I’ve lost my mind.

Right before heading out to work this morning I received a call from work. “It’s going to be slow today – take the day off.” Cool. That means I can get some chores done (not the fence. Anything but the fence), like register for the Umstead Marathon. Which I just did. And now I’m posting about it. This makes at least three, probably four marathons in 2011, all before mid July. Why oh why am I doing this? Read on, Macduff.

1. Charleston January 15. This course is flat as a pancake without berries, chocolate chips, or bacon chunks. It’s a great opportunity for me to see how fast I can cover the distance. I’m training with the intent to qualify for Boston, but fully understand that everything would have to be pretty close to perfect for that to happen. PS, depending on weather, I might be wearing the aqua socks. Side note: there’s a good chance that my aqua sock races will be faster than my barefoot races because I run faster when it’s cold. I’m sure some might interpret that as I need shoes to run my fastest, but whatevs. I hate the cold more than I care.

2. Umstead March 5. I’m running this one because of peer pressure. And the cool beer glass:

Saved by the buoyancy of citris

This one will definitely be with the aquas – “pea gravel” isn’t fun barefoot, but feels great through a thin sole of rubber. I’m a libertine hedonist first, barefooter second.

3. Blue Ridge April 16. Here’s why:

Blue Ridge Marathon: America’s Toughest Road Marathon from Pete Eshelman on Vimeo.

4. Grandfather Mountain July 9 (I think). This is the wild card. I’ll run this one if I have any fumes left in the tank. Reason? Tradition, I guess. I’d like to try not to bonk next go-round. And since ac and Shannon have convinced me to sign up for Umstead, I think the blogosphere should pressure them to give Grandfather a shot.

Aside from not bonking, the only race I’m focusing on finishing fast as opposed to finishing well is Charleston. The other three are beautiful environments I just want to run in.

So is this all too much? Possibly. Some people run a marathon practically every day. I don’t know what kind of runner I am yet. Only one way to find out – run what I want, how I want, and hope for the best.

OK, enough typing. Time to take the dogs out for a hike.

Awesome and Interesting Links

1. Congrats to Kelly, who finished a marathon with a course designed by a podiatrist who hates barefooters. I think that deserves a piece of art. Yes, yes it does. Any theme suggestions/requests?

2. Over at Logic of Long Distance there’s an excellent post re Training, Playing, and Running.

3. Barefoot Fresca: you’re right as rain, and probably the best barefoot advocate (whether you mean to be or not) out there.

4. Edge.org asks a bunch of smarty sciencey people: “The flat earth and geocentric world are examples of wrong scientific beliefs that were held for long periods. Can you name your favorite example and for extra credit why it was believed to be true?” Hm, I wonder what I would add to the list…

5. Something else to keep in mind when appealing to experts. A very good read.

6. Video of how I spend my day:

That’s not me, obviously, but it’s totally what I do. Seriously.

7. Dear town of Madison: please stop trying to kill my wife. Thanks!

And the winner of the Blue Ridge Marathon entry is…

But first, let me tell you how my day went.

I was planning on running with the Blueliners in Greensboro this morning. Iris was using the car, so it was the truck for me. The truck has a slow leak in one of the tires, so I went to go fill it up. Upon arrival to the air dispensory machine, I realized I forgot the quarters. So I went back home, grabbed the proper coinage, and went back. The air hose let a bunch of air out of the tire, and failed to put any in. So now my tire is flatter. I’ve successfully aired up the tires before, I swear. Foiled, I carefully drove back home, resigned to staying in town today. AND I still have to address the tire issue.

On to the filming. For integrity’s sake, I wanted to get it done in one shot. In my brain that meant no planning re how I was going to wrangle the camera and props. I also had many upload failures because my computer kept falling asleep. It takes me a while to figure things out.

A couple of issues I’ll bring up:

1. That white thing in my hat is a piece of paper. Not sure how it got there, but there it is.

2. Obviously I didn’t need to pre-crumple the paper.Seemed like the right thing to do at the time.

3. Yes, I’m wearing an orange hat and a red shirt.

4. Oh yeah, the big one right off the bat – I’m not announcing the winner of the marathon, although that’s plainly what I said to be what I was announcing. In your minds, when you hear me say “winner of the Blue Ridge Marathon” I want you to add “free entry” to the sentence. Although, maybe the free entry winner will be the race winner too. Who am I to say, really.

5. When uncrumpling the winner (or as I said, “unscrambling”), I hoped the process would be on camera. Not the case. So I could have totally scammed this whole thing. But I didn’t.

6. Why yes, that is a 16 point buck on my hat. I’m quite the accomplished hunter. Hunter of great deals at Kmart, that is.

The final product is an example of what a mess I am without Iris to cross the is and dot the ts.

OK, here’s the winner: