Well, my goal race of the season is almost here. It has been weird reading other runners' blogs with the "year in review" type topics being discussed since for me the real year will be over before my running year. So, after the race I'll do a wrap-up of my year and plans for 2008....
Judy and I had an uneventful drive down to Phoenix from Colorado. We split it up over 2 days and spent some time in Flagstaff walking around the historic downtown area. They have a huge metal pine cone hanging from an old hotel that is dropped each New Years Eve (Flagstaff is in the middle of a huge Pine forest which is part of the Coconino National Forest).
We drove straight to the race site, arriving about 4 hours into the first day's races. It was good to spend a few hours out there and just get a feel for the surroundings. I was able to jog a few laps to see what my initial goal pace felt like (a lot better than it does at 7200 feet btw!).
A nice touch, since you see the same runners so often, is that each runner's bib includes their name, and is worn on the back so you see who it is as you pass. A lot of familiar names which I can now associate with a face, or at the very least a back.
This morning, we drove into Phoenix itself and went to Squaw Peak. I lived in Phoenix right out of college for my first job back in 1991 and used to run and bike a lot in the various mountain parks. I wanted to show Judy at least some of the areas I remembered. The city has grown tremondously in the last 16 years but the trails were still the same. Judy ran for about 75 minutes and I walked around some.
I haven't been nervous before a race in a long time, but I'm a little stressed for this one. It is just such an unknown since I'm looking at about a 50% longer distance than I've ever covered before. I've had several really good races in 2007, but this one will set the tone for how I feel going into 2008.