Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Hottest Day of the Year (a.k.a. the day we ran the Bushtukah Canada Day 10k)

On July 1st, I had the pleasure of running with my sister in her first 10k (It was my first 10k too, for that matter!)  Amidst a great deal of excitement, we had signed up for the Bushtukah Canada Day race some months earlier.

Thankfully correct pronunciation was not a requirement for racing.

I am used to the chill of early morning races on the west coast and planned accordingly.

My mother talked me out of it.

That was a good thing as I was already feeling comfortable, dare I say warm even, when we arrived at the venue.

While we were waiting for the race to start, someone I have known for 20 years (but haven't seen in almost 10!) ran over to me.

He was in my wedding party!

It was fun to catch up, and we remarked that it was a hot day.  Hot and HUMID.

GymSis and I found our spot at the starting line and headed off!  We went out a little fast and uneven, but slowed down to a comfortable pace by the first mile.

As we ran, it got hotter.  There was one lady running behind us for awhile who had me pretty concerned.

She fell back into a group after a few minutes and I was relieved she would be with a large group of people.

We were running through quiet neighbourhoods, but there were some people out spectating.

We were enjoying the banter with other racers, waving to the neighbours, and trying desperately to ignore the heat.

At one point, there was another woman running behind us.  I mean right behind us.

I could feel her breath on my neck.

We spread out a little to give her space because apparently running around us on an empty suburban street was not an option, and she didn't budge.  Finally I sped up a bit to try and put some distance between us.  At that point she sped up too, ran past me for 5 seconds, and then stopped.

And walked.

By then we were beyond hot.  Somewhere around 6.5 kilometres, GymSis wavered slightly.  We started walking.

Translation: "I don't want to be walking."

I gave her some words of encouragement.

I'm clearly not used to giving pep talks, but literally everyone was walking.

I tried another, hopefully more productive tactic:

We kept walking.

After a couple of minutes GymSis was feeling better.  I then employed the age-old runner mind-trick:

And off we went for the next 3 kilometres, calling out any marker we could think of.

On our way we mugged for the photographer:

But he did not take our photo.

We saw GymSis' family holding up some excellent signs:

Then we saw our mom right before the finish line!

And there was!  Thanks mom!

We grabbed some Gatorade, water and orange slices.

It was rehydration at its finest.

After the race, GymSis decided to hang up her running shoes to return to her first loves (Spin, BodyPump, Flow, Super Strongbody 3000 or something--it makes her super strong anyway, etc...).  I enjoyed getting to race with her, and I'll be ready if she decides to dust off her kicks again someday.

Plus, I'll work on my cheerleading skills.


It's been ages since I've joined Yeah Write, so this weekend I'm hopping onto the Moonshine Grid! Join me or just come read some great stories by clicking on the button below!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Long Runs with Friends

Well friends, it's that time of year again that I am running very long runs.  I have one month less than a week until the Portland Marathon (Edit: I started writing this a month ago, apparently).

Despite the fact that I ran it last year, I'm still nervous about it.

The marathon should not be trifled with.

That's supposed to be my serious face.

Last year I ran a lot with Ann Marie; however, she has been working on a different project this year.

Luckily, Christy will be running Portland next week too--she has done half Ironmans, but this is her first full marathon! Since we live so close to each other, we planned a lot of our Saturday runs together.

For our first long run, I plotted out a 10 miler in our neighbourhood that I thought avoided the hills.

From that day forward Christy was in charge of the routes.

The next weekend we had 13 miles and decided to run 6.5 out and back, but then tacked on another half mile at the midway point so we could do a cool down at the end.  In my mind this meant a half mile walk to the car. I did not realize until actually writing this, that it worked out to a ONE MILE walk to the car.  Have I mentioned I can't do math while running?  I have never been so happy to see my car.

One of my favourite things about running in the summer is the abundance of wild blackberry bushes.

I spent most of our runs looking off into the bushes for those beauties.

So completely worth the 5 to 10 minutes we spent eating.

One day, we were just starting our run and having one of our 'long run conversations' (the kind you don't share with others) when we bumped into Bruk.  You know how it's awkward when you're talking about someone and really don't expect to see them?

He was just finishing up his (presumably) 100 mile ride for the day.

One weekend there was a food festival in the park we ran through.

It was challenging.

On my cutback week I was staying at Erika's in Michigan for Megan's wedding, where we were joined by Adrian (hooray for blog friends and fun reunions!)

Erika and I went out for an 8 miler on a beautiful, tree-lined dirt road.  The magic of running conversation flowed and helped us forget that it was incredibly humid.  At mile 6 all I could think about was getting water. I begged for blackberries but they were nowhere to be found.  Instead, we found some blueberries(?) growing on the side of the road.

They were tart and were mostly pit.

We then spotted some bright red berries.  I thought they might be huckleberries, and gingerly tried one.

Not a huckleberry.  

In just a few days I'll be tackling the Portland Marathon again, this time relying on my wits grit to get me through.  See you all on the flip side!!

Tell me something that makes you scared but you try it anyway!


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