Sunday, July 20, 2014

2104 Race #10: TrailsRoc 0spf Trail Half Marathon

Thanks to Sheila for the pic
It's not every day that all your loves convene in one place at the same time. But that is what 0spf was for me. It was a beautiful, sunny day. The course was challenging in the way that makes you feel very accomplished at having finished it (and so well marked that even I didn't get lost). The Eagans, TrailsRoc-stars and  volunteers were amazing. And I got to run through the woods with so many of my most favorite people.

For some reason, I was very nervous leading up to this race. I don't know why but I had a premonition it wasn't going to go well. Luckily, I was very very wrong. I never know where to line up at the start because I don't want to get swept out too fast only to die later, but if I start too far back I feel like I waste a lot of energy trying to pass people on the single track. Pete and I started out in the back of the pack, which I think was good for me because it held me back in the first mile and gave me time to warm up. I don't remember much of the first part of the course up to Woodcliff. I was just running out my pre-race anxiety.

As I got closer to the turn-around point in the LDS church parking lot, I started to feel a little fatigued from the hills, but I told myself this is what I've been training for, to run on tired legs. At this point, I entered the section of two-way traffic and as I cheered for other runners as we passed each other on the trail, I started to feel better. It's always easier to keep going when you see a friendly face. Though at one point I was like Oh my god, where is this god-dammed church already? And then I got struck by lightning. Just kidding. Steve L told me we were almost there and then soon enough, we were. I didn't spend any time at the aid station, I just checked in, turned around and headed back out.

Photo by Michele Fanton
All of a sudden I was back at Woodcliff again and I remember thinking, wow that was fast. I ran with Liz for a bit and with Danielle for a bit. At one of the road crossings, I asked Oliver, who was volunteering, if he could get my sunglasses out of the back pocket in my vest. He gave me the sunglasses then said "Great job, keep going." and then "I almost slapped you on the ass, like a football player." I wish he would have. I could've used the push. Then I was back on the trail, where I became a drug dealer, offering salt tabs to a woman who said her calf was cramping. There were a few spots on the way back where I started to feel tired, but then I'd either eat or drink or see someone I knew and that would make me feel better.

The girl tree, photo by Todd
I knew I was going to make it when I got back to Hawaii Brian's water stop. He was wearing a Hawaiian shirt and shorts and had luau music playing. It was the best. He gave me some delicious cold water and I felt so good that I suggested to Pete that we run the Power Lines hill. Not my best idea. We made it about halfway up and then it got steeper and we walked the rest. I heard a voice from the clouds calling our names and it turned out to be Gustavo on the power lines tower. After we got up the hill, it was just a nice little jog to the finish. And I accomplished both of my goals for the day: to prove to myself that I could do this race and to finish right where I wanted to be, next to Pete.

The rest of the day was spent climbing trees and eating and pool partying and laughing. So basically, I am living the dream.

Lyric of the moment: "I hear it call in the center of it all. You're the love of my life, the love of my life..."

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