For those of you who don't know about the Reverse Ring: It's essentially all the MMT100 single-track fun without any of the road sections (or the southern Bird Knob loop) mixed in. Having previously run the 71 mile, orange-blazed "Massanutten Trail" in clock-wise fashion to qualify for this run (the regular 'Ring' is run on Labor Day weekend), now we get to run the thing backwards in the cold. Lucky us! If you're not familiar with the terrain in the Massanuttens, I think I can sum it up by saying this race is a 71-miler that runs like a 100-miler. Always nice for an early season tune-up!
In other news, I know everyone was watching the Westminster Dog Show in New York last week, right? Well, I bring it up because one of my all-time running inspirations won the whole thing! Some of you may list Olympians like Ryan Hall or legends like Steve Prefontaine as your running role models, but I get all the inspiration and 'coaching' I need from none other than the Scottish Deerhound. Seriously!
I'm sure all of you have your own secret mental tricks you play to keep moving when your body is sputtering like an old Yugo, but if you haven't run with a ghost-dog pacer late in a race yet, I highly recommend. I guarantee my early-season exhaustion will have me conjuring up a pack of them to run with this weekend during the final (un-aided!) 26 miles of the Reverse Ring course!