Something amazing happened this week: Gaby was selected as a Grand Prize winner for JetBlue’s Boston Marathon Extra Mile Contest. Last month she submitted an essay for entry into the contest and won a free 2011 Boston Marathon registration entry, two round trip tickets (on JetBlue, of course) and two nights hotel accommodations. Very nice! (I wonder who she will take with her?) 2009’s Chicago marathon time stood as her qualifier so now the only thing that stands in the way is crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s on the paperwork JetBlue emailed her. Last April Gaby’s Boston Marathon aspirations ground to a halt at mile 18 courtesy of insufferable IT band pain. I witnessed the entire meltdown; it wasn’t pretty. As a matter of fact, it was very sad. I am so happy she now has this opportunity to return to the Boston Marathon. Thank you, JetBlue! Let’s just hope she is recovered from the Bull Run Run 50 mile nine days prior.
Speaking of recovery, a quick update on the running progression, which I am proud to report. Just finished up the most solid week of training so far in 2011. Since Monday I logged 106 miles, including an impromptu fun run/fat ass 50k yesterday, with 6k+ feet of climbing, along the exceedingly technical trails of the Massanutten Mountains, then cherry-topped the week this morning with a nice tempo run in the surprisingly turn-y St. Patty’s 8k in downtown D.C. Therefore, as of this week, my training regimen, I figure, has been elevated beyond base building. Good thing, too, since that is about where I want to be at this point leading up to May. I also noticed a familiar feeling after yesterday’s run in the mountains: I’m getting back a little of what I experienced last year before and during the Slam. Meaning, recovery time is shortening rapidly. Last weekend’s first-run-in-the-mountains-since-November left my quads unhappy for days but immediately after yesterday’s run , preceded by a before-sunrise 20 miler on Friday, my quads felt solid; barely sore, even. Then as the run ended I felt fresh still and easily could have kept running for several more hours. This is good news.
Another bit of good news: Tuesday I depart for New Zealand and am thrilled for the opportunity to experience a new country, culture and demographic of people I have yet to know. I’ll be visiting Auckland and Queenstown, and the outer countryside of each city. A quick scan of Google Earth reveals excellent mountain running options only two city blocks from our hotel in Queenstown. Gee, I wonder where I’ll be watching the sunrise each morning? I’ll see about internet access and try to post a few pictures on the ol’ blog from down under.