Little Su 50K, Little Su 50K, oh, what did I do?

My apologies, but I must first interrupt this posting for a moment of silence.

My beloved iPod Shuffle has died.

RIP, my lovely iPod

My sister gave me this iPod almost five years ago and I’ve run with it in Seward, Homer, all around Anchorage (except on the trails; I never run with music on the trails), Nebraska City, Philadelphia, northwest Pennsylvania, Whidbey Island, Seattle, Portland and Hawaii.

I logged thousands of miles with The Band, Prince, Sheryl Crow, The Wallflowers, U2 and even Patsy Cline (oh, how I love you, Patsy Cline). I rarely changed my playlist. I listened to the same songs over and over until they became as familiar as my breath.

Earlier this summer, my iPod started to falter. Sometimes it wouldn’t turn on. Other times it played the same song over and over and over again (once, I’m ashamed to admit, it was Toni Basil’s Mickey, remember that? “Hey Mickey you’re so fine, you’re so fine you blow my mind, hey Mickey.”)

Two weeks ago, it died altogether, bless its little technical heart. I shall miss it. We had quite the times together. Thank you for the miles, little blue iPod.

Now back to running news. Lookie this:

Dear Cinthia,

Congratulations! You are now registered for 2014 Susitna 100 or Little Su 50K. Please check the event’s official website for updates:

Beautiful, no? P.S. Thanks for letting me steal borrow your Susitna Race photo, Ron Nicholl, and I’ll see you in February.

It seems I’ve somehow registered for a 50K run through the frozen Alaska landscape in minus zero temps. I blame the fact that I interviewed various racers for an upcoming story in Alaska Magazine  and they all made it sound so damned fun, and so damned easy.

 I also blame this woman.

Sorry, Karen, I had to steal borrow this photo because I know I won’t be writing the same caption under my race photo at the halfway point: “Halfway and loving every second.” (Please!) Source: Karen and Matt Kidwell.

Yes, Karen from the la chanson de ma vie blog. (I’m not sure what that means but I pretend that I do so that I don’t feel stupid.) She and her husband Matt ran the race two years ago and loved it. She’s also much, much faster that I can ever hope to be, and much, much younger and loves winter much, much more.

Nevertheless, I signed up. And now I’m in. So that’s that.

I think the real reason I signed up is because I feel in need of a challenge. I’ve met my goals for this year (most of them writing, not running, related) and feel the need of push myself toward something new, something to stretch my outlook and force me to stare eyeball-to-eyeball with my own terrible limitations.

So naturally I chose stumbling through clumpy snow in ridiculously cold temps while racing farther than I’ve ever attempted as my challenge.

This race scares me. The cold scares me. It digs down inside my psyche. It does terrible things to my mind. Even though I’ve lived in Alaska for almost 25 years, I’ve never fully adapted to the winters. I don’t do cold well. No matter how warmly I dress I become cold the minute I stop moving. (A voice in my head says, “Well then, Cinthia, don’t stop moving.”)

So, for what it’s worth: I am now, gulp, officially training for a 50K.

Big cheers: A huge, huge shout out for Ali over at Ali On the Run, who is racing the New York Marathon today, despite a trying year of Crohn’s health problems. You go, girl! (Read her blog if you have the chance. She’s an amazing writer, and her honesty will tug at your heart.)

P.S.: I fear that I’m hooked on The Sopranos DVDs. I’m already on Season Two.

Happy running, reading and DVD watching, everyone.

8 thoughts on “Little Su 50K, Little Su 50K, oh, what did I do?

  1. Mary

    My new iPod also started playing the same song over and over, but at least its not that one! Ha. I hear you on the goal thing. I've planned my next long distance hike already. I wish I had the guts to do the Su, but I don't.


  2. EB

    My condolences about your iPod. I'm sure it's in a better place now. I fear mine isn't far behind.

    Congrats on the 50k registration! I'm thinking about trying my first early next year (minus all the frigid Alaska stuff). I have no idea how you are going to dress for it!


  3. Karen

    The scariest goals are the ones most worth chasing. You've got a huge advantage being to train through the winter and find your perfect outfit and what water system won't ice up. Also, since I'm coming up for the Little Su, I think it's only fair for you to come run one of our Redwood races sometime. 🙂

    Condolences on your iPod. Buying a new Shuffle is pretty easy, but it takes forever to add a good playlist. I've got the pink one and I listen to it in the same way you do…over and over again.


  4. Cinthia

    I know! Can you believe Ali! She ran a sub-4 hour marathon after being sick for over seven months and doing zero training during that time. She totally rocks my heart, I swear. (P.S. An iPod virus–too funny!)


  5. Cinthia

    I am totally running one of your Redwood races sometime. It's on my list, truly. And guess what? MM bought me a pink iPod last week. Now we have matching shoes and matching iPod. This is too scary. (I'm listening to it now as I write at the library. Prince is singing about purple rain, hee, hee.) Cheers and happy running.


  6. Cinthia

    How cool! You might run a 50K too. I think it's catchy, hee, hee. Maybe we could switch places, and races, okay? I'll run in the Atlanta warmth and you can brave the Alaska chill. Sounds fair, no? Cheers and fingers crossed for your iPod.


  7. Cinthia

    You are smarter than I am, Mary! And the funny thing is, I've never much enjoyed hiking but while injured this past summer I hiked a lot and am kind of hooked. There's something to be said for slowing down the pace and savoring the views. Plus easier on my old body. Cheers and happy writing,


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