Friday, September 28, 2012

House of Bëor

It's Wednesday and I'm off to Switzerland not feeling 100%, but feeling mentally ready for the challenge. I truly have no idea what I'm up against but I'm so excited I can't unfocus.
My throat is still itchy and I don't feel great, but the idea of what and where I'm going are too much and I think they are taking some of those feelings away. I won't run today and probably only once before the race to conserve some legs. I will not waste my trip and I will take in some sites. The work has been done, a little walking and site seeing wont take away from anything.

Hole In The Wall

I made it to Switzerland without any real issues. I didn't know where to go, but that's nothing for me to worry about.
I tried to video document some things along the way and I'll try to add them sooner than later.
I got from Zurich to Bern, and then Bern to Interlaken. No one knew where my hotel/hostel was, so it took a while.
I ended up walking 3k to my destination: Hotel Schönbühl. It was awesome.
I commandeered a bicycle and wanted to check out the course. This was easy bc the whole course was marked with permanent street signs! I rode over the first half the course but never got the first big climb. Like I said, I took some vids and will post them ASAP. I got to one of my favorite places, Lauterbrunnen, which is a mountain side village. Very cool. All the villages have a flag, the village I stayed in had a badass mountain goat on a shield. Cussing gnarly. I love Switzerland. The mountains are almost fake looking. the rise from a few hundred feet above sea level to 14+! Cuss yea!!! I was right in the bottom of the valley.
I hoofed around the town for a while before I met up with Brandy Erholtz. We both got to town a day before the rest of the gang. We chitted and chatted and was great to meet her. She is beyond unreal when it comes to climbing, but is a tremendous person and great fun energy to be around.
We hob knobbed all through dinner, mostly me asking her about the weeks before world championship where the USA women won gold at the USA Mountain Running Trophy.
Dinner was cool and meeting up with Brandy was awesome. I am excited to meet everyone else.
Friday brought an amazing sunrise to the deepest valley on earth (cool fact). Brandy and I joined up for breakfast and to talk about the days events ahead of us. Today, Friday, is when the whole gang will stroll in. We were to meet at the main tent, which was cussing ginormous, to meet/greet and gear up.
Outside the tent we ended up bumping into the rest of the women's team, coincidently, and introduced myself to all: Kim Dobson, Gina Lucrezi, Ashley Arnold. Melody Fairchild would round out the group of ladies and we would catch her that evening.
We entered to tent and noticed Sage Canaday wandering. As an amoeba picking up another, we continued to the main area to meet Jason Bryant. He had all the team gear. Sage's parents were there also (great people) and it was great to meet everyone.
Once a together we divided up all the gear, which was electric in energy and color, and ate us some lunch.
Drinking, peeing, eating and repeating is all I'm thinking about in attempts to refuel to 100%.
After lunch, Jason, Sage (and 'rents) and I went to check out parts of the course. I had a separate agenda also and it was to see the famous Trammellbachfalles (waterfalls).
After seeing the course, everyone else headed back to either run of rest and I went adventuring. I didn't want to miss this natural phenomenon and I got some other great sites along the way. I had to hitchhike my way around, but relied on my boyish good looks and innocent smile. It worked every time.
The waterfalls were beyond what I expected and were unreal.
Hitched a ride back, thought I was going to die bc my driver was a Andretti fan (?) and drove like a pissed off teenager.
In my head: Dear Deities, let me be able to run this race...
Also worked!
I then got back after that adventure to head to the opening ceremony and dinner. We missed the ceremony bc the tent was so big we, along with all the other English speaking countries (Wales, Scotland, Ireland, England) and the Africans, that we were all sitting waiting for the damn thing to start. Hahaha. It was still awesome hanging with all these gnarly Americans and just talk. G dug! Haha. This is where I met Melody Fairchild (sounds like an actress) who is amazingly humble and great.
The night was late and the ladies race the next day. Very pumped to see their race and root for new friend.

Odd Timing

It is the weirdest thing. All this self righteous confidence and all the miles and all the runs that served one purpose were challenged incredibly when I woke up on Monday. I woke feeling more awful than I can remember. My throat was on fire and I couldn't believe this was happening. No words can describe the utter fear of how my body felt. I had the thought that I might not make it to Switzerland.
My doctors was closed, so I had to deal with urgent care. thank goodness the doc on duty liked my idea: give me so many cussing meds to destroy this bacteria ASAP.
I leave for Switzerland in less than two days and I am beyond myself. My whole race plan is out the door. Strep throat can suck a penicillin cuss!
Monday and Tuesday were complete isolation days and drinking of fluid days. I peed every 20 minutes, and I was on a new challenge besides running. 500mg of penicillin 3 times a day. Nows the time to see what made of.


Keene State Alumni race:
This used to be a race between the college and former collegiates, but now has turned into a fairly large preseason meet. It really didn't matter who is there, the shape I'm in, I'm going to run well.
I looked at this two different ways. One, it was a race, but two; it was more "us" (alumni) vs. "them" (college). The KSC team was looking good coming out of the summer, but comparatively they were a man with no arms: can't hang. AND, no one can be sour about that comment bc as it turned out, no on from KSC hung with 30 secs... But they did get some race experience with dudes (mostly me) from out of this world.
There was some, "who's going to be the top guy," bullshit, but that was all wasted words: everyone cussing knew.
The race plan was one of two things: go out in the front or just chill. I chose to just chill while on the warm up. When the gun went off, I slowly went to the front and ran my pace. As it turned out, that pace put me comfortably in the front and by myself for 2.79 miles. Two MIT nerds caught me with less than a quarter to go and it sucked to only have one gear.
With other races just been completed and accolades laid upon us I now say this: I was 3rd in the KSC PreSeason Invitational Friendly 5k, but 1st in the Alumni Race! Hell yea. Hahaha.
We then went to the legendary Pete Thomas house and had a BBQ, or a CharBQ...
The next day we hustled out 14 at my place and I ended the taper week with 66 miles and an itchy throat...

Where The Wild Things Are

It was unsure if people were going to live without my updates, but low and behold (or however that cussing saying goes) you managed to breath. You managed to eat and live...
I left off a while ago but did some sweet cuss along the way. I'll do my best:
Wednesday 8/29 - I went to Grafton and hit up the single track 7 miler. I was full taper mode and wanted to have a solid 5k showing amidst my marathon/mountain training.
Thursday 8/30 - 3 mile hill tempo.
Friday 8/31 - low key 4 miler. The Keene State Alumni race is the next day and I wanted to do my thing.

Tuesday - And Then There Was Rest

Today was the rest day. I had school, which was meetings all day, then practice (practice?) and then I headed home to run. I was tired from the change in routine, but managed 10 out behind my house with a finish down the switchbacks. It took about 38 minutes to feel ok and slowly loosens up from there and finally felt relaxed and stretched out the last mile.
The run was perfect and filled the roll of recovery.