Sunday, October 28, 2012

He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother

I ran a couple of short runs after my St. George marathon and felt fantastic. My quads were never sore after the 3,000-ft decline race, and my calves felt the effect just a tad. My conclusion is that my legs’ training was perfect: hills sprints, high-speed downhills every three/four days, legs extensions at the gym three times a week. All paid off.

I was ready for a race comeback as I honestly believe I couldn’t race my marathon, I simply ran it. I had Poulsbo Half Marathon scheduled for the week after the marathon which was part of the Silver Strider Grand Prix. I needed the run for my hunt of the Half Fanatics Sun status by February. However, I was hesitant of running it as my brother Freddy, who I haven’t seen for 9 years, was coming to town with his wife, Nelly. As one of his main hobbies is photography and that’s what he wanted to do during his 10-day stay, I found the way to make it work. I told him: “I have a race in a town founded by Norwegians that is really pretty. If you want to come with me you need to get up very early, we'll leave at 4ish and drive around the Sound (the ferries don’t start early enough). While I run you can wander around downtown; then we can visit Chief Seattle’s grave located just minutes from the race, and take the ferry back home”.  He, as a very easygoing person, said: YES.

So, that’s what we did. We left about 4:45 am, drove down South to Tacoma and back North to Poulsbo, all along Puget Sound.  The memories I had from this race were a long and hilly 20-miler run I had to do in my preparation for New York marathon in 2010. I remember I ran the Half, grabbed my medal and continued the marathon course for 7 more miles, but it was so hilly that I turned around at some point and to finish the 20 miles I ran the last mile in the school parking lot for my entertainment and pain. This time those 7 miles were not scheduled!

My brother Freddy and I before the start of 2012 Poulsbo Half Marathon
The course was changed since the last time I ran it. We had to do a loop, twice around the school what I found annoying. Then we went on the course I remembered. The run was good with its hills up and down. When we approached downtown I was hoping to see my brother and indeed he was there. He took a picture of me, and it was so nice seeing him there. 

I continued through more hills with gorgeous scenery. The last 2 miles were uphill; I was running slower than my pace because I was definitely feeling the tiredness from my marathon, but I felt strong. I never felt spent, or exhausted. I had a great race. I clocked 1:55:52, and my brother was there to capture the moment. I placed 4th in the 50-59 division but as the three first ladies were 50 and 51, I captured the 10 points given to the 1st place in the 55 division for the Silver Strider Grand Prix. 

From there we visit Chief Seattle’s grave (Chief Sealth) to pay our respects and then took the ferry in Kingston to Edmonds just a 20 min drive home.
Chief Seattle "Sealth" grave in Suquamish, WA
SEALTH (SEATTLE), Chief of the Suquampsh and allied tribes. Died June 7, 1866. The firm friend of the whites and for him the City of Seattle was named by its founders. Baptismal name, Noah Sealth, Age probably 80 years.
The rest of the week was awesome. I still had my early runs and during the day we did visits around town where Freddy shot thousands (literally) of pictures: Seattle downtown, Pike Place Market, Queen Ann neighborhood, our beautiful Needle, the EMP, Shilshole, Ballard, Fremont,  Gas Works, Lake Union, Lake Washington, UW Campus, Sammamish River Trail, Woodinville Wineries, Mukilteo Lighthouse and beach; Mount Rainier National Park. He and Nelly also had the opportunity to visit with my son Diego, and know my granddaughter Peyton.

I decided to skip Salty’s, the following weekend's race. My brother was leaving that very night and though he would’ve loved to photograph Alki and Seattle from the west side, we decided to spend the whole day with my hubby and a nice lunch at home. The vacation ended with a large file of beautiful memories (and pictures). We drove to the airport without missing on our way, the memorial of our great Jimi Hendrix. 

I love when everything can be combined to make everybody happy: racing, tourism, photography, history, traveling through the Sound on water, visit our natural massive monument Mt. Rainier; in short, to enjoy the magnificent nature of the Pacific Northwest. All this was possible because He Ain't Heavy, He Is My Brother. 
The menu: Ivar's Clam Chowder as first course, followed by a nice Flat Iron Steak cooked by my adorable Hubby, accompanied by a nice radicchio salad from my garden and garlic bread.... and WINE!!!


Anonymous said...

Dang it! I missed you! I live in Bremerton! We could have had a mini bloggy meet up! :)

Anonymous said...

Love U so much

Maria Carolina Cao Perez said...

Feliz Dia del Ingeniero !!!!

Anonymous said...

That sounds like a perfect weekend! And your racing never fails to amaze / impress me. You are FAST girlfriend!