Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Ready to Run!

Two things, before I get started.

1) Thank you everyone for your well wishes and encouragement, it truly means the world to me!!!
2) Tomorrow is Father's Day in Germany and I want to dedicate my run tomorrow to my dad who just turned 85 a few days ago. You're still my hero dad!

So all my bags are packed, I'm ready to go, I'm standin' here outside your door, I hate to wake you up to say goodbye – and although I’m not leaving on a jet plane, I am anxiously waiting for work to end so that I can pick up my wife and we can drive to Rengsdorf, a small town on the border of Rhineland-Pfalz and Hessen near Koblenz. The trip will probably take around 2½ hours if we don’t end up stuck in any long traffic jams (normal in Germany).

I am hoping to arrive in Rengsdorf early enough to scope out the town a little bit. It looks like a fairly small town, so I think this won’t take too long. In any case the race start is supposed to be about a 10 minute walk from the hotel.

Last night I took a 35 minute run around the outskirts of our town to loosen up a little – I am a bit stiff from so much tapering. For the second night in a row I had a deep 7½ sleep, so feel rested and ready to tackle my first 50K.

The race starts at 8 a.m. (2 a.m. in NY) tomorrow (Ascension Day and also Father’s Day in Germany). The 50K race is pretty low key, the term “race” is used rather loosely as this is more of a “fun run” then a competitive event. The very nature of the terrain suggests endurance rather than speed. Many of the participants (74 are signed up so far) use this event as a final training run for the Biel 100K Ultra in June.

There is a mass start - I can picture someone just saying “Okay, you can run now!”, and at the finish line you have to write down your own time on your card when you finish. There are 5 checkpoints where you have to stop and get start card stamped, pretty low tech.

I plan on running very conservatively, my only goal being to reach the finish on my feet. From various race reports that I have read, walking breaks are the norm – several of the uphill climbs are so steep (and long) that only the elite even try to keep running. I have trained with walk breaks in mind, so know I can keep running after walking. I would like to finish as close to 6 hours as possible, but I think this is an event where I need to listen to my body more than look at my watch.

In any case we are coming back on Friday night so I will at least try to let you know how I did by then. Catch you on the flip side!

Have a wonderful time, Jack. Run strong...we are all pulling for you.
I bet you're out there doing AWESOME!!
I'm looking at the time and wondering...okay it's what time over there. Is he done or still on the course somewhere????

I bet you did or are doing awesome.

Yeah Jack!!!
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