We are running the Med City Half Marathon on Sunday. It looks like a big race and a fast course.
I'm not as sharp as I have been this year. I have gained a few pounds, focusing on lower-intensity long runs in the hills. That's ok, as I had planned this summer to be mostly about ultras.
My half marathon PR is 1:13.54. It's within reach, if conditions are perfect and there is a good pack to pull me along. The winning time has fluctuated from a 1:11 to a 1:19, so I could be way behind or way out front, depending on who shows up.
Why do races like this have to start at 7 am? I know it's potentially hot, but still. They could start the marathon at 7 and the half at 9.
In other news, I finished Once a Runner. I had heard a little about it, and had seen and heard quotes that I never realized came from that book. The Girl won a copy of the book in one of her races and it had been lying around. She had gotten to page 108 and then abandoned it.
I have read quite a few books in the last few years, because of my commute and so on. A lot of John Irving and a bunch of easy reads. Once a Runner is not exactly well-written. It jumps all over the place, sometimes going into annoying detail and at other times just ending a sub-plot abruptly. Had it been about NASCAR, I don't think I would have finished it, but it happens to be about running, with lots of cool historical references. The reader sort of knows that Cassidy will end up winning some big race, but the how is a big unknown.
It may be to running what "House of God" is to medicine: few people have actually read the book, but everyone knows the good quotes.
- What happened to Mizer? How can he describe him in such detail and then never re-introduce him in the plot?
- And Nubbins? In any normal book, we would at least have followed his running progression.
- And O'Gorg or whatever his name is. We hear a brief narrative from him, describing Cassidy. Then he is in a race with Cassidy later in the book, but is just mentioned briefly. why introduce him and never use him again.
I'm such a girl. My favorite part of Once a Runner was the love story. Andrea is frustrated with Cassidy's singlemindedness but it's almost like she understands it better than he does. The love story sub-plot is so understated that their breakup is never even described. In the big race, she is the first to recognize him, despite his long hair and beard. When she screams his name at the end is the book's best moment. And you never find out if they get back together or even meet again. Great stuff.