I need to find races that start at midnight -- I am terrible at going to bed early. It's about 11:15 right now and the 50k starts in 8 hours. I am wide awake. Twenty minutes ago I was tired but now that its actually time to sleep, not so much.
My Mom and Dad and my friend Genny who I have basically known since the dawn of time (or, the first day of 5th grade) are nice people and are thus coming to cheer me on and throw Pringles and Stinger Waffles in my general direction. Genny is doing the half that is part of the race series on Sunday so of course I am going to stick around and return the favor, so its two nights at the scenic Hampton Inn in Dulles, Virginia, for me.
Genny ran my first-ever half-marathon with me almost 10 years ago. The race was the Philadelphia Distance Run (which was unfortunately sold to the Rock and Roll franchise a year or two ago meaning that a fun local race that used to cost $40 is now a giant monstrosity that costs $110 and features a Poison cover band at the finish line). That race was the Sunday after September 11, 2001. More than a handful of runners who registered for the race died that Tuesday ands what I remember most about the start was that, instead of a starting gun, the mayor of the city read the names of those runners.
Anyway, we finished a bit under two hours and I loved every step. A few days later, inspired by Genny and prodded by Bill, I registered for the Philadelphia Marathon, my first.
And it only took me 9 1/2 years to up the distance again. I wonder how it is going to go. I have no idea how long it is going to take, what the crowd will be like, how I will hold up. I'd like to finish in less than 7:12, the average finishing time from last year, but I have no hard goals other than to, hopefully, cross the finish line.
I think my parents know what to expect even less than me -- three of the aid stations are crewed so I've packed a bit of stuff for my parents to haul around for me.
"Are you going to want to talk to us?" asked my Mom.
"Uh, I don't know," I responded.
"Will you just run by real fast and grab stuff?"
"No, I think I will probably stop and eat a bit, I guess. I really don't know."
"I don't know either."
My Mom, not a morning person, seemed a little less horrified about the prospect of waking up at 4:50 in the morning when I told her that I'd likely slow down enough to actually say hello and that I'd actually be easy to find as the distance is capped at about 300 runners. Not the usual "Where's Waldo" that my parents have become used to when spectating at some of the more massive road races I've done.
Ok, time to sleep now. Or time to watch "Say Yes To the Dress." I love hotels, they have cable. We get five stations at home.
That is all.