**My third go-round with the Shamrock Run 15K is now in the history books. The medal this year was big, heavy and felt sweet indeed hanging around my neck. I felt great the night before, thanks to my lovely running peeps Jenn, Kim, Ronda and Donna and a fun meet-up/pre-race carb load:
Pasta! Awesome Friends! Purple Couches!
Race day was cold and dreary, and threatening snow. At least, it wasn't windy. Jenn and I stuck together and ran a fantastic race - I ended up taking 10 minutes off my time from last year. And - by far - I felt better during this race than I have during any other for a really long time - from start to finish. Our goal was 2:09; we crossed the line in 2:11 and change. I didn't even care that we'd missed that mark - I was simply ecstatic to finish as strongly as I did.
**I've filled out the rest of my "racing" year quite nicely, with a few more events still on the fence waiting for a decision. This spring and summer will be liberally sprinkled with half marathons and a couple 10-milers, with the "Big Kahuna" being the Seattle Marathon in November. The most recent development - as in, today - is that I am now on a Ragnar team and will be running the Northwest Passage relay from Blaine to Bellingham, WA in July! I am crazy excited about this - never done a relay of any distance but have wanted to for some time.
**About a week ago, I crawled out on a serious limb and signed up for the Monument Peak 15K. This one is going to be all about elevation gain and mud, given the chart helpfully provided on the website, and the fact that it's only about 4 1/2 weeks away:
I am feeling the need to feed my trail running beast, though, and I don't want to wait until Timberline in June. I would be lying if I said I wasn't genuinely concerned about my ability to finish this race - it could very well end up being my first DNF. If I waited until I thought I was ready to tackle a challenge such as this, though, I'd probably never do it. I am hoping beyond hope that I'm not biting off more than I can even hold in my mouth, let alone chew. We shall see.
**I am still tracking all of my food, and although it's a serious pain in the ass, it really is helping. The weight is coming down, and little by little, I can feel my running workouts get stronger as I slowly get lighter. Only a few pounds from now, I will be at a weight I've not been at since about 2006. It's still hard to wade through the moments of weakness - I imagine it will always be hard to some degree - but it is wonderful to see this all paying off. The thought of getting to a "normal" weight - which to me will be my optimal running weight (whatever that is) is so exciting to me. One should never harbor regrets, as they serve no purpose other than to make one feel guilty and bad about themselves - but honestly, I really do wish I'd picked up this mantle 20 years ago. I mean, really picked it up rather than pretended at it, which is essentially what I think I did for the most part.
It is beyond high time to see what I am capable of doing, and capable of being. The rest of this year is going to be the test.