much they change in just two months. When I last saw him, Adam could barely say "dis" and "dat". Now, he's got a pretty good array one word thoughts and ideas and seems to understand a whole lot more than I anticipated. I never envisioned being Grandpa could be such a joy. Plus, it's a great way to try to stay in shape. I mean it's constant up and down, throwing him around, riding him like a 25# weight on the end of my leg, and being my own private medicine ball. He's running all over the place, so I'm planting all kinds of seeds to nurture this into a talent he can enjoy his whole life. Long distance running my boy...honest, it's a real chic magnet. Think he'll fall for that one?

Tomorrow, Michael and I will embark to downtown Boston for the 1st Annual Boston Athletic Association 10k. Now, I haven't run a 10k in a few years, but this will be just for complete fun. A couple of years ago, Michael and I ran a Half Marathon together and it was a complete blast for me. Michael had never gone that far, and it was on my birthday. The medal we got is one of those special "bookcase" medals I have displayed that I wrote about a couple of RWA posts back. We'll get a medal tomorrow and I plan to display it right next to that HM medal. Sometimes your favorite mementos have nothing to do with how you do in the race. As a matter of fact, I keep saying I hope my time tomorrow for the 6.2 miles is faster than the last time I did a 10 mile race! It's probably going to be close. I'll let you know next week how the run went.

Two weeks ago, I wrote about the RAAM - the cycle race across America. 3000 miles of the-clock-doesn't-stop-till-you-reach-the-finish-line from California to Maryland. Well, the winner in the men's solo division finished in 8 days/8 hours. The female solo leader is still racing, but should finish today (11 days +). The first 4 man team did the 3000 miles in 5 days/11 hours!! Just amazing. I don't cycle (used to, but my butt got sore and I hated, JUST HATED (!), changing flats) but I now those of you are awed by this, because I sure am.

In the running scheme of big events, this morning, The Western States 100 Mile Run began in California. Now, this is not the steepest 100 miler, or even the toughest, but it is pretty dang tough, and old, and certainly prestigious. It's like the Boston Marathon of Ultra runs. Every Ultra runner, somewhere deep inside him wants to give WS a shot sometime. What makes this run so tough (well, the 100 miles has something to do with it) is overall, you ascend more than 18,000 feet of altitude, and the temperatures can range from the 20's to over 100 degrees - on the same day!! There's definitely snow...there's definitely mud! That's what running through mountains and canyons will do. If you finish under 24 hours, you get a silver belt buckle and under 30 hours earns you a bronze buckle. Over the 30 hour cutoff gets you and "Atta-boy" or "Atta-girl". About 60% of the starters will finish. There's another world out there folks.

On top of all this, this weekend I began reading Scott Ludwig's book "A Few Degrees From Hell" about the Badwater 135 Mile race through Death Valley. I'm halfway through it and just reading it gets my heart a-thumpin'. I'll write about this race in a couple of weeks, but all I'm trying to point out is 98% of me is stoked about Ultrarunning. Too bad my damn legs won't cooperate. Let's see how the 10k goes tomorrow.

Ok folks, gotta go. Adam is waking up from his power nap and grandpa has to be ready to get his butt in gear. I'll see you all on the roads - AL

"One child lost is too child saved can change the world"

No comments: