Hello! Welcome to Monday…I’m not sure about you, but it definitely feels like a Monday to me. Starbucks debuted Valentine’s Day cups though, so that’s helping.
I had a good ole sleep-in day today—7:15 am feels like heaven recently, and I find that quite humorous. I was zonked last night though, and some quality REM was necessary—especially after the long run I cranked out earlier. Despite feeling a bit sore and tired, though, this run was positively great, and I finished feeling very confident in my training.
Let me back track a bit though: I was scheduled to do 18 miles yesterday, which to me is when the real work begins. I’m confident up to about 16 or so miles, but after that it feels like unchartered territory. My first 18 miler last time I was training (which was the furthest I’d ever run at that point in time) was a doozy, and I can remember walking verryyy slowly for the rest of the day afterwards.
So, on Saturday as I was preparing to
top off gorge on my fuel supply carbs and cookies, BF discovered that there was an ultra event being held tomorrow…10 minutes from our house…on the exact course I would be following for my own run. Oh, and it was free.
DUH. I was in.
The race was called the Fat Ass 50k (cue irony), and there was the option of doing a 25k, a 50k, or (for the bravest of the brave) a 75k. Obviously I signed up for the 25k (15.52 miles) and planned on just tacking on some miles at the end to reach my scheduled workout.
Now, this by no means was an “official” event. No bibs, no timing chips, no mile markers. There was, however, a fuel station at the halfway point, and plenty of chow and water at the finish, which in my opinion completely made this official. Any run where I receive free Gatorade and fig newtons is completely sanctioned in my mind. It also kind of added to the “ultra” feel of it all. Based on my research of these crazy-person events, they really work with the bare minimum in terms of race support. Runners normally supply their own fuel, there is hardly any finisher recognition, and close to no one even knows the events are even going on. That’s kind of how this race felt, and I loved it: People who just love to run, gathered together for some Sunday morning splendor.
So, 8 am rolls around, and about 75 or so runners are bouncing up and down for warmth, just gunning for the “Ready, Set, Go!” I was having too much fun people watching to focus on being cold. I always read about ultra runners, so it was quite a giddy feeling to be lined up at a start line with them. I would say it was pretty evenly split between those running the 50k and those running the 25k, which was comforting—although I was shocked at the ages of many of the 50k’ers. I was without a doubt the youngest by at least ten years, and there were a lot of 50k runners, clad in their “Marathon Maniacs” jerseys, who were definitely over 60. I was so impressed, inspired, and happy at the thought that running can be accessible to anyone who chooses to take it on.
Off we went, and despite the fact that I insisted I would simply be running a casual run, the same as I would if I were alone, the race atmosphere had me all pumped up. My uber-competitiveness got the best of me, and pretty early on I got it in my head that I wanted to compete. I held onto a 7th or so position for the first 8 miles or so, and I knew that I was the first female—which frankly felt pretty great. I also felt very strong; I was really hydrated and somehow all my fueling and stretching clicked together in symmetry. I was all by myself for the rest of the race, enjoying the weather (45 degrees and SUN) and smiling at everyone I saw. Although the “race course” was the same route I take all the time, somehow it felt and looked different when put in the context of competition.
I finished in 2:03 ish (according to my trusty Timex) which I was definitely happy with. I was the first female to finish…which I suppose means I won? Exciting!
I logged my time with the Race Director (who, by the way, was wearing pajama pants with beer steins on them and yellow Crocs), and headed back out for 2.5 (slightly slower) miles to complete 18 for the day.
The whole run (the race part and the after part) was awesome, and I loved the impromptu randomness of it all. Racing made 18 miles go by much quicker (both literally and mentally) and it was really fun to run with some of Seattle’s distance fanatics. My kind of people.
BF finished 12.5 miles himself, and we reconvened after our respective long-runs for Sunday morning bagels and coffee. I would also like to note that BF paid for such bagels as he lost a bet Friday night in which a certain Los Angeles basketball team beat a certain Denver team at their home court. Yea, it happened.
In the afternoon, we took our homemade appetizers(a task we took very seriously) to a friend’s house for Superbowl festivities. Neither of us were very partial to either team, however I admittedly love Tom Brady and was sad to see the Pats lose. No matter, I was more concentrated on eating as many various appetizer things as possible, and I definitely came out victorious in that endeavour.
It was a lovely Sunday, and after completing that race/getting 18 miles under my belt, I’m feeling really geared up for my long runs to come.
Also, I changed my expected finish time for the Eugene Marathon, to 10 minutes lower than I originally signed up for. Assuming that it didn’t totally jinx me…I’m feeling good about the decision, and it’s helping motivate in a big way.
Hope your weekends were good, cheers!
Question: What do you care most about for the Superbowl? The game? The commercials? The food?