A Big Thanks to the Cloud Gods

After a little bit of debate, I decided to spare everyone from a fourth consecutive post on the bird haul at Henderson, Nevada.  Since this is June, the annual steam bath was was on the docket.  Hopefully by now, everyone here is familiar with the Steamboat Classic having competed in it every year .. and of course following up with posts about the experience.  Just in case you are new, the Peoria Steamboat Classic is a multi-event race.  There is a 4 mile race which is considered one of the World’s Fastest (with the exception of a small hill at the start, it is basically flat if not downhill the entire way).  In addition, the race also boasts Illinois’ Toughest 15K (translated.. hills).  Guess which one I usually run?

That’s right, no wimpy 4 miles for me.  Way I see it, if you are going to get up early on a Saturday morning, you might as well make it worth it.  That and the fact I LOVE hills and HATE flats.  I know, I know that puts me in the quirky category but don’t forget what usually comes after a big hill… a runner’s best friend, the descent.

Putting on the orange this year would be a little extra challenging.

Linda and I took a two week vacation three weeks before the big race.  Not an ideal time for a runner, but the race season doesn’t leave a lot of openings to schedule play days.  Adding more difficulty, the short races were officially out of the way leading to the middle distances (15Ks and 7 miler) before the half marathon season starts in the August timeframe.  This just meant the luggage was going to be heavier than usual having to add all the running clothes/equipment for training during the vacation.  I think we may have set a record this year for the number of shoes we had to bring along with us – at least we were driving.  There were two other aspects of this vacation that didn’t bode well for proper training.  First of all we were headed into the mountains which takes elevation training to all new levels.  Piling onto that, the spring season out there comes a lot later than it does here in the Midwest (ugh, need to add TWO season’s worth of running clothes).  I did manage to get a multitude of runs in including hotel treadmills, rain runs, cold runs, sleet runs, hill runs and… mountain runs.  The good news is my body was becoming accustomed to running anywhere from a mile to 8,000+ feet elevation.  My friends accused me of “doping” for the big race.  Sure, that is one way to look at it, but there was still a definite concern I’d need one of these below before the end of the race.

Hit the jump to see how the race turned out!

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