Friday, December 4, 2009

Running with Ryan Hall and Other Weekend Adventures

A little known fact (unless you're my wife): I am a tremendous Ryan Hall fan!  Ever since he won the Aramco Half Marathon and the New Yorker did an in-depth spread on his development as a runner in Big Bear Lake, CA and eventual run toward the Beijing Olympics, and of course countless other articles and features delving into his life, I was hooked.  God bless Universal Sports (and my dad for sending me the url) and their live, streaming coverage of the 2009 Boston Marathon.  So, imagine my excitement when an e-mail from Pacers arrived in my inbox last week, plugging a run with Ryan and Sara Hall.  Holy crap!  

Apparently, Ryan and Sara are going to be in the D.C. area talking about the recently launched Hall Steps Foundation, and to promote it, they'll be doing a 6-mile run with any runners willing to go lace 'em up and hit the road with them around the D.C. Monuments.  THEN, they'll be doing a meet and greet, signing autographs, etc.  I am willing.
After I calmed down, I went for the magazine basket and flipped through the New Yorkers, Running Times, Economists, and....thank God, the Runner's World issue with Ryan on the cover.  I'll be toting that along with me in addition to a camera while trying to walk (or run) the fine line between avid fan and creepy dude.  One of my friends will be joining me (for both the run and after), so hopefully she can keep me in check.

If this wasn't enough of a thrill for the upcoming weekend, the weather forecast is actually calling for snow tomorrow.  A few days ago, we were looking at 30s and rain, but now, we're "likely" to get 2-4" starting around noon.  With a 15-miler on the agenda, this might spell disaster; however, I LOVE running in the snow, particularly in the middle of the storm. Sure it's a little more hazardous and you have to cut the pace back, but there's something I love about trotting through that "snow-storm" quiet, hearing your footsteps crunching behind you, and seeing the trees turn white.

My original plan was to run on the W&OD trail, a steep, rolling 7.5 out and back.  Instead, I'm trading one steep and hilly course for another: the golf course behind my house.  This gives me the chance to meander along the golf cart path or step off into the grass for a little extra cushion on the joints.  Plus, the course is gorgeous during a snowstorm, and I can bring Mattie along, off her leash.  Doubtful that she can make it the full 15, but I bet I can bring her along for at least one or two of the three loops.

Am I excited for this weekend?  That would be the understatement of the century!  Details to come throughout.  Happy running!

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