Well friends, I am happy to say (write) I completed my first 25K of the season yesterday. I sit here today in large amounts of awkwardness though. Despite my doctor and physical therapist and their insistence nothing is wrong, I can’t use my left leg very well. Luckily there was a guy at the end of the race yesterday doing massages and he is an Active Release Therapy (ART) guy and was able to find the issue right away. Sure enough my piriformis is still messed up and it’s causing ITB and hamstring issues. Nothing I can’t work through now that I have someone able and willing to help. Oy. Also it probably doesn’t help this is what my weekly miles have looked like this year:
Yep, sure that isn’t irritating anything AT ALL. Backing up though….
Sunday morning I woke up to a BEAUTIFUL day! All the days before the forecast was calling for rain and I was worried. Then Sunday arrived and it was perfect racing weather. I for once in my life woke up with enough time to pack, eat and get to the site on time.
Sitting in my car I finished with all my little “extras” of packing my travelling aid station.
Tried to convince myself I wasn’t a fat idiot for showing up. Then I met up with some friends and did the usual before the race chit-chat.
The actual race report isn’t going to be long or detailed so let’s cover some other fun topics instead, like what did I wear/bring to the race?
On my feet I wore my Brooks PureGrit’s. I was worried there would be mud and I thought a lightweight shoe + mud is better than a normal shoe + mud. I also of course wore my Zensah compression socks. LOTS of people complimented me on the cool color/design. Then my Endomondo capri pants. Up top I was wearing my Lululemon Ta ta tamer II, my favorite, most softest, most comfortable ever Under Armour shirt and a wind jacket from a previous race…I think it’s Ascis? Generic arm sleeves, my Garmin Forerunner, my Ipod Shuffle and my new Sony Walkman. Last, but not least, there was also the UltraSpire Spry race vest (I LOVE LOVE LOVE this thing) and my headsweats hat (you can’t see it, but I’m also wearing a BondiBand). Enough good product placements kids?
At 900 we were off into the wild blue yonder. The 50K folk took off on the same route either at 700 or 800 depending on if they took the early start.
From this point on I don’t have many pictures….not because I was running too quickly, but because I didn’t really feel like it. Not to say that in a mean way. What I mean is, I was so put off by my “having” to walk, if I stopped to take photos it only made me feel like I was less of a runner and more of a no one.
I DID run the first section. I felt good running it, but then a funny thing happened. My minimal type shoes forced my calves to work differently than I have been in the past few weeks. This caused a strange pressure and discomfort and I started to walk. Around mile 2-3 I realized running wasn’t going to happen, but this race could still be completed and fun could still be had. I turned on my new walkman and listened to my favorite podcast Phedippidations. I haven’t heard it in a while, and started from episode #1. Something about Steve’s voice comforts and motivates me when I’m out there for hours upon hours. My favorite line…
The cool thing about this event is, it’s easy to break it down into sections of different trails instead of thinking about how much is left before the end. I finished my first section putting me near mile 5 and chatted with Heidi at the aid station. I refilled my water and was on my way.
This section was easy and I remembered it from the year before. I walked quickly and kept around a 20:00 pace. Popping back out I used the bathroom, grabbed more water and kept on trucking knowing I was now approaching mile 9 and was more than 1/2 way completed with my journey. I also had been snacking on my own chips and some chocolate as the miles passed.
One thing I like about the 3rd section is going through the pine trees. For me this feels like a secret forest, a forgotten path, and I will emerge on the other side a different person. Going across the rocks of the ledges isn’t always fun (a little dangerous at times), but the massive rocks produce a soothing cooling effect and seeing families hiking and dogs being walked reminded me life is greater than myself and the moments I was currently experiencing.
Last year the final section is what took the most out of me. It’s the section everyone complains about and dreads. Very hilly and it can feel like you’ll never finish. I saved enough energy though I kept on walking. I knew I was looking at a 5:30:xx finish, but to finish and be happy and having fun was priceless.
I crossed the finish line and accepted my medal with a smile.
Overall impressions of this race is that it’s a great event and it’s easy to see how it sells out so quickly every year. This year instead of shirts we were given hoodies as our swag, and I was wearing mine all day Saturday after packet pickup. The trails are challenging without being too difficult. I mean, I did walk the whole thing, ya know? If you’re thinking of doing it next year I suggest getting on the email list and trying it out. Lots of great support from friends and volunteers along the way I promise…even if I didn’t mention them in my down and dirty recap. I do wish there was a fall version when the trees and greenery is more vibrant, but that’s my only “complaint”.
Official results list about 5 other people who finished no more than 4-5 minutes ahead of me. On some level this saddens me because I could have been with them most of the race then, right? Things happen for their own reasons though and I think it did me a lot of good to be alone with my thoughts and my podcast.
Being out there made me realize and accept the things I’ve done and have not done these past 2 years. If I want to be who I was before…no, if I want to be a better version of who I was before, I need to start making some serious changes. I can’t keep laying here waiting for life to be “fair” or waiting to get “what I deserve”. Sorry, maybe bad things have been coming to me, but I can’t stop chasing the good.
With that being said…I spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying my post-run bliss and working on my application for Hood to Coast with Nuun. Check out my video below. Yes, there is SINGING!