If you're lucky enough to be in the mountains, you are lucky enough.
When something bad happens, you have three choices: let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.
The purpose of life is to discover and develop your gift. The meaning of life comes from sharing your gift with others. - David Viscott
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Run like a girl
Well, that got me pumped for sure. I was at the "Russian girls wild night out" party and only had 4 hrs of sleep and a heavy hang-over. My friend David picked me up at my house, and at Multnomah lodge we met up with Mike Bushwhacker and started our way up the trail. We took a turn to Franklin Ridge for its solitude and had lots of fun. My boyz were wonderful in going my pace, David been after 20M run and 80M bike ride the previous day and Mike getting back to training after awesome WS100 finish and prepping for second long run next day. All was good, as the jokes flew non-stop. I haven't seen David in over a year, and Mike in 2 months or so, and we had lots of catching up to do. The day, even at that early hour, was so muggy, I don't remember Portland been like that in 3 years I've lived here! We sweated since first 10 min like crazy and it felt pretty close to conditions on East Coast, something I rather not repeat.
Eventually the climb let up and we trotted up to Larch Mountain top. It was a clearest day ever, and views were insanely beautiful!!
Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helen
After a short food stop we plunged down on Larch trail over half way down, took a trail to Devil's connection, where David left us and took off to the car, and Mike and I hiked to Devil's Rest. Making Devil's-Angel's-Whakeena loop was fun as we exchanged memories of our runs and racers, complained at pacers (each other), discussed feet problems and so forth. Less than 2 hrs later we reunited with David and went to the city to have lunch. It was a great way to end the long run, something I do so rarely! All in all, we made 24 miles with some 7,000 feet climb in 6:30, and I was very much ok with this.
While my plan was to run another 15 or so on Sunday, during a week I got an email from Montrail team rep Paul to join in an 8k trail run Run like a girl, a full-out sponsored event for women in Forest Park. I did understand the need in "representing", but had to warn him: last time I ran 5M was 5 years ago, I am not even 50k runner, and definitely not after a long Gorge run. It takes me over an hour just to feel some legs and calm down the breathing! He said "no problem", been comp'd helped to make a decision easier, and after another short night I drove to the Zoo start. I had 55 min before the official start, so I figured I better go warm up on Wildwood trail for 4 miles. Sure, I was completely asleep as I went and missed 2M marker, went another half a mile, and when realized it, I had 25 min and 2.5M to make it back. That's a race pace for me! Boy, I worked panting, now thinking if I do 60 min race I should be satisfied. I got back with 3 min to spare, and off we went.
Over 900 women - can you believe it! Besides the point I consider 150 runners at the start a "big race", having 900 local women running trails was...actually awesome! Everybody was smiling and supportive the whole way! The first mile took us on a long switch-back uphill and it separated slower folks and faster ones before we merged onto Wildwood, so we really never had a hazardous problem. I was somewhere in first third and consistently ran all ups in first 2 miles, after what I decided I am going to kill myself doing it, so went to my favorite tactics: power-hike up and run fast down. It was playing cat-n-mouse with the group around me, hope I didn't annoy anybody, I made sure when passing and been passed back to talk and explain my "way" of running trails and encourage every gal around. It was a very hilly course (I still have no idea of parts of where the course went) and as we came to last mile on Wildwood, I kicked it in. As I looked at the watch, I thought there is no way I can get under 45 min, not with my walks, but sped up some more. Hello, no wonder! We had to go through the parking lot, enter the Zoo and still wind up through the Zoo for a total of half a mile from the point I thought was the end! I let up a bit last minute (got tired waiting for the finish banner), but as I saw it, finished with head up, in 48:22. Whew, was I happy! This is like absolutely wonderful for me!!!
At the finish line Sarah (finished in 46 min) and her friend Sharon (finished in 42 min) were waiting for me, and we had a great time talking, been happy and drinking smoothies. There was music and lots of sponsor's tables, but we left pretty soon after learning a winning time was about 33 min. Rumor is the winner outran the male pacers (who had bunny ears on their heads - rabbits, make sense?) and was 12 sec ahead of second place gal, getting $500 swag. Results. Race photos are by Kelly from Red Lizards and Oregonlive blog.
There were photographers catching us as we walked out (wearing sponsor's shirt helps:)), and while I said something in respect "next time I go for a short race, shoot me", I was absolutely happy I ventured in this long forgotten and almost unknown territory. It was so much fun, I might do it again!
And the great thing, I got home before 9 am with 10 miles done and have a whole day to do family things! Including watching our silly kitten making his way to the toilet bowl and taking kids to movies. Hope you had fun weekend too!