Tuesday, October 04, 2011

A Prelude To Grindstone

The weather in Swoope, Virginia- home base of this weekend’s Grindstone 100- is forecast to be spectacular from now all of the way through next week.  Low temperatures are forecast to be in the mid 40s at night and highs in the low to mid 70s during the day with clear skies.  The leaves should have begun their turn by this weekend as well.  What better conditions can one hope for?  For me, Grindstone offers new trails as well, which is very nice.  Nope, I have never run the mountains in that section of the George Washington National Forest.  I used to car camp quite a bit on the mountain top meadows of Reddish Knob in my college days but other than that I haven’t experienced much of that general area.
I can’t say that my training and running sense was great during September- it was kind of touch and go actually.  For various reasons that I do not care to delve into at the moment, my attitude towards running and training had briefly lost its luster.  I sort of clung to the idea of getting in runs and tried focusing on Grindstone but throughout this process I couldn’t help but feel used up and unmotivated, as my recovery from Leadville lingered longer than I had originally anticipated it might.  Fortunately, my head game has come around; my legs, too; I feel reinvigorated and ready to race.  Really ready.  Like, Wardian-style ready!  No pacer.  No crew.  Just me and the mountain.
I’m looking forward to new trails, a new race, camping and running in excellent fall weather and a bit of competition among friends old and new.  There may be live race updates on the race website beginning Friday at 6pm but I am not 100% sure about that.  Looking forward to seeing everyone on Friday!


  1. Go NEAL!
    I think your lackluster training over the past month will have you raring to go, and well-rested at Grindstone.
    Have a blast out playing in the woods.

  2. Neal!! We were out on the Gstone course on Saturday (at TWOT, which you and Gaby must run if you are to stay in the VHTRC good graces). The trails are dry, somewhat slick in places with all the ROCKS and the leaves are falling. It is a beautiful, runnable course. Too bad you will get to Reddish Knob in the dark b/c the views to WVA and beyond at dawn are incredible. I will be at the start Friday night and look forward to following you on the live webcast. Better wear your VHTRC or WUS shirt or else!

  3. Good luck, Neal. This is your home state- go rock it! And you're not undertrained, you're just well-tapered.

  4. Sophie, give some love to Neal for me at the start -- I unfortunately won't be able to make it to Grindstone. First time I'll not be at one of his races :(
    GO NEAL!

  5. Yes, I will be a tapered, home-state running, lost babe- sans Gaby crewing- in the woods, finding comfort only in my crimson WUS tee.