February 18, 2009

'Marathon Of Hope'-fully Next Year

These ten days since Orcas have been a whirlwind, topped off by my damn laptop kicking the bucket on me...where to start? (and with it went my pics from the last few weeks as well)

Pre and post Orcas was even more fun then the race itself...although can running 50k ever really be fun? Included in the $55 race entry was two nights accom in bunk bedded cabins. There also happened to be a Vegan chili at the finish line and two kegs of beer! I ended up being the last official runner to call it a night as I was playing the card game 'asshole' with R.D. James Varner, and the bluegrass band that had performed both nights. In the end we had some pretty ridiculous rules and long story short, Varner ended up having to attempt 100 push-ups at about 2am!

The travels home seemed so much longer on a hang over...(pic lost to dead laptop)

Orcas was as sore as I have been since the Miwok 100k in May of 08. I was limping around for days afterwards and even though I know better, I did not move for three full days! By Wed I realized that I had to get moving again to salvage my training week and I managed a solid 125k of running by Sunday afternoon. This was topped off by my longest ever run/training day, a 7hr, 60-km effort to finish off the week. I was fortunate to have some great company for most of it, Tom and Duncan once again joined in on the fun for a few hours, and three of my Montrail teammates were also out for a long one. Cheryl Beattie and Lisa Polizzi both logged 30k, Aaron pit and my dog Roxy joined me for 44km, and I put in the final 16k solo to shut off the GPS at exactly 60k on the day. It's taken a few days for me to fully appreciate this. I ran for seven hours...and I felt great...and I almost enjoyed it...man something in my wiring has gone haywire in the last five years!

There were two big downsides to last week however, first, and of least genuine concern, was that my laptop kicked out on me. The thing still works fine, it just doesn't receive the power through the motherboard for some reason. I was NOT impressed to learn that it would effectively cost me more to get it fixed then to upgrade to a newer and better system. This is a level of stress I did not want to deal with, as having to budget for my race season and flights is already becoming an issue. I managed to dream up ways to cover the costs, but faced a few set backs in trying to purchase a new setup online. Long story short, while out running with teammate Aaron Pitt, I tell my story...to which he responds,

"I have a desktop that works great. I just got a Mac so you are welcome to it."

"Are you f#$King kidding me!!"

And with that, here I sit, tapped into all that our generation holds sacred. I did not escape the weekend without making a few promises to myself though. Seeing as how I am so addicted to this stupid little thing called 'the Internet', and having realized while going without for a few days that not checking my e-mail, facebook, blogs, and hockey scores every five minutes does not change the alignment of the universe...I made a pact. From now until Western States (June 27th), starting on Thursday, I will not log into my computer at all on Tuesdays and Thursdays...and I'm willing to go out on a limb here and say that not only will I survive, but that the world will go on, and no one will die because of my actions!

Lastly, and most importantly, the proposed 'Marathon Of Hope' was postponed until at least 2010. Some of you know what I am referring to, some do not. If anyone happened to have noticed that I have yet to update my 09 racing schedule and info, there was a very good reason for that. Up until just one week ago, I was unsure as to if I would be racing Western States and Trans Rockies Run as my big events, or if I'd be running 143 consecutive marathons...yes I said 143...that's over 5,300km and 4.5 months of pounding on the roads...without a day off!

Why would anyone consider such an ordeal? To honor a legacy.

Terry Fox is widely recognized as one of the greatest Canadians to have ever lived. In brief, he lost a leg leg to Cancer, and with a prosthetic, decided to run across the country to raise money and awareness for Cancer Research. The year was 1980. He made it almost exactly half way across this great Nation before Cancer was detected in his lungs, and he eventually succumbed to the disease on June 28th, 1981. If you are not already familiar please take two seconds to read the official write up on his website here. Terry helped to inspire a generation of Canadians. He taught us that anything was possible if we put our minds to it. That there were no such thing as excuses and that when we come together, we can conquer anything. Unfortunately his one and only dream has yet to be achieved, a cure for Cancer. Though through Terry's actions over 400 million dollars has been raised for Cancer research...400 million...the power of one. It would have been an honor.

The proposal was to have twelve runners set out from St. John's, Newfoundland on April 12th to try to duplicate Terry's efforts. St. John's is basically my hometown, so I was obviously very excited at the prospect of this massive undertaking! I know I at least made the 'final cut' of proposed runners, as I received an e-mail late on a Thursday night instructing me to send along a bunch of photos of myself by first thing Friday morning. The final proposal went before The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (C.B.C.) and in the end then leaned towards following through on this for the 30th anniversary in 2010. I sincerely hope this project does get off the ground, and that I may be lucky enough to be selected in one years time. At least I know one individual who is happy that I won't be running across Canada for the next 4.5 months...

I honestly feel like I just qualified for Western last week, now that I finally know exactly what my season consists of...and with that in mind, I should probably get the hell off of here, and get my ass out running again...



Aaron said...

Gary, You're running too much and not drinking enough. I am seriously concerned about you and think you should consider counselling. Seriously. Please start running less. Please.

garobbins said...

Don't worry Aaron, I drank three beers last night, and only ran 40k today!
I know some guys who would drink beer at aid stations...gotta go with what your body knows I guess!