I have many damn good otgovorki for the delay -
Getting my teeth fixed
Apt hunting/real estate stuff
In process of buying a place-helluva place to be a first time homebuyer huh?!
One job offer after another (Christ - where was I 8 yrs ago..)
Private English lessons
Oh and that thing called a LIFE (a word almost completely absent from my vocabulary during the school yr)
Ok that said - I've only had time for one side trip though I've been here 2 months now. I was going to skip out to Krasnodar a week in July with Sasha because she goes there for work sometimes BUT I was waiting for the final crowns for my teeth.
Anyhow, a couple of weeks ago Dima and I got back from a long run and as I was dealing with the loss of my big toenail (a casualty of Korolev) and he was nursing a swollen ankle that he rolled on the trail, he suggested we go out to Nizhny Novgorod next weekend to run the marathon and visit our friend Vladimir. I thought he was being a smart alec and kidding. Apparently not. OK - but I'm only doing the 10k because my coach will kill me if he finds out! So the next day Dima finds out that the 10 is for 17 and under or 50+ (crap - I'll dye my hair LOL). Ok I'll run the &^&^&^&^##$ marathon BUT only as a TRAINING RUN! That means SLOW like say 3:20-3:30 really SLOOOOOOW!
Later in the week Vladimir told us the winners get a new color TV. Sooooo I began
Just before the start, they had the flag raising ceremony and playing of the national anthem (which has been changed/revised a few times since the fall of the Soviet Union) where they called up previous winners and asked little ol me to do the flag raising. That was pretty cool. It was hot as hell by the 11am
The course was a 2k loop through the town and 2x20k loops on an out and back. I found the course to be mostly flat and fast though many noticed a slight hill in either direction about 1/2 way on the 20k loop. There were lots of groups and school kids cheering us on along the way. I pulled the last 2k under 4:15 (6:45-6:50mi) pace - translation hauling ass! I didn't even run that in the end at Chicago! I finished at 3:09:03 and surpassed many of my Humpy's times by a tad. So now, I'm thinking if I can just go out on a hot as hell day and run a 3:09 just fooling around for fun, I may very seriously have a shot at a 2:50 smthg in Chicago this fall barring colds/bugs from the kids.
After the race they had a HOT shower and nice lunch for us (kasha, soup, bread). I was starving and woofed it down. I eat like a pig here and still manage to get lean. I got my 2nd marathon passport a couple days before the race. See - you never know when you will need that thing! :-) I finished the old one at Belochka. Well - I got the TV and poor Dima got to haul it allllllllll the way back to Moscow!!! So his arms were more sore than his legs. That will teach him to drag me out to a marathon:-) He ran a 3:23 and is threatening to catch me by next summer. He cut about 20 min from his time at Belochka. Therefore, I MUST continue to up the level of my training:-) Vladimir ran about 3:30 as he's injured. He beat me in Zelenograd by a tad last yr. Irina ran abut 4:30. Yes, the haul back involved an hour on the bus from Gorodets, another hour on the train back to Nizhny and another hour on a bus again back to Vladimir's for dinner before we had to catch our night train back to Moscow. Vladimir said it was about 80-90km from Nizhny to Gorodets - WHAT??? *&(*&^ no way that's like going from Wasilla to the south side of Anchorage!!!!! My place in Wasilla is 80km from the airport in Anchorage and in good weather, I make it in about an hour!
Our next PLANNED adventure is the marathon in Tver 29 Aug. That said, the rumors are true...it's really true...oh my God- I'm skipping the HUMP this yr!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!