I was the official tagger alonger at this year’s 100 on 100 this past weekend a few weeks ago. It’s really hard to describe and I always sucked at writing about Loopmeets so I’ll just tell you a bit about it. This year the team was fivestarks, Apple Pie, the incorrectly named Slow Running and Pat representing the OG, and Gonzo Runner and Paige bringing in some fresh (and very fast) blood.
Fivestarks had made arrangements to pick Gonzo Runner up from Newark Airport on her way to Vermont. She graciously offered to let me start my tagging along there. It was a nice ride up. I love hanging out with these two and usually catch about half the NJ references. I haven't seen Gwen since the NJ half and Steve since Peachtree last year so there was a lot of catching up. I was supposed to be studying a little on the drive (more on that later) but I wound up chatting with the two of them with my book open on my lap the whole way up. You would too if you had been there.
I’ll briefly recap race day but for the most part if you weren’t there, it’s your own fault for missing it.
Wake up early. Drive. Hop out of the van to cheer. Drive. Hop out of the van to cheer. Snacks. Drive. Cheer. POP stop. Repeat until well into the night.
Of course, along the way, everyone is joking around and having fun. I found out that I am incredibly bad at recognizing our runners from far away. I also found out that Paige, who is married to Pat, is crazy fast and completely fearless. She stayed out running during an electrical storm that had us all hiding in the van and, I suspect, other teams packing it in for the day.
My favorite part of the day happened at night when fivestarks suggested that I run the last leg with her. I haven’t run in weeks because my back went out again and, on a good day, I’m a lot slower than her so I was a little nervous. Plus I was in very retired running shoes and a bra bra not a sports bra. BUT how many times would I be able to run through the backroads of Vermont in the pitch black with fivestarks? (Okay, technically the answer is probably annually but hush)
So after a bit of finessing of the situation and deciding that I was not a bandit – I was a pacer – ignoring the fact that that pace is slower, we were off. Two things – Gwen is really fun to run with, she kept us on a nice clip without it ever feeling too hard or making me feel like I was holding her back. And it was dark. Like pitch black. It was kind of fun on the uphills because getting to the top would be a happy surprise. The downhills were fun too until I’d shine my headlamp out to take a peek and then get intimidated by how steep the hill was.
I’m going to abruptly leave off there because I have more to tell about.
Edit: I am captaining the 2020 team and I have to admit that after a few years of doing this with various people on the team, it really sucks that there are only six spots. I know we say this every year, but can't we have two teams? Please? Maybe a 12 person van with two runners out at once? Or two mini vans but our runners run together so we can still all mix in together? I'm just saying...
So, I am studying to take my GMAT so I can start my masters this spring. I’m excited and scared and I’ll probably have to rent out my place and live someplace cheaper while I’m doing it. That part sucks but I am looking forward to a change of pace.
I pretty much have to relearn algebra and geometry and even a lot of basic math for the test. It’s taking all of my time just keeping up with my prep class so I am going to defer NYC this year. I was behind on training anyway because of my back and don’t feel like I have anything to prove by gutting it out again this year.
Edit: I was really happy about this decision until I was helping my RB strategize meeting up with her people at the finish, etc. Now I'm a little sad that I won't be running it but not sad enough to want to go into it undertrained. Am I soft? Maybe but I'd rather not kill myself trying to finish and then have to come back mentally and physically in time for Atlanta. So, I'm just going to focus on Atlanta.
I have some more plans as far as school goes but I don’t want to say anything about it yet.
Speaking of training. I just haven't had it since 2017. I really need to just commit myself and BE CONSISTENT but between injury, life, depression, weight gain, weight loss, falling off the smoking wagon, depression, getting back on the wagon, trying to maintain actual real life relationships with other human beings, and all the other things, I just haven't had a good season. I know that those are all just excuses but it doesn't help me get past that either, ya know? Sometimes I look back and remember 2017 fondly - waking up before dawn every day, running while the sun came up, that feeling of being on top of things, of accomplishing things, seeing my paces drop, seeing speedwork and hill work and running on dead legs pay off, and I think about how much I want to be back there. But then... I think that that was all I had then. Running could be the most important thing because it was everything. Do I really want to be back there? Really? But if not that then what?