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January 2018
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"Don't let your happiness depend on something you may lose." ~C. S. Lewis

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PostHeaderIcon One down, Ten to go

Ok, I don’t really think of it that way. I went into today’s race just excited to be back out there.  Excited to be feeling good, ready and even nervous.  I like the nervous feeling – let’s me know I care about all of this internally.

Got up at 6am and started the race day ritual – yogurt, banana, emergen-c and coffee.  This time I got to add some of the Honeymilk to my coffee, which, frankly, was awesome. I made sure to finish food by 6:30 so I had a full two hours before the gun went off to digest etc.  Got my run clothes on, safetypinned that number on myself and enjoyed the build up of anticipation.  Kelly came downstairs, saw me in my clown costume and probably wondered what the hell she was doing up so early.

Hopped in the car and made our way to the drop off area.  Have to say – being able to stay at a friend’s house and have that kind of support was awesome – sometimes a necessary distraction away from just the race, and nice to share it with someone who was really interested in what I was doing.  Got dropped off with plenty of time to hit the loo and drop off the gear bag and find corral 4.  This time I had a few minutes to stretch out a bit while in the holding area, and settle in as opposed to literally running to the starting line.

Ah, wait, what’s the scent wafting over the corral?  As we all start to glance at each other, those of us who noticed start to smile.  Some lovely spectator on the side has lit a joint. Yeah, THAT’S the scent you need to smell at the start of a race.  Super energizing.  Someone makes a joke about upping the ante for munchies on the run.  Seriously, did that just happen?

Ok, run begins, it’s a slow wave after wave start and finally we go.  Shuffling through crowds of feet and legs and arms, finally able to find a pace.  And yes, again, started with Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing – why stop using that now?  Works for me.

First few miles felt awesome – I felt SO much better than the Vegas race, and even so much better than just 24 hours before.  The pre-race jitters were just what I needed to get back in the zone.  Music choices were nearly perfect, and I felt like I was settling into the groove.  Huh, must be running for a while, maybe hitting the 5K mark soon?  Oh, oh yes, why there it is. Those first three miles went pretty fast!  This is good!  Keep it up, feeling strong.

Wow, is it just me or was the mile between three and four actually about five miles?  How did that happen?  Oh boy, settle down, then in, that’s what I forgot to do.  Ok, let’s try this again.

Ah, ok, there’s the 6mile marker, the 10K has got to be coming up.  Why do I keep looking for these?  Mmmmm, just keep running.  Half the pace time markers are not working, which is ok, because I’m totally off what my start time was, so not even sure what I’m doing. Did I start five minutes past the gun?  Four?  Six?  How much do I shave off the official starting time?

Observation – I love seeing young teens running.  Guessing they’re about 12, maybe 14.  Loping along, but keeping up.  Always wonder why they’re doing it – part of school? Raising money?  Just love running?  A challenge with a friend or family member?

Settled in and realizing I *really* like these Newton shoes.  Feet feel good, legs feel strong.  Feels kind of like that run in Woodside recently where my legs took care of me while I figured out the rest.

And the weather is perfect – sunny, a few clouds, not too warm, definitely not too cold.  Wait. What is that?  Ohhhhh, here come the “hills”.  This should be interesting.  Oh, right, I train with hills, what am I worried about?

Rolling hills don’t always correspond with the pace music.  Sometimes I’m zipping a little too fast.  Oh, really don’t like that occasional light headed feeling the creeps in waves after mile 10.  Must look into that.

Oh, here’s a nice distraction.  The tall hot twins Kelly and I saw at the expo just ran by.  Shirtless.  WOW.  There’s a reason to run faster, just to keep up with that view.  Hello boys!  (for one of you, your wife is rather lucky!)

Another observation – a lot of schools and community groups have great cheering sections along the way, some in costumes, some unique, all energetic and super supportive.  I’m usually too in the zone to high five on the sidelines, but I do appreciate the effort.  Also – anyone know why some people were carrying a single drumstick?

Mile 11 – hilarious double take by me from a dad on the sidelines with a kid in his arms he’s “curling” like biceps curls, and his two very small boys doing pushups on the ground on either side of him.  I think I did a triple take and flashed them a huge grin.  Great random thing to see along the course.  Tiny pushups are hilarious.

Ok, I grabbed water three times this race, much better than last race.  But admittedly walked for a few seconds each time.  Hmmm, I don’t like that but wanted it.  Consumed one FRS energy bite starting at mile 9 and that was about it.  I’m thinking it wasn’t enough, considering the waves of lightheadedness and nausea that again greeted me towards the end.

Ah.  The elusive 13 mile marker.  What a damn tease you are.  It’s always so lovey to see you but hell if you aren’t actually the finish line.  .1 to go.  Do you know how insane that .1 can actually make a normally level headed woman?    Always must prepare the best music for that last stretch to counteract the insanity.

Ok, push, just keep pushing it.  YES.  Crossed the finish line.  A little wobbly but keep walking.  Keep walking.  Bottle of water.  And yes, an attempt at an ice pack for the outside of the right knee.  The medal – oooo, that’s a nice one.  I think I’ll have Nate wear it when I see them.  And then a picture – why not, it’s official and lord knows I’m committed to documenting this year.

Oh look, they have orange wedges and Snickers Marathon bars.  Grab a few of those, try to rewrap the ice, no avail, sliding down sweaty leg, take a look – oh, right.  I kicked the inside of my ankle a handful of times and turns out I took a decent divit out of my ankle.  That’s gonna sting in the shower later.

No banana, had enough this past week (but it makes a difference, that’s for sure) – so now where… Gear check – to grab phone and call Kelly to see where they are.  Truck 28 where are you – oh HI Kelly, Nate and John!  Awww, how cool, they came to find me.

Awesome.  SO great to have people there at the finish line to greet me (ok, close enough)! Kelly brought my chocolate Honey Milk (instead of regular chocolate milk post race which I swear by.)  Gave Nate my medal to wear – pretty big grin on the seven year old.  Kelly’s dad John was excited to be part of it all.  One runner walked up to me and said what was music to my ears “Damn, I tried really hard to keep pace with you, but you got away from me, I just couldn’t keep up!” Thanks, mister.  Along with everything else, you made my day! Got some great pictures, moseyed back to the car (love the walk cool down post race) and headed home.

Not too stiff after the half hour car ride, great sign.  Grabbed some light snacks, told stories, checked out pictures and sat down to watch the Seahawks get their ass handed to them (final score a bit deceptive.)  And enjoyed a few Tecates – always tasted SO good after a race – whether a glass of champagne, a celebratory cocktail or an ice cold beer – goes down so smooth.  Oh, and right to my blood thinned head.

Tried something new post race – trampoline!  Unbelievably fun.  If only I could find one to jump on at the end of each of the races this year.  Now that would be a story.

Unlike the nine hours it took me to go from Phoenix, AZ to San Francisco, CA.  Two flights with a two hour hold in LA, then the trip from SFO to Oak to get my car, waiting lonely there since autodriving it there Friday night.  But made it home, added some arnica to my bedtime ritual and plan to sleep in, curious to see how the body, muscles, and joints feel tomorrow.

All in all, a GREAT first race of this 2011 journey.  Great company, relaxing atmosphere, with friends who care about me, and cared about the event overall, good course, great weather, body felt good, stomach felt good – both much better than December’s Vegas race.  If this is how all of them are, I’d be thrilled.  Couldn’t have asked for a better beginning to this fun and likely illuminating chapter…

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