13.1- 0:45 (7:39)
Monday, May 27, 2013
Running North, South, East, And West: What Else?
When you are pursuing a specific challenge within a specific time limit, you gotta do what you gotta do. In my case (reaching the sun) means driving around no matter what or where. I am about to finish my 52 Half Marathons in one year, so go figure.
On Sat May 18, I drove to the EAST side of the mountains, 190 miles, 3 hours, accompanied by a friend. The race: Sage Rat, a point to point Half Marathon from Sunnyside to Prosser. As I used to live in this side of the state I felt the nostalgia of the dry country and the well-known vegetation (or lack thereof?) It was a hot day for Seattleites standards and I had nothing but to accommodate the pace to avoid overheating. I learned in the Moon Run race last year how to run in the heat, and it pays off. For the first miles I maintained a comfortable high 9ish pace, and at mile 7 felt acclimated and I was able to push it then. The strategy worked again and I had a very nice negative split (splits below). The finish line was fantastic, a lot of great food, gigantic medals and a cute sage rat medal for division winners. I got second in my age group with 1:58:46.
I drove back immediately after to the WEST side not to home, but to the capital, Olympia. Noteworthy to mention that I was distracted talking to my co-pilot and took I-90 East. Yes, this Goddess of directions (because I am indeed pretty good at it) made a huge mistake and had to drive 26 miles each way to come back to the junction of I-82/I-90W. We laughed and decided to see it as “a couple of marathons” in our way.
We stayed at The Governors hotel and that was the treat of the weekend: Just to slide the balcony door of our room, and we could literally jump to the finish line; so worth it. We picked up the packet, had dinner and went to bed, but the best of all is that I could sleep in till almost race time. Only needed to get up, get ready, and get out of the hotel. How good was that?
The race was fantastic as always, but without rain this year. Last 2 years had been pouring (which I love, BTW). I finished strong with an 1:55:40 and got 3rd in my division, a nice plaque that couldn’t be handled to me right away because they messed up with the bib # and chip, and had me as a Robert, male 51. They promised to mail it.
Following weekend, on Sat May 25, was the turn to drive SOUTH: 180 miles (3 hrs again) to St. Helens, Oregon for Race Against Child Abuse. It was a small local race for a great cause, and again what made it worthy was not the additional race to pile to my stats, but the amazing ladies I met: The Honey Badgers of Oregon. After chatting and getting to know each other, we started together the race as a nice female six-pack (yes, we all look that good too.) The course, designed by some of these ladies was gorgeous. A portion of the course ran by my beloved favorite river in the world, my Columbia River, and then about 4+miles in the woods, in a beautiful mountain setting. Did I mention “mountain”? Yes, we had a 2-mile climb that was absolutely beautiful. We started to spread about mile 4 but seeing the girls in the out and back was great. One of them, Christine, is my age, and she not only got the division, but was the overall female winner with a strong 1:51 in that challenging course. I ran the course in 1:58:06
And on Sun May 26 I drove NORTH to Abbotsford, Canada, for Run for Water, another super awesome Half Marathon, worth, worth of doing, supporting Ethiopia's communities. It was very well organized, great course, amazing volunteers, great medals, and the best food EVER. Chocolate milk, bagels, bananas, oranges, PB, jelly, boiled eggs, the most delicious yogurt with pistachios, other nuts, and fruits; you name it. The race occurred under my favorite weather conditions: 52F, overcast, zero wind, and non-stop rain. I love to run in the rain as you can’t believe. I couldn’t get wetter. I finished 4th place in the division with 1:51:11.
Race #207: Capital City, Olympia, WA
Race #208: Race Against Child Abuse, St. Helens, OR
Race # 209: Run For Water – Abbotsford, Canada