Sunday, July 1, 2012

Oh Boy! Here we go again!

Flashback to 2009. Danny plans to run the Vermont 100 on 25 miles per week training. 21 hours later? Danny DNF's at 88.6 miles. Suffers an embarrassingly long ride back to the start from a volunteer who can't help asking: "You look pretty good. Whatcha dying from?" Right about then it felt a little like... shame. As Lance Armstrong is most famously quoted saying: "Well, I guess if a person never quit when the going got tough, they wouldn't have anything to regret for the rest of their life... I'm sure this decision won't haunt you forever." 
After having to live down the 88.6 moniker Amber had labeled him for a year, he decided that he could seek redemption and solace by completing the Leadville 100. That proved to be a temporary bandage over a still open and fresh wound. While soothing for a little while, the VT100 DNF remained fresh in his mind every time that he traveled a little too far on I-89 or stared at the NH map upside down. Nothing could pacify his need for true redemption: attempt the race again and leave nothing behind. So he signed up for the 2012 race and took most of his other races off the table so that he could focus on actually training for running 100 miles.

Flash-forward to the Present: Today is July 1st, nineteen days until Danny toes the line for the second time in West Windsor, VT. Three years ago, Danny had raced three marathons and a fifty miler in preparation for the race. Admittedly, he may have had minimal weekly mileage stats but at least was getting in long runs. Today, he completed his longest run since the Cleveland Marathon and it was only 13. In fact, in the month since Cleveland, Danny has posted weekly mile stats of: 2.5, 17, 22, 10 and 32. Oh boy. Those numbers looks eerily familiar. What Danny is counting on pulling him through the race is not necessarily a stellar preparation but the confidence that he could have drawn a lot deeper into the pain cave than he did three years ago. He quit at 21 hours with only 11.4 miles to go! He had nine hours to cover less than 12 miles. A slow crawl would have brought him in under the cut-off. And yet he quite. Shame, shame on him. This year will be different. It'll take a little more than some thrown up ramen noodles and aching quads to get him to not finish. 19 days and 30 hours and he expects to finally close this wound forever. 

Up Next:  Danny: Vermont 100(July 20-21), Amber: Ironman Lake Placid(July 21). Amber is in the running to qualify to the 70.3 World Championships. Read the second part of her race report here

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