Wow, it’s Friday and there’s so much to process. With a 24-hour adventure race looming on my calendar starting Saturday afternoon, I haven’t really even begun to prepare. No packing, planning or organizing.
But this morning, I did do the one thing absolutely paramount before another big adventure: I headed out in the pre-dawn darkness to run around Lake Bemidji, putting in a little more than 16 miles before work. With the Twin Cities Marathon about 6 weeks away, I need to get in more long runs and this was my last opportunity until next week.
The adventure race will be interesting – a combination of hiking, mountain biking, climbing, hiking, orienteering and who knows what else. I just hope to stay awake and warm. We’ll be only taking gear we can carry with us, so traveling light will be important.
And I’m yet to figure out what to think about all the news about Lance Armstrong, who said Thursday that he won’t keep fighting the doping allegations, and the legendary cyclist having his Tour de France titles striped. I’ve read his book, it’s very inspiring, and I wanted to believe he was nearly superhuman and a clean athlete. He maintains his innocence.
But yet he’s giving up the fight. And, unfortunately, we may never really know if he was using performance-enhancing substances.
Personally, I’d like to know. And I don’t know how to process it: the evidence appeared overwhelming against him this time, although we may never learn how credible some of the sources lined up to testify are.
He’s done terrific things through his foundation, helped tons of people and rallied thousands in the fight against cancer.
But, beyond Armstrong, cycling has been rife with doping scandals. And, quite honestly, I wonder how much of it goes on in other sports, including running. There’s ways around some of the testing, and when you start involving money and prize purses, there’s no doubt that there will be people looking for any edge they can get. Runner’s World had a great story, which I’ve referenced before, about an elite runner who cheated the system until he got caught. There should be no place for doping in any sport, at any level, but its naive to think it doesn’t happen – and it probably happens a lot more than we know.