Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Catching Up

Forgive the sporadic blog postings of late, it's summer in Maine and I've been out having fun. I am just finishing up a 5 day LONG holiday weekend off from work. I enjoyed a couple of fun hikes in the White Mountains, a few nice trail runs, and some mountain biking.

I have been trying to run 6-8 miles on level trails 4 times a week. The pain in the butt is there, but usually not too bad. Stride length is definitely limited by the nerve compression at this point. The runs I did over the holiday weekend were fun because I had Kevin as a bicycle escort through the woods. After those runs I got on the mountain bike and joined Kevin for some riding. I am getting more comfortable on the bike which makes it more fun. I have promised to practice and improve over the next few days. OK, I might have said something about riding down railings and doing wheelies, but I meant to say that I'd soon be able to get the front tire up off the ground over obstacles a little more consistently.

I still believe a decent Vermont 100 finish is possible if I keep the right frame of mind. I have to stay positive and just run easy for a finish within the time limit. My last long run will have been the Nipmuck Trail Marathon. I am trying not to count back the weeks to see how long before Vermont that will have been. I am seeing a physical therapist weekly for traction on the spine. This seems to be quite helpful. Also it shows us that the nerve compression and irritation has a good chance of being relieved permanently, since we can do it temporarily with the traction. I'm feeling pretty positive about things, which is always helpful!

I have recruited and lost several pacers for this year's Vermont. Recently, I put my name on the list of runners to be matched with pacers. I hope I get a newbie / hundred-miler-hopeful for a pacer. Pacing is a great way to get introduced to running a hundred miler. I usually have enough fun at these things that I should be able to encourage a new hundred miler runner to give it a try. My own introduction to the hundred mile event was by pacing my friend Anthea at Vermont many years ago. Her last 20 miles were awful and she ended up leaving the finish area in the back of an ambulance. I ran the event on my own the next year, anyway. But I'm a glutton for punishment!

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