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An interesting week

Posted Aug 17 2009 11:40pm
So, as I mentioned in my last post, I spent this past week back in my hometown of Chester, MT, where I was born and spent the first 18 years of my life. Things have certainly changed since those days. Back then, running was punishment that was inflicted during football practice and nothing more. I hated it. If you woulda told me then that I would someday run a 50 miler, or even a 5K, I would have slapped you upside the head and called you crazy. In any case, the real goal in going back to Chester was to help reduce my mom's stress level as she goes through a divorce. That involves defraying some of the stress onto myself. Fortunately, I have a good outlet for it now: running.

Monday - Rest. Arrive back in Chester. It's been 3 years since I've been there. Not much has changed.

Tuesday - 7 miles. I ran a loop outside of town, stopping by the city cemetery along the way to visit my grandparents' graves. Kind of a weird, morbid thing to include in a run, but whatever. It was interesting that with very little preplanning, my loop ended up at exactly 7 miles.

Wednesday - 5 miles. Ran around town one and a half times or so. Chester is small. It doesn't take many miles to make it all the way around the city limits.

Thursday - 8.2 miles. The first 3.5 or so were pretty much all uphill. I had forgotten the rolling nature of the terrain around Chester. I tacked on a loop on the way back that took me past the high school, the practice football field and the game field (yes, despite it's small size, Chester has two football fields) where I used to despise running so much.

Friday - Rest. This would turn out to be a much more interesting day than I really needed. I had planned on driving back to South Dakota and set out to do just that with my mom in tow (she's staying with us for a little while until everything gets sorted out and stabilized back in Montana). On Thursday evening, I had noticed my truck was running hot and leaking coolant. I took it to one of the two repair shops in town and the mechanic diagnosed it as a bad water pump which he could start working on immediately. By 11:00 on Friday morning, I had the truck back and we were ready to set out. About 100 miles down the road, in the middle of nowhere, the transmission suddenly went out. I was able to shift into the gear positions, but the gears just weren't there when I released the clutch. Of course, this happened in a spot without cell coverage. Before too long someone stopped and offered to give us a ride into Stanford, about 20 miles away. Once we got up a hill, I got coverage again and called a tow truck through 411. The nice guy who had picked us up then took us back to my truck where we waited an hour or so for the tow truck to arrive. Once he showed up, he began making calls to local mechanics who might be able to look at it. Problem is, none of them actually could look at it. Eventually, he found a light duty mechanic at the local tire shop who was willing to take a glance. He did and basically told me what I already knew: something was seriously wrong with the transmission and it would be expensive to fix (the words "cash for clunkers" were mentioned). So, now it was decision time. What to do with my truck and what to do to get us out of Stanford? I knew I had to get back to South Dakota before Sunday because Shannon was running her first full marathon. I also knew that I didn't really want to put a coupla grand into a truck that wasn't worth that much. My first bright idea was to call my aunt and uncle back in Chester, have them ferry my mom's car down to us and then we would continue our journey in it. Only problem was, we had both sets of keys to said car. Son of a.... So, Plan B: have my uncle come pick us up and take us back to Chester and start the trip all over again in the morning with my mom's car. This is what we went with. Our only other choice was to stay in Stanford and wait til Monday to try and get my truck fixed. As for the truck, it remains at the tow truck driver's yard, waiting to be scrapped for parts. Good riddance. So, 9 hours after we left Chester (approximately the same amount of time it takes to drive from Chester to Belle Fourche) we ended up right back in Chester. Son of a....

Saturday - Rest. I had planned on running 1.5 hours, but after the previous day's events, I just wanted to hit the road and put this adventure behind me. We struck out for Belle at 6 AM and made the journey problem free in my mom's good ole '96 Taurus in about 8.5 hours (and much better gas mileage than my old clunker truck....good riddance).

Sunday - 11 miles. After watching Shannon officially become a marathoner (5:06:13 at Leading Ladies, congrats beautiful!!) and going out for lunch, I took off for an afternoon run. Afternoon runs are always kind of iffy for me. For whatever reason, my stomach does not process lunch as well as it does breakfast. I can go for a mid-morning run after eating breakfast with no problems, but my stomach always complains during a post-lunch run. Today was no different. I felt generally horrible the first 3.5 miles and actually turned around and started heading for home at one point. Then, I decided to stop being a weeny and turned back around to continue my loop. I'm glad I did, because the further I went the better I felt and I finished much stronger than I started.

Total - 31.2 miles

A little more of a taper than I intended, but not much to do about it now. Lean Horse is only 6 days away, so I keep telling myself that less is more at this point. Six days....amazing how something so massive can sneak up on you.
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