Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Oh Pretty Please

Brian is down in California, heat training or something. I'm not too convinced about his strategy since part of this "heat" training involved not using air conditioning in the rental car until he started sweating during his non-stop drive from Seattle to Auburn. I'm his wife, and he asked me to guest blog and write about Western from my perspective.

I'll be honest with you - I hate this race. More than anything, (oh pretty please) I just want him to finish it this year and come home with a buckle that we can add to our very unorganized collection of ultra running memorabilia. Then maybe, just maybe, he won't have to go back next year. (I wonder if he's second guessing the free reign he gave me to guest post.) My perspective is that Western States has become, for our little family anyway, way too much of an emotional journey and too big of a hooplah. For Pete's sake, I was telling a friend about it today, and I started crying in the middle of Chipotle (Chipotle?!?!) as I shared the moment when Brian came into the stadium in 2006, and I awaited him with tears of happiness - just to have that rush stomped out in a split-second - as he collapsed for the first time and the realization hit me that something was seriously wrong.

This race though has its positive aspects, and for that I respect it. I love the crews that come out with their A-game on: matching t-shirts, posters, babies in arms, and relatives in tow from around the world. I love the volunteers who are super friendly and put in long hours. I love the runners that travel here from abroad to participate in this wild race. I love how Auburn turns out in mass to cheer these passionate runners on all day long. I love the runners that start in Squaw knowing it will be 28 + hours for them, but they're doing it anyway. I love catching up with the friendly runners and their relatives that I've met over the years. I'm excited to see Nikki, and I really hope that her cousin is there with his conch shell. I look forward to seeing Hal and Carly and hope that Hal looks as cute this year as he did gliding to the 2007 finish. And I hope Don Mukai is there; I haven't seen him in a while and he gives good hugs.

So Western States 2009, please, pretty please, smile down on Brian this year (and on me too for my sanity) and let the guy finish!

(Shhh... don't tell Brian, but I secretly hope that he finishes 11th or higher b/c that means that he doesn't automatically get to go back next year. Is that terrible? I've been trying to convince him to try other long races like HURT 100 in Hawaii or the Tour de Mont-Blanc. A girl can always dream...)


Michael said...

Thanks for sharing Andrea! I'm hoping Brian does well too, so he can relax a little come June next year.

Kevin Gosselin said...

Great blog entry Andrea! Let's hope for a safe run this year with a finishing buckle. Once that monkey is off his back life will be more sane for sure. Well, as sane as any ultra house-hold can get ;-)

Dave said...

Good post, Andrea. Good luck to you at the race and please also let Brian know I said good luck to him. I'll be following along online.

--Dave Clumpner

Shannon said...

Andrea - I hope with all my heart that both you and Brian are happy with his experience at Western. I've let out a huge sigh of relief knowing that I am not the only runner's wife who's hoped that their husband's running might take us some place more exotic than logging roads. Good luck to you both!

Susan said...

We are thinking of you both and Brian's pacers...let this be his best race yet!
Susan, Damon and RKO

crowther said...

I am really, really sorry this didn't work out for you this time, Brian.

rpd said...


Thanks for generously sharing your story with me when I came into the store this morning. For what its worth, what you guys do is incredibly inspirational and it is something that I am ever so slowly working towards.


Rogue Valley Runners said...

it was great seeing your smiling faces on the track albeit bittersweet for one. Wish we could've seen more of each other but WR50 isn't too far off.