Sunday, December 23, 2007

Been a long Time

Sorry that it has been a long time. Sometimes I just don't feel like I have too much to say. That, and I have been incredibly busy as you have probably been too this time of year.

That said, on the running front, I have been trying to increase strength and build up runs to ultimately complete the Capitol Peak Mega Fat Ass in January. Along the way towards capitol Peak, I ran in Yesterday's Pigtail's Flat Ass 50k. It was challenging, wet, and wet and wetter yet.
The day began with Rick picking me up at 5:40 and hitting Starbucks before meeting Linda at the Y and then down to the train station in Sumner to meet Rob and Steve. It wasn't raining yet. I was expecting it to be colder and was dressed for cold. I regretted not wearing shorts because it was warmer out than I had planned on (regret didn't last long). Once at the train station we learned that Steve needed to drive himself so Rob ended up with driving duties.

We checked in and made final clothing choices. I was feeling bad for Rob who didn't have a waterproof jacket and would be soaked in no time. I decided on the gortex jacket as it had begun raining steadily. We headed o the start and gathered together with all of our Y buddies, even seeing Ray who would run the marathon and start a bit later than the ultra.

We were off and when I noticed Rob was wearing a jacket and I was commenting to him on it when I ran right into a pole in the middle of the trail to keep motorized vehicles out. Let's say it left a mark. I shook it off, knowing it would hurt later and kept on going after Linda caught me from falling. A lesson to always look where you are going, especially in the dark and when in a crowded pack of runners!

The first half of the run was wet and I contemplated turning around at the marathon turn around. My hips were bothering me because the entire first half was a gradual uphill. When the trail turned from paved to gravel it became a bit more uphill. Nothing too steep, just 15 miles on a steady incline. Because of the rain, it wasn't long before the water was dripping from my pants onto my socks and into my shoes causing my feet to be waterlogged early on.

Rick decided to make that turn at the marathon mark, but I kept on. We had picked up a runner in our group who wanted to try running a 5/1 run walk ratio that I have been using to keep my ITB at bay. Her name is Vivian. I kept going with her by my side. We passed Steve and Rob on their way back down and then Linda not too far behind. I was really ready to turn around and stop going uphill. After what seemed like forever, we made it to the end of the trail and turned around.

Vivian mentioned she wanted to put on dry clothes at the bag drop area. I really didn't want to wait for her because I knew I would get cold being so wet and I just wanted to keep moving. i had decided I would tell her this once we got to the aid station, but before we arrived, she asked if I would wait for her. I said yes, I felt obliged. It took 5 minutes and I will be removing that time from my overall total. I wasn't happy about stopping. I did end up freezing for a while after that.

I felt good on the downhill and wanted to pick up my pace. I was determined to run the way I wanted to in this run. Slow if I needed to, faster I f I felt good. Now, going down, I felt good and better with a quicker pace. After a while, Vivian said she would try to keep with me until there were 6 miles left. She did, but was behind me about 15-20 feet for a mile or two before that. I was trying to keep a 8:50-9:50 minute pace on the way down between walk breaks. This lasted until I had to go to the bathroom really bad and had to slow down a bit to not wet my pants! I had to wait a while till the next porta-potty. Probably for a mile and a half I had to go and hold it in! The path here was along a main road and there was no where to go! So I suffered for a while, but made it! Best of all, I knew there were only about 3.5 miles to go after the park where the porta-potties were. I decided to skip some walk breaks just to be done quicker. I was ready to be done. I wanted dry clothes on and to eat some real food.

I finished in 6:03, but in 5:58 with the 5 minutes withdrawn for Vivian's clothing change. I am happy with that.

I feel pretty good today. Yes I have some sore muscles but I could go for a slow short run, or a long walk. I will probably run tomorrow morning with Michelle, before the hullabaloo of Christmas eve family dinner preparations begin.

I am looking forward to spending Christmas with my family, sharing time with my parents and brother and his family. I will wake up early and sit by the lit up tree in the quiet with the fire roaring and a cup of coffee in my hand. Enjoying a moment of peace and solitude before the excitement of the day begins.

Through it all, we will take time to remember the reason we celebrate Christmas, the birth of Christ. Who was born to take my sins upon him and pay a debt I could never pay and be my savior. Thank you.

Grace and peace to you this Christmas.