Here's the question of the week: why would any person willingly go 40 hours without sleep and more than 8 hours without food while hallucinating vividly at 3 o'clock in the morning during a run in the backroads of Vermont?
The answer? For fun, of course.
Because this is more or less what me and 13 friends did this weekend. 12 runners and 2 van drivers competed in the Green Mountain Relay, a 200-mile competition throughout Vermont's most civilized cityscapes. Our overall time and place were not what we would have liked, but under the circumstances, we all did fantastic and it was definitely a weekend to remember.
Sure, most of the relay itself was oppressively humid and hilly- but that just made it all the more fun. Knowing your teammates were suffering the same dehydration cramps and bowel explosions you were didn't make your own issues any more bearable, but at least it prevented excessive complaints (though, of course, teenage boys will go to great lengths to describe their poop-- this phenomenon cannot be avoided). The exhausting weekend capped off a 91 mile training week for me, which was significant because it was the first training week that I have ever followed a set schedule. In this case, the schedule was written by Bruce, my new coach, and it was a cycle I really liked. In addition to my relay legs (averaging about 6min pace on brutal terrain at weird hours) I got in two quality days this week- one, on Tuesday, was 4x5min on, 4 minute off, where I averaged 5:35s for 9 miles and was running the "on" parts at an averaging of about 4:50/mile pace and the "offs" at about 5:50/mile, all of this barefoot on the grass. On Thursday I had a pretty good 12 miler, working down to just under 22 for my last 4 (rolling) miles.
All in all, it's been an exhausting, travel-filled, high-quality week. Now I'm just trying to make it to a reasonable bedtime to try to restore some semblance of normalcy to my confused body. I've got about another 3 weeks to train hard for my 10-mile fitness check at the Blessing of the Fleet and already I'm getting excited to race. Have a good week, everybody. I'm going into coma-mode and if I must reached, I recommend you bring a large brass section to help wake me up.