Skip to main content

Snake River Half marathon = complete success

Last weekend I finished one of those races that, upon reaching the finish line, makes you feel like you're exactly where you want to be. For those of you who raced the Snake River Half Marathon, you  likely felt the same way I did waking up that morning: fearful of wind so strong as to blow us all into the river. I know I woke up to winds out of the north that made the house creak and the American flag hanging off our porch assume a new resting position in horizontal. For a race already known for its strong headwinds, I knew it could only be worse if additional winds were forecasted, too.

Bryan and I considered staying home. In hindsight, that would have been our first and only mistake of the day. If we'd never have driven down to the race, we likely wouldn't have run at all that day. The closer we got to Wawawai landing, the calmer it felt. We looked down to the Snake River driving down Wawawai grade, taking in the view of a river free of white caps.

I had a long warm up to do considering the temperatures hovered in the low 30s. It precluded a fast race start. I started out running with B&B Physical Therapy owner and TriFusion sponsor, Mike Lauffer and his friend. My coach advised me to start out conservatively, but if the pre-race adrenaline caused me to run faster than my goal pace, I was only allowed to take advantage of it in the first 5k. Using this as my motivation, I bridged a gap between Mike's group and the group I desired to run in: the one led by Russell-the-work-horse-Abrams. To bridge my gap, I found myself running about a 6:50min/mile pace, which fell just on the boundary I'd established for myself as too fast.

Nonetheless, I'd just passed the 3-mile marker and snuggled in close to Lora Jackson running behind her man, Russ. We ran comfortably behind him until the 5th mile marker when Russ began to lose his steam. After giving him my thanks, Lora, Allison Beall Chauvin, and myself struck out against the headwind to the turnaround point, at which point the strong headwind turned into a billowing tail wind. The hardest work of the race had just concluded. Now, all that remained involved a tough mental game.

Allison and I ran together for much of the way back until about mile 12. At this point, I reveled in the feeling of legs that had not completely given out yet. I began to thank myself for running conservatively up until then. I don't think I've run a race feeling as though I had a substantial kick to use to the finish line. The last time I'd run this race, my feet burned for the last 4 miles. This time Ruby's Lube successfully kept my feet comfortable, even preventing the calluses on my arches from turning to blisters as they've been known to do in the past.

I pushed myself to the finish line, and with the finisher's clock visible in the last half a mile, it served as incredible motivation that contributed to a nearly 1-minute PR. I finished 2nd in my age group with a time of 1:28:53, happy to have followed my plan, exhausted from a hard effort, grateful to have avoided a disastrous flop.

It definitely set me up well for this final 6-week push to the Boston Marathon. This morning, I used last weekend's race experience to propel me through my 17+ mile training run with my pup. Maci and I ran from home to the YMCA. Bryan found us mid-run to hand out water, then continued on to the gym to swim. While he swam, Maci and I made our way through Whitworth campus before approaching the Y. We ate a snack, I sat in the hot tub and stretched, and we cleaned up all before the rain began to fall.

Currently, Maci sleeps swaddled in her blanket, snuggled as close to me as our bodies will allow. I am anxious for what next week's training plan has in store. Most importantly, I am blessed.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

My opinion...For what it's worth

My first Half Ironman 70.3 turned into Boise 29.3. I may be the only one to say that I respect the officials' judgment call on this one, because apparently, a few of my triathlete comrades lack sufficient brains themselves. The comments I'm reading on Facebook leave me pretty disturbed. Let me just put this out there: I entered this sport because it looked tough and challenging. It pushes anyone who enters these races to their ultimate limits and requires a demanding amount of time to complete the training necessary to succeed. I entered this sport because of the people. Healthy, smart, fit, inspiring, motivating. I can't think of a single person who has questioned my ability to participate in this sport. I entered this sport because anyone can do it. I passed people younger and older than me, some as old as 74. I watched one woman hobble along the run course, surely just on her first lap. She looked like her knees were going to cave in. Yet she was running. I did not ent

How strong are your feet?

Who knew my first post in 2020 would be about the work I'm doing on my feet. Not just any work, but the work required to make them strong enough to propel me to faster running paces, the work to make them durable enough to heal up some old injuries and prevent new ones from taking hold. Jay Dicharry , a Physical Therapist and researcher in Bend, OR, says that almost all ankle, foot, and lower leg injuries can be attributed to faulty foot mechanics and a weak foot core.  I listened to him speak on a podcast called Trail Runner Nation today, and all the advice he provided me during my two personal visits with him last year rushed back in a torrent of memory. It seems fitting that his reminders would hit me like a hammer over my head when I consider the nagging foot pain that has cropped up again over the past couple of weeks. I'm going back to my toe yoga, short foot exercises, and working hard to build up the strength in my foot intrinsic muscles. Meanwhile, here's a b

It is finished

As with everything in life, nothing stays the same. Change is inevitable. It does not always mean it's a turn for the worst. In my case, I think this is a change for the better. As of 2021, I am closing the door on racing triathlon and rekindling my investment in the doctorate degree I worked for in Physical therapy. Thankfully, making money again has felt much more productive than losing it in the pursuit of professional triathlon. Thankfully, my body has responded positively to a slackened training schedule. Thankfully, my head is clearer for the release in pressure to perform.  I needed a new pursuit, a new challenge, a new endeavor. Raising and showing my dogs has helped me slow down, challenged me to learn and communicate differently, and taught me that physical fitness can still be achieved to a lesser, healthier extent.  It has worked so well that I'm also going back to doing what I loved to do 10 years ago. Pursuing a more simple lifestyle (outside of work, of course) a