I am signed up to run the Lake Waramaug 100K next Sunday, but it looks like I won't be going. Excited as I am by the prospect of getting back out for a long day of running with a bunch of like-minded folks, I don't think this race is a good idea for me this year. It's a multi-lap race, which I love, but it is all on roads. 100K on the road will kill my poor feet. Good sense has prevailed.
I volunteered at this race last year. My training partner, Susan, and I worked the aid station at the start/finish to fulfill our volunteer requirement for the VT 100. This was my first time volunteering at a race and I was expecting a long, dreary day of passing out water, wishing I was running. But not so. We had a fabulous time cheering the runners, taking down numbers, taping iPods earbuds into ears, and milking the RD and other volunteers for information about VT.
I'd actually love to go back and volunteer this year, but this would entail a full day away from home. This is not my decade for racking up travel days. The logistics of juggling one car and five schedules is just too daunting.
So my next race will be May 9th at Wapack in southern New Hampshire: 50 miles of trails with lots of ups and downs. This is what I need to train for Grindstone. We are driving up that way with the kids today to climb Mt. Monadnock. First nice Saturday of the spring: it will be a zoo. Perfect conditions for the 4, 6 and 8-year olds. Might get a bit dicey for Brian and me.
Yesterday I decided to sign up for the Pittsfield Peaks 53 Miler on June 6th in Pittsfield, Vermont. The Race Website features a video of a bunch of muddy men (The Death Division) pushing logs and tools through what looks like a sewage pipe and then constructing a wheelbarrow designed to tote 2 cinder blocks, a tire and a 30 lb bucket of sand 8 miles uphill. Or something. It took a few emails back and forth with RD Andy Weinberg to ascertain that none of these Sissyphean tasks are required of the ultra-runners. (Evidently The Death Division is a separate 10-mile race.)
I haven't raced since last November at Stone Cat, and I miss it. I miss the long drives insanely early in the morning, the amazing, funny, and sometimes-just-plain-weird people I always meet out on the course, the aid stations, the comraderie at the finish, the jazzed drive home. It's like getting a week's vacation in a single day.
May 9th. It will all happen soon enough.