Monday, October 13, 2008

Work Interferes with Running

The past week has been very hectic at work. I missed several scheduled runs and the ones I did do were full of stress and anxiety. Don't you hate when work interferes with running? I suppose work does come first...without a job and money I wouldn't have shelter, food, drink, clothes, etc. Funny how that works! This week is still busy, but more manageable. I'm a bit tense about the upcoming conclusion of the Illinois Trail Ultra Grand Slam this Saturday (Oct 18 at the Farmdale race). Personally, I'm not ready for another ultra. My legs are still tired from the Hobo 50K a couple weeks ago. I think work stress and lack of sleep have delayed my normal speedy recovery. As the coordinator of the Grand Slam, I'm a little worried about the awards for the Slam. I HOPE they are ready by Friday! For those who read this blog, you'll be in the know...I ended up getting t-shirts for the Slammers. I struggled for waaaaaay tooooooo looooooong on what to get and how much to spend. Plaques? Mugs? Crystal awards? Medals? Engraved rocks? Shirts? Hats? Specially crafted art work? Anyway, I decided the award should be something that helps advertise the race series (others could see it). That means something that would be displayed to many like-minded individuals. Clothing seemed perfect. It's a good quality cotton shirt--perfect for wearing after a run or on the weekend doing chores. I ordered sizes based on registration selections for the Farmdale race shirt. Dave gave me his final roster for the 33 mile event. I double-checked shirt sizes with my Clinton Lake stats and only found 2 discrepancies...I used Dave's more recent data.

We have 19 of the current 20 Slammers signed up for Farmdale. [CORRECTION: We have all 20 Slammers still in contention!] If you finish, you'll get your Farmdale finisher award plus a Grand Slam t-shirt right at the finish line! I'd like to have photos of each Slammer too--maybe with Dave and me at your side and you holding up the Slam shirt. We'll see how that goes. I plan to run hard at Farmdale so I hope to beat all of you to the finish line (OK, not Ellen or Matt or Kevin or Mike or...). I do plan on waiting for the LAST Slammer to finish so I can be there to award your shirt and take your picture. So don't dilly-dally out there. The overall male and female champions will get an extra award in addition to their shirts. Hope none of them is flying...I'd hate to carry it onto an airplane. Right now, Ellen and Matt are well ahead of the pack, but anything can happen.

Soon after Farmdale, I'll head home and pack for my American Hiking Society volunteer vacation to Mammoth Cave National Park in KY. Jeff (my "coach"), Tom (designer of the Slam t-shirt), and I will drive down to KY on Sunday morning to help build new hiking and running trails in the park. I think we will work on some erosion issues too. It should be fun. I plan on getting in some hiking and running while we are there. If all goes well, I'm already eying the volunteer vacation in the Virgin Islands next!

Once I return from the work-vacation, I'll send a web survey to all the Slammers about how we can make the series better next year. Should we have 5 races and you do 4? Should we have a volunteer component (run 3, volunteer at 1)? What awards would be preferred? Something to remember, you didn't pay anything extra to be part of the Grand Slam. Any ideas you have for change should be reasonable and feasible to implement. No solid gold statues as awards! The race directors didn't increase the entry fees or add a surcharge for those "signing up" for the Slam. You were automatically entered by running the first race in the series (Clinton Lake). I hope the "no extra fee" stays in place next year. I also hope this Grand Slam stays together next year. I'm confident all 4 races will still exist and all 4 RDs will opt into the Slam idea again. We shall see.

Good luck to all the Grand Slammers running the Farmdale 33 mile trail run. See you in a few days. For anyone wanting to reward the coordinator of the Grand Slam for all of his hard work, feel free to offer me a beer the next time we run or eat together. Of course the real hard work is directing an ultra feel free to reward any of the 4 Slam RDs with a beer too. I suppose that entitles me to 2 beers!

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