This post is NOT about anything related to Jeff Galloway, the brilliant theories and/or practice of the run/walk method, speed, or the lack thereof, or even the magical powers of the Mars bar (okay, that last bit's a lie!). It's about keeping the 12 in 12 challenge fresh and inviting. It's about organics. It's about change.
First off, I will admit to being a massive fan of the city of Portland, Oregon. I love the place. Have been there twice to run the October marathon, which has to be one of the best run runs on the planet. The course is interesting, except for the ugly (IMHO) out-n-back into the industrial area. There's always lots of live music and cheering support. It's famous for its post-race food for runners, for good reason. There's so much of it they even have enough to satisfy the back-of-the-packers, as the event winds down. Believe me, that's where I finish, and I've wobbled away both times with more than enough to eat.
The Northwest Portland Hostel is where I've stayed both times. Recently remodeled and expanded, it's comfortable, inexpensive, with friendly, helpful staff. It's also right in the middle of an area of the city bursting with great places to eat, drink, shop, stroll, people-watch, and just hang out. If PDX is on your travel plans anytime soon, set aside at least half of one of your days there, to just chill at Powell's Bookstore. It is, simply, an amazing place. They let you take books or magazines into the coffeeshop and sit there and read them...all freakin' day, if you want. They certainly HOPE you end up buying them, but it's not a requirement.
Initially I was planning on running Portland again this year, as part of the 12 in 12. But, there's been an easterly shift. Way east. We're talking Rochester, New York, and its' marathon on September 13th.
Here's how it played out.
For some reason, months ago, Laura and Karoline found my blog and started following it, as they trained for their Paris Marathon reunion. When I noticed they were following my musings, I started following theirs. In short they kicked butt "over there", thanks, in no small part, I am led to believe, with my full support, to the Mars bars they consumed at that critical 17 mile point. Since then we have been communicating on a regular basis, via blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and the DailyMile.
Heard first from Karoline, who gets to live in Trieste (in THE Italy!). There's a marathon there that she does not want to run alone, so I am working some smoke-and-mirrors magic tricks with my checkbook and credit cards in an effort to get myself there next May.
As if that's not enough, found out via Facebook, that Laura went to the same small liberal arts college as my stepdaugther. That would not normally be anything amazing, but the school in question is in the middle of Ohio, and my stepdaughter was a California girl at the time she picked her college. Then, while catching up on Laura's blog just yesterday morning, discovered that she's pulled the trigger and signed up for Rochester Marathon in September. On the blog she suggested I consider it.
My knee-jerk reaction was that there's no way I could afford to do that, thinking airfares alone would be prohibitive. For fun, though, did some research on the world wide webby thingy and found Delta's fares to ROC are less than Southwest's to Portland!! Who knew? That was all I needed.
I have wanted to visit Rochester for years. Really. Ever since reading somewhere that it had been voted one of the best cities in the country in which to live...or something like that. Now I'm going. Looking forward to handing Laura her Mars bar supply for the marathon, pre-race hugs and post race high-fives. It's gonna be great. I am totally jazzed about running along the Erie Canal.
Thanks, Laura for the inspiration.