I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts. Not ignoring what is good, I am quick to perceive a horror, and could still be social with it—would they let me—since it is but well to be on friendly terms with all the inmates of the place one lodges in.

-Herman Melville, Moby Dick

What to learn more about the Life & Hope Fund and how we can help cancer patients?  Click HERE!

And on with the blog . . .

OK, guys, shuffle on over.  Whoa, hold on, you’re getting all knotted up . . . just relax, think conga line. Feel the rhythm, you’re on the beach, rum punch, sunsets . . there, much better.

I know the leg irons that make us a “team” are a bit restrictive but we’re here and no one is going anywhere unless we go together.  I brought some Clif Bars, pass them around. It’s 50 days until the Leadville 100 Trail Run and it’s time we had a little chat.  You know, share our feelings. Anyone? Anyone?

OK, I’ll start.

I’m not going to lie, the next 40 days or so are going to be tough.  We’re not always going to get along as well as we do right now.  Sure, we’ve had a few rough patches, but it’s mostly been good times.  New Orleans, Boston, a couple 50-milers.  All that is going to change, and change quick.  You need to know that I don’t really mean all the nasty, horrible things I say about you.  You work hard, you don’t deserve anything except my respect and maybe an apology or two in advance.

So, step on over and let’s see if maybe we can avoid some of those uncomfortable moments during inopportune times by laying it all out right now.

Who wants to go first?  How about you, my little over-eager snooze alarm buddy…

 4:09AM. If the 4:00 AM alarm is not insistent enough to motivate movement on my part, you will be pushing me toward my Mizunos in exactly nine minutes.  Not ten minutes.  What’s up with that? Anyhoo, if you really want to be helpful, ditch the chirpy cricket noise alarm and go get me some coffee.

 Gravity.  You, my friend, are a force to be reckoned with. When training for a normal marathon we get along roughly 50% of the time; cursing between gaspy chuffs on the uphills while joyously skipping and holding hands on the downhills. But over the next few weeks as I head down to the Treadmill of Perpetual Sorrow, I suspect that a 13% grade for hours at a time may start to, uh, weigh our relationship. How about you promise to lighten up a little bit on your unyielding pursuit of gravitational justice (sometimes you act as if you are the law, just sayin’) and I promise not to run with helium-filled waterwings.

 Heat&Humidity.  I really have no issues with either of you. Seriously. And the teamwork you display on occasion is truly exceptional. Take yesterday, one of you went a little nuts with 108°, a new record for St. Louis. But Humidity showed incredible restraint coming in at a very moderate 22%. That resulted in a 4 mile run that was truly not terrible. I have also run some of my very best races on days when Humidity was enjoying a bender while the cool-headed Heat kept temps at an optimal 40 degrees. I know this kind of collaboration will not last forever; both of you will be partying it up big time over the next few weeks. After all, this is St. Louis. I may grumble a little bit but you can remind me that the oxygen density when it is +90°/+90% simulates running at altitude. Thanks, guys.

 SocialCelibacy.  Tami and I enjoy getting together with friends, especially those that know how to cook or enjoy a good meal.  But you, my friend, are a complete introvert; social interactions suck the life out of your very being.  Good news!  You are going to love the next 50 days!  If it doesn’t start or end with “eat”, “sleep”, “run”, “work” or “Tami told me to”, it won’t be on our calendar.  I can tell by the way you are pulling the blinds, unplugging the phone and hanging the NO MOLESTE POR FAVOR sign that this makes you very happy.  I can only hope that others will be as understanding.

 TheDarkPlace.  Yeah, you got a cool name, but are you that tough?  Am I tough enough?  I Googled the directions to your place: More miles on my shoes than on my car>enough elevation to climb the Empire State Building 6 times in one workout>sleep-deprivation>caloric deprivation (not through lack of effort)>more black toenails>strawberry-red chafing>sweat-reddened eyes>fear of not finishing>fear of not meeting expectations>fear of>just fear.  This is serious business and you want me to bone-deep understand that.  I do.  And I am looking forward to our time together.

Alright, that’s enough of that, suck it up buttercups.  Enough feelings for one day, one year.  Come on in for a big group hug . . . watch your step, careful of the chains, uh oh . . . relax, think conga line . . .

Life & Hope Update:  $7122 donated to help cancer patients and their families kick a little cancer butt.  THANK YOU for your generous support!  So many of you have joined in this effort and all I can say is that you have done good.  Special thanks this week to Angie & Trev Spencer at Marathon Training Academy, Paul & Mary Kikta, Stephanie P and Meg Johnson.  So proud to have you join our effort!

Training Update:  1683 miles YTD.  This will be an 80+ mile week with some serious elevation coming up this weekend.  Heading out to Breck next week and planning to do 50 miles on the actual Leadville 100 trail.  No serious aches/pains . . . I expect that will change. 🙂