Sunday, July 19, 2015

Getting ready for Tahoe

Twelve weeks from now, we head to Lake Tahoe for our fourth visit/running pilgrimage. When I ran the Triple Marathon back in 2003, it was my first attempt at stage racing. It proved to me that I could actually run long distances "back to back", and taught me to start conservatively. Tahoe is a spectacular place to run, a beautiful deep blue lake right on the California/Nevada border, and the series of races has a very fine, laid back vibe.

This year for the second time, I'll be taking part in the Midnight Express Ultra 72, which starts at 9pm and finishes 72 miles later at the same point on the edge of the lake. It is surreal running through a cold, inky black, starry night all alone, and then finishing the last 26.2 hilly miles of the race with 2,000 other Lake Tahoe Marathon runners. I am chronically slow these days, but today's longest yet training run resulted in no aches or pains. Sixty years old now, and still shuffling forward.

Claire is taking on the Tahoe Triple Marathon again for the third time this year, and will be joined by our Austin Rogue Running friend Carolyn. I will crew for them for their first two marathons, before putting on my Hokas and heading off into the night.

For me, running mojo comes and goes. Sometimes I can take it or leave it. Right now, I'm really, really enjoying it. Nice weather is important for me; I'm not much interested in suffering these days. But I'm also inspired and driven by the prospect of running across France once more in 2016, just as I did in 2005. When the Tour de France is on TV (as it is now), I catch odd glimpses of some of the villages and towns we have - and will - run through. It's a wonderful motivator, and I really can't wait to do it again.