Marathon Countdown

And just like that, it's September.  If that's all it took to get some decent rain, I would have turned the calendar weeks ago.  We woke up Saturday morning to sheets of rain, thunder, and lightning which repeated itself again that afternoon and evening.  Just in time to wet down the trails for the marathon.  Hopefully the weather holds on Saturday while I'm running, but then I'm ready for fall and winter.  I can't wait to get back on the mountain bike and go for long rides in the changing colors before transitioning to winter sports.

I'm as ready as I can be for the marathon.  I'm confident that I'll finish and make all the cut-off times, but I'm not aiming for any other goal than trying to enjoy the experience.  After slacking off during the Tour of Utah, my last 3 weekends have revolved around training runs.  First up was my longest run yet at 20 miles.  I was nervous and had a couple escape routes planned, but knew I had to complete the run in order to mentally prepare for the marathon.  I started early and since I was by myself, treated the run a bit like an adventure stopping to take photos and text Terry every hour or so with an update.  I haven't done a trail run with music since my accident a couple years ago.  I didn't have music the day I tripped and tore my shoulder apart, but I  still get nervous when mountain bikers are coming up behind me and I don't look back any more so need to rely on my hearing.  Needless to say, when you are out on a quiet trail for that long, your mind wanders and you think about everything.  I didn't retain much but it was entertaining to follow my thoughts as I clicked off the miles.  A nice evening of recovery followed by a recovery road ride on Sunday and I was feeling like maybe this marathon would really happen.
6 Air Balloons over Park City - good vantage point from the trail - bad air quality due to fires

Mile 17 of 20 - Running under another chair and ski slope
20 Mile Dust

The big event for the work week was the Montana Tech Social at the Bees game.  I am the Utah Alumni Chapter Chair for my college and we put on a few events each year.  We had close to 30 attendees and it was good to see everyone.
Montana Tech Alumni - pretty social group for a bunch of engineers
On Friday night, I was feeling a bit cocky and missing my bike, so went for a short ride even though I was joining Emily S for a 14 mile run on Saturday morning.  She is a very fast runner but just wanted some time on the course, so she ran behind me and kept my mind occupied with stories from her recent trip to Colorado.  I had to walk more than I expected, probably due to cycling legs, but finished relatively strong.  Since Brent was out of town, Emily joined Terry and me on Sunday for a long road ride.  Again, other than a couple blisters, I was encouraged with my recovery especially with a couple days on the bike.
Dinner on Main Street - the best part about trail running is the beer
Another big event was scheduled for this week with dinner and a private concert with friends.  They are members at one of the many Park City golf course communities and each year, they have an end of the summer celebration.  We were fortunate to attend and had a great time.  I didn't know what to expect, but Styx can really put on a show and we stayed down at the stage all night.
Styx Private Concert - I recognized 1 song, but Terry knew them all
Since Terry is still recovering from his back injury, he sold his entry to the Park City Point 2 Point race to our friend Rob.  Sharon and Rob arrived from Boise Friday evening and we had a packed weekend.  I went to the pre-race meeting with Rob and then got up early with him for the start.  Good practice for next year when Terry and Christian race.  I crewed at the 1st stop at Deer Valley, then drove home for lunch and then back with everyone to see him come thru Park City before heading to the Canyons.  Unfortunately, he got stuck in the afternoon rainstorm and thinking ahead to this week's Master's Nationals events, called it quits just as the lightning started.  I'm sure it was a tough call, but a good decision.
Rob leaving 1st Stop - Muddy but Sunny
Waiting for Rob at 2nd Stop - "The Injured & Diseased Support Crew"
* Sharon (shoulder), Terry (back), Christian (Big C), Chad (Leadman pains) *
I didn't have time to run on Saturday, so joined Corrie on Sunday with plans to run from the Canyons to home.  My allergies had kicked in on Saturday and were worse on Sunday. I hoped that being away from the dogs and sagebrush and running in the aspens would help, but I started wheezing as soon as we started and had to back off.  I told Corrie to go, then started walking and waiting for my medicine to help.  By the time I finished climbing, I was starting to breath easier and finished the 10 mile run home.  We finished up the day with a quick trip to Patagonia and a Birthday BBQ next door.
Trail Run View - Fall is in the air and the colors are changing!
We said goodbye to Rob, Sharon, and the dogs Monday morning, then I headed into Park City for the Miner's Day activities with Kelly, Corrie, and the kids.  After the parade and lunch, I got home in time for a road ride with Terry and then the weekend was suddenly over.  Now the official marathon countdown is on.  I've got a sore quad thanks to an almost fall on Sunday, but my lungs feel much better.  It's go time.
Waiting for Miner's Day Parade - Main Street