The Connection Runners + [running]

When you're racing

"When you're racing," Steve McQueen's character said in the movie Le Mans, "it's life. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting."

I couldn't agree more.

So these days I find myself waiting... ... ... and waiting... ... ... ..for marathon #9, the Mad Marathon in Mad River Valley, VT. The six week gap between races matches the longest hiatus I've had since my 12 marathon challenge began.

Back in October I had circled the Lake Placid Marathon as the ideal June race, but shortly thereafter realized that I'd already purchased tickets for the Grand Prix of Canada, which happened to fall on that same weekend.

Lake Placid would have certainly been a fun, picturesque race, and I would have enjoyed the nostalgia from the 1980 Olympic Games, but running a marathon so soon after Vermont City would have amounted to a really long recovery run. Besides, I am a huge Formula 1 fan, Scuderia Ferrari in particular, and the chance to bring my son to his first F1 race and see Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa and the 'Cavallino Rampante' - the 'Prancing Horse' in action - I simply could not pass up that opportunity. Even though Alonso had a DNF and Massa finished 6th, the winner of the race came from dead last to overtake the leader on the very last lap - so the race itself was incredibly exciting. We had a remarkable time!

In fact, there is a marathon on my "Make it happen" list that I just have to participate in one day - the Maratona d'Italia Memorial Enzo Ferrari in Maranello every October. It is usually the same weekend as the Chicago Marathon, and attracts a large elite showing - last year the top ten finishers all finished under 2:20. I would very much like to run that marathon (along with Rome, Paris, and some other international races) and incorporate the best of both worlds. I understand the Ferrari factory tour is supposed to be extraordinary - not to be missed for any tifosi della Ferrari.

But for now, my focus is on putting forth another solid 26.2 mile effort on the rolling hills of Vermont July 10th, and the six week interval should allow me the requisite rest needed to push for another solid finish time.

Now that I am back from Canada I will look to ramp up my weekly milage, as I only did 20 total last week (an 8 and 12). The only running I did this weekend was a mad scramble for cover as we had torrential rain at the race track - as well as an impromptu dash down a Montreal side street just off of Rue Sherbrooke. It was closed to traffic, but had a speedometer to clock traffic speed set up. The kids wanted to see if it was active, so I sprinted for about 50 yards, and it registered my speed at 20 km/h or roughly 12.4 mph. We all got a kick out of that!