Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Big Melt

I know this week is "preview" week. You know, the time period where the weather warms up to well above freezing to remind you that spring is coming. I grew up in Illinois, and although my childhood was spent further north where we had an occasional snow day off school up until the last week in April... I've come to assume that warm weather won't actually be here until May 1.

It's not that I'm not thankful to not have six inches of ice everywhere any more, because I am. But this weekend I'm taking part in the Kennekuk Road Runners Fat Ass Trail Run. It's my favorite run of the year because it is untimed. I love things that are untimed. Wanna know why? My whole ChiRunning comes out in untimed events and practices. Put that bib on me and a chip on my ankle and I start to stress. I feel like I have something to prove to myself. Saturday, I just have to get up, drive to Danville, drop off my contribution to the food fest, check in at the board before I head out and go run. My hope is to do two laps -- 14.2 miles. But this isn't some flat track like my most current long runs have been on. This is up and down, haul your ass up the side of a hill using small tree trunks kind of a run. And, thanks to the melt, it's going to be extremely muddy.

Last year we got six inches of snow. I got to the race a little late, so all the other runners and mushed down the snow enough that you could see the tree roots and such under it. But on the downhill segments, the snow was either an ice shoot or a mud shoot, and the only way to really get down was just to sit and ride it like a water slide.

This week, as I watch the snow go away, and see the mud everywhere I have images that the race is going to be a lot like the mudslide scene in Romancing the Stone.

Either way, if I get the 14.2 done -- I don't have to do a long run in Paris when I'm there. Instead, I can do a few 3 to 5 milers next to the Seine and call it a day.

That's right. On Sunday, MacTroll and I fly out to Paris for six days. X-man gets to hang with his Papa in Rockford. Riley gets to head out to Doggie Days on the Farm, and the cats have a week of Fetch! in a dog-free, kid-free house. (Of course the way Nyssa and Luke are lying on me right now makes me wonder if they're actually getting crazy enough to miss their awesome cat beds that also feed them.)

I hope to be updating the blog from France. Yes, I am totally a lucky woman. Seriously. I've never been there before, so we'll see how this goes. On my list today is to find my passport...

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