If Brian hadn’t hustled me out the door this morning, there’s no way I would have made it to the pool to aqua jog. And if I’d known the water was going to be 77 degrees when I got there, I would have thrown a fluffy pillow at him and stayed in bed until 9. I am not fond of cold water. It did make me aqua jog a bit faster than usual though. I almost aqua ran. The old fellow in the lane next to me asked me if I was okay in the cold water and I told him my hatred for aqua jogging was keeping me warm. I figured out that I should treat the water sessions more like swim workouts and that’s helping me keep my sanity. I still have to take a break after two hours though. One can only pretend to be running through the aspens on the way to Twin Lakes outside of Leadville for so long.
Today I got to watch a swim instructor terrify five year-olds. “Were you listening to what I just told you at all?” “OK, there are a lot of things you’re doing wrong right now, but let’s just concentrate on your kicking.” He made a little hypothermic girl cry with a five minute description of when she should take a breath in relation to her arm stroke. Later the Speedo clad guy laid into me about getting a stress fracture. He quizzed me about my diet and my plans for the rest of the summer. I was saved from a longer scolding about racing again in August by the arrival of another young swim lesson victim.
Afterwards Brian and I headed down to Squaw Valley for the Western States pre-race briefing. (Chris tweaked his back on a run this morning and opted to skip the two hours in the car until tomorrow.) I wondered if it might be kind of miserable to be surrounded by all those runners with intact metatarsals, but it was fine. It was more than fine really. It was great to be surrounded by so much pre-race excitement. And I always love sighting famous runners and the briefing was rotten with them.
Here is Brian and Chris’ favorite pre-race briefing story: So the friend we’re crewing for asked us to sync our watches with the official Western States countdown clock. And as we headed to the clock, we recognized a famous runner ahead of us on the path. Now I’ve met this famous runner before. I even bothered them for an autograph. And I would have had to say hello as we passed by on the off chance they remembered me. And suddenly I really didn’t want to do that. Famous was surrounded by friends and my inner seventh grade shy girl took control. I asked Brian if we could take another route to the countdown clock. We made a huge circle, went through a building, I hobbled up a flight steps in my immobilization boot, and we came around a corner — and there was Famous Runner standing under the countdown clock. It gets better. Famous Runner’s friend asked me if I could take a picture of them all standing there. Famous runner couldn’t have remembered me less. Take that shy seventh grade girl.
Some race reports