>Weather report, etc

>So the weather for Saturday in Boonsboro, MD is expected to be a high of 36 and a low of 23. This is about 10-15 degrees colder than in the past years. This means Alyssa is unsure of her outfit for the race. I was trying to avoid wearing pants at all costs, but if its 20something at the start, that may not be poss.

In other news, they have also changed the competition rules for this year. In the past, men competing for a top 10 position, and women competing for a top 5 have not been allowed to use a pacer. They actually take this rule, and the one about no i-pods, extremely serious in this race and have designated people out there watching for these things. This allowed me to have my dad run with me for about 8 miles last year, which was pretty cool. I knew I was out of the top 5 by about mile 30, so it wasn’t an issue. However, this year the rule is top 10 for women and men. This blows. Kip had graciously offered to run some miles with me, and that could have been crucial this year. I usually hit a low around miles 25-35 and it’s really nice to have someone around or something to look forward to. Oh well. Having Mel and Brennan out there, and of course mom and dad, will hopefully get me through the boredom of the towpath 🙂

>4 days.

>“Every year you need to flush out your system and do a bit of suffering. It does you a power of good. I think it’s because there is always a question mark about how you would perform. You have an idea of yourself and it can be quite a shock when you don’t come up to your own expectations. If you just tootle along you can think you’re a pretty slick bloke until things go wrong and you find you’re nothing like what you imagined yourself to be. But if you deliberately put yourself in difficult situations, then you get a pretty good idea of how you are going. That’s why I like feeding the rat. It’s a sort of annual check-up on myself. The rat is you, really. It’s the other you, and it’s being fed by the you you think you are. And they are often very different people. But when they come close to each other, that’s smashing, that is. Then the rat’s had a good meal and you come away feeling terrific. It’s a fairly rare thing, but you have to keep feeding the brute for your own peace of mind. And even if you did blow it, at least there wouldn’t be that great unknown. But to snuff it without knowing who you are and what you are capable of, I can’t think of anything sadder than that.” -from the last chapter of Alfred Alvarez’s book, “Feeding the Rat”, about the climber Mo Anthoine

>5 days

>

So these are my splits from the 6 main aid stations at JFK, and then my finishing times and overall average pace. Apparently I cut a lot of time out on the trail portion last year, and I doubt that I will be able to get much faster than that this year. I am looking to take most of the time off on the towpath. It is pretty much an easy solution to do that – run more and run faster, while walking less. Basically on the towpath that all comes down to a mental game, so who knows. I’ve done the training, now it’s time to relax and trust in the taper. Yay.

>Sunday Morning

>Me: So who else was there last night? Any randoms?
Anon: Yeah some dudes came with girls at the end.
Me: Oh yeah? Were they fun?
Anon: We didn’t talk to them. The girls weren’t really like us.
Me: What do you mean?
Anon: Well, they were just like bigger. And more ethnic. And by ethnic…I mean one had brown hair.

>Fun little tidbit

>I was prompted today to research the origins of the “rocketmail.com” email account. It appears that rocketmail was bought by Yahoo! in the late 90’s, and has since returned this past June as an e-mail provider. However, the interesting gems that came out of this investigash are, per wikipedia:
“Rocket mail is the delivery of mail by rocket or missile. The rocket would land by deploying an internal parachute upon arrival. It has been attempted by various organisations in many different countries, with varying levels of success. […]
The first successful delivery of mail by a rocket in the United States was made on 23 February 1936, when two rockets that were launched from the New Jersey shore of Greenwood Lake landed on the New York shore, some 300 metres away.”

>Too Soon?

>We may have gotten into the christmas spirit a bit early here at the Real World Baltimore House…..

>”Unbelievable Mayhem At D2 West Regionals As Leaders Are Directed In Wrong Direction”

>“The thing was is that the front runners of the first race got absolutely f***ed over. The race went on for between 5k-6k and most of the people that were in the lead pack ended up surging back up to the front after the turn-around, in essense just draining the f*** out of them.

This race was such a f***ed up experience I can’t even explain it. I was one of the runners in the chase pack, and just seeing Scotty Bauhs and Cheseto coming back yelling to go the other way was such a f***ed up feeling. Why they didn’t just stop the race right then I don’t know, but it was so f***ed up because now you go from being like 8-9th to 100th or so, and you’re just running through the trees because the course is only about 2 or 3 people wide at most.

It just sucks because this is a REGIONAL race where people are putting everything on the line, all the training and everything this year for this race to make nationals (at least was my case). And then to have it so royally f***ed up like this is just such a shitty experience. It just didn’t seem real when it was happening.”

– anonymous D2 runner posting on the message board at letsrun.com about his experience in the West Regional that will be remembered for ages due to the chaos that resulted after course officials directed the leading men runners in the wrong direction. When they realized it, the runners were forced to scramble through woods and try to pass the rest of the field in a path that was only wide enough for two or three people to catch back up. Amazingly, the main pack slowed down Tour De France style to let the big dogs get back in the position that they should be in. But by then the race officials decided to stop the race after the 3 mile mark and re-run it two hours later.

>Did this really happen?

>Me: yo girl how are the med school apps going?
annon: pretty good, I actually have an interview next week.
Me: oh yeah? that’s sweet. Do they ask you science/technical questions for these interviews or is it more just getting to know you?
Annon: I mean, I think they’ll ask me why I want to be a doctor.

>Change of plans?

>So apparently the LA Marathon is moving from its usual date, to the date of MONDAY February 16, 2009. Many people are angry because President’s Day is not a vaca for everyone. However, I am pretty pumped about this possibility. LA is one of the races I have had my eye on for awhile, and since it’s on Monday I could fly into San Fran and visit friends, then over the weekend drive down hwy 1 to LA which is something I’ve wanted to do since I’ve done the LA->San Diego route. Unfort, I don’t think I can afford Miami and LA, so I will have to pick eventually.