Friday, June 4, 2010

Nine days

Before things started getting a little beyond the pale in my personal life, I had given in to the optimistically (and occasionally morbidly) ambitious streak residing somewhere in the depths of my head by signing up for two half-marathons inside the span of 9 days.

In other words, good, hard American cash paid out well in advance for the privilege of putting myself all the way through the wringer not just once, but twice in less than a week and a half. Or in even other words, perhaps biting off just a wee bit more than I can chew - especially considering the monkey wrench I've been choking on for the last four weeks.

By this point, I had planned that I'd be doing more or less regular long runs on the weekends of at least 9 miles, and that I'd be at least somewhat accustomed to such a practice. Well, intent and reality are often odd bedfellows, as we all know.  The longest run I've put in since the Fort Vancouver 15K back in March was the exquisitely torturous Lake Run 12K on May 8 in which I managed a blistering 14:00 pace up and down the veritible Hills From Hell, spending the first twenty minutes of the race struggling to not burst into tears and quit while the rear pace car AND Lake Oswego's finest followed not more than 20 feet behind me. I finally broke the tape in 806th place (out of 808.)

Yeah, it went that well.

Memorial Day was an ORRC 10K in which, for the first and probably last time, I actually won something:

The beauty of this particular race was that not only was it a "masters race" but also instead of age group brackets, you "competed" only against people of the same actual age. So out of the five 42-year-old women who ran the race, I placed 5th! (And just in case I got a bad case of sudden onset amnesia on the course, I only had to look down at the front of my shirt to be reminded of my current task!)

I must admit, I am proud of my little yellow high-school style ribbon. It's like the ribbons they always gave out to the kids who could pass those stupid Presidential Fitness Tests that were mandatory when I was in elementary school. Even back then, I always came in last during the runs. After all of that schoolyard trauma (and believe me, I was seriously humiliated by those tests) it might seem a bit odd that now I actually do this willingly.

But. Tomorrow.

Ahhhh, tomorrow. It's the Timberline Half Marathon and given the fact that it's been raining pretty much every single day for the last month, the course (which is about 85% dirt trail) will probably be something resembling a 14.1-mile-long Slip-n-Slide. Seriously, ever try running on one of those things....?

And then on Sunday the 13th - assuming I don't mess myself up something fierce out at Timothy Lake tomorrow - I shall partake of the hilly rolling hilly hills of the Helvetia Half Marathon. As the website so eloquently points out, "There is nothing like it! This course is not a flat course and we are proud of that. Since when does life NOT have ups and downs?" 

Oh, my. Fitting, indeed.

Wish me luck, Godspeed and cross all available digits if you are so inclined - I'm goin' in.