It's a comin' - the Forest Park 50KM, right here in ol' P-Town. I ran it in 5:24 last year and had a blast...well, save for the final 4 miles, when I'd bonked and didn't have time to recover. Yeah. That bit sucked.
It's my first race of the year, and I'm all a-flutter. See, workin' weekend evenings has put a damper on my racing schedule leading up to the fall's 100, so I'm really only able to race twice this summer. All of my other long runs will be solo, or with Gary, Nick, and Charles.
The four of us have run weekly long runs in one incarnation or another, on one or two occasions, all together: Nick, the kid (26...BASTARD) earned the nickname "Three Shits" after a particularly bad instestinal day out on the trails; Charles ran his first 50km with me, not knowing going out that he'd run the entire thing, and Gary, the health-obsessed (in a good way, mind), affable speedster who kindly reigns in his pace for me when we hit the hills together.
I'd never before run with a partner, so having someone say, "Meet you there at 2:00!" sure helps getting my ass out the door (example: I'm running 25 today, solo, and I'm sitting here at 12:15 in my PJs still, writing this post), and holding hours-long conversations ranging from crapping-the-woods-techniques to political discussions to attempting to answer "What is 'God'?" makes the time fly by.
Charles' wife once told him it was "male bonding", and I must agree, when the four of us are out there, it feels very primal, very natural.
You could almost smell the elk herd we're chasing down to feed the village.