The past two weeks I’ve decided to set some silly mini vacation record. Worked out very well but, uff dah, I’m beat.
I surprised the kids with a trip to Disneyland. They were utterly clueless until we were actually at the terminal gate. My smug meter went to eleven. We had a great time in a crowdless park kicking around with a bunch of my family. A wonderful three days.
|Mad props for Evan's grumpy cat frown|
Last weekend I went down to Phoenix with a bunch of my runner girls to run The Lost Dutchman Half Marathon. Three of us were running the half and five the whole. The weather was set for record breaking highs (mid to high 80’s) which was a little scary.
|Me and Brie and a little preflight drink … bottle.|
Melissa had the excellent idea of renting a house in Gold Canyon which worked out beautifully. Plenty of room to kick around, nice big kitchen, and a pool with hot tub.
But far be it for things to be perfect. Everyone’s Friday night flights were late. When we got to the car rental kiosk at 1:30 am there was at least an hour wait. The pool heater died on Saturday afternoon leaving us the delightful interaction with creepy Earl the two tongued pool repair man. Don’t ask, just don’t ask. I refused to come downstairs while he was working outside.
But most of Saturday was ideal. Lots of time to do nothing but laze around and generate Vitamin D. And eat and nap, and eat and nap. Lovely.
|Dinner … so much better at home then going out pre race.|
I ran out Saturday night to pick up my friend Cynthia, the world’s best travel buddy/roomie. We got home and went right to sleep ... busy day in the morning.
The 26.2‘ers were gone by 04:45. I slept hard and didn’t even hear them leave. We were up by 5:15. It was an easy ride to the start. Marathon was a shuttled point to point starting at 7:00. Our half was an out and back starting at 7:15.
Milling around the start line I spied - wouldn’t you know - A DONKEY!! This is a bit of a Dutchman tradition. Her name was Daisy and she was a real sweetie, although she was insistent on trying to eat my shirt. I took this as an excellent omen and we made our way into the cue.
|Me and Daisy.|
I decided to run in a skirt this race. A good friend and coworker was diagnosed with breast cancer and had her mastectomy this week. I had talked my group into running in pink and my pink skirt was just right.
And away we go, again!! I was in real need of a good race. It’s been a long time since I was in reasonable shape. However, I was very sleep deprived and certain I was coming down with a cold. So I decided just to run comfortable. Plan 2:10, goal 2:05.
The first few miles were very pleasant. We were basically running the out and back of the last 6.5 miles of the marathon course. I was very happy to see all the water support and cold towel stands they were setting up for the big kids. The volunteers were great. We were anticipating uphill on the way out, downhill on the way back. But we were definitely rolling along. Mile four and I found my groove. My music was utterly perfect, I found a wonderful stride, and I managed to completely turn my brain off for the first time in weeks. It was cathartic. It’s been ages since I’ve been able to completely let it all go on the road.
Mile six with the turn around in view. This was a nice steady uphill and I reconnected with my love for chopping up hills. I felt great. My friend Jessica buzzed by me on her way back, she looked amazing.
And around I go. Nice mile downhill and I saw Cynthia along the way. It was getting warmer but I was staying on top of water and fuel. I decided to just keep letting it flow. No negative splits in the plan, just keep running as long as it felt good and slow down when it doesn’t.
Mile 8, getting pretty sweaty, and a stinging realization hit me. Who was running in a skirt with bum huggers and forgot her Body Glide? That’s right, this girl was. CRAP and OUCH. Oh well, no choice but to keep pushing on.
Mile 10 and I got a pretty strong hitch in my right side. I couldn’t run it out so I slowed down significantly to work it out. Happily I did, but it took a good 5 minutes. I lost a minute or two but I was still running strong and otherwise feeling really good.
Mile 11, I was listening to Frank Turner’s ‘Four Simple Words’ and turning up the speed. Easily my favorite running song these days. "Forget about the bitching and remember that you're blessed!"
Right when the song ended my music completely cut off. I was so sad to lose my tunes towards the home stretch. But as I rolled into 12 I hit finisher’s euphoria. No music needed. I found that perfect place between pain and bliss and I finished strong. I felt FAB-U-LOUS!!! Mile twelve 8:45, pulled off my .1 sub 7. Finish time 2:02:51. Tell me that’s not great???
I grabbed some water and found some sad scrap of shade by Daisy and waited for Jess and Cynthia. Everyone had excellent runs and were very happy. We rested and got some food and waited for our marathoners. The rest of the crew did very well but it was well into the 80s towards their finish and everyone was hurting bad.
I did manage to finally murder my iPhone. Upon returning to the house I had to drag my stinky, unshowered, chafed butt to get a new one - which was the most absurd 2 hour ordeal - eavesdropping on all the people being helped ahead of me and their pinhead questions made me almost lose it. For my part, it took all of 5 minutes to take care of my phone. AAARGH!!! Despite that I managed to zip back to the house and clean up in record time to catch my flight home - extra thanks to Cynthia for packing for me.
And home again and back to the usual routine.
And not. Now I have a cold and fate decided to plunk a huge monkey on my back. Nothing I can do about it but carry it and wait until I can shove it off on Friday - which can’t come fast enough. But what can you do??
Run on, of course!