You know the old saying, call me what you want just don't call me late for dinner. Well, yes, I beg you, please don't ever call me late for dinner. But what you can call me is ready to Run the Bluegrass.
My training for the half-marathon next Saturday is officially over. I may go for a short jog at some point this week, but that will be it. One thing I learned when I took 5 days off from running when my grandmother died earlier this month was just how good it felt to run on fresh legs. I don't know how alive my legs will feel when I finish the 13.1 mile course of "gently rolling hills", but there won't be any feeling fresher at the starting line.
Talking about wrapping up my training sounds crazy to me. Less than 4 months ago I ran my first half-marathon. I did it with nothing more than a stroll through the park under my belt as a training program. I simply wanted to run one half-marathon to bond with fellow Megsmilers and pay tribute to Meg and the strength she drew from her faith in God.
That first half-marathon didn't kill me. Believe me, there were several points during the race when I wasn't sure I'd be able to write that. For some reason survival ended up being a good enough reason to sign up for a second race, the upcoming Run the Bluegrass.
Not only did I sign up for another half, I also decided to give this whole training thing a shot. Since January 1 I've run 175 miles and biked another 182. This past week I ran my fastest 5 miles ever in 56:27; just three months ago it was my goal to run 5 miles under an hour. Yesterday I wrapped up my Run the Bluegrass preparation with an 8 mile run.
One of the race honorees at this year's Run the Bluegrass is the horse Curlin. Curlin came into the 2007 Kentucky Derby, a race for 3 year olds, lightly raced. In fact, he didn't race at all as a two year old, which is very rare for Derby entrants. In spite of the inexperience, Curlin was favored to win the Derby. Whether it was the inexperience or the crowded field or a combination of both, Curlin didn't win the Derby. He finished third. But his next shot at a triple crown race was a different story. Curlin won the Preakness. He ended up having a great season and was named horse of the year in 2007.
Now I'm not predicting a Curlin-like performance in my second shot at the big-time. But I do feel more prepared. And the good news is in spite of all the hard training I'm still a few pounds over 220 - so I qualify for the Clydesdale division. It's not the triple crown, but a horse race is a horse race.
Curlin in the 2007 Breeder's Cup Classic
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