Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving weekend---5 days of NO WORK!

I am grateful to have job in these tough times, however, I am equally, if not more grateful to have time off.  I had a whole 5 days off with a race in the middle.  My niece is a freshman at Western Washington University and she came down on Wednesday to spend the weekend.  We spent the first 24 hours eating and watching movies.  Totally relaxing!
Thursday-I made an nontraditional T-day dinner.  I didn't know I would be "hosting" T day dinner until Tuesday evening.  And when I say "hosting" I use it quite loosely.  Basically, I made dinner for my niece, Owen and I and gave the dogs lots of snacks along the way.  I made sesame crusted salmon with orange miso sauce, scalloped sweet potatoes, asparagus and we had the yummy-not an ounce of nutrition-white rolls with it all.  We all overate of course and then had pumpkin pie and ice cream.  I was not prepared to make a turkey so that is what I came up was tasty enough and we were full and the dogs were excited for nibbles.
Friday-more relaxing

Saturday- the Ghost 50k. Scott Krell does a great job of putting on this event.  There are options for a half marathon, full marathon or 50k.  Last year I had done the 50k and this year I thought I'd sign up for it again.  The course is actually the old Seattle Marathon course and take you out and back a few times along Lake Washington.  The "Official" Seattle Marathon is the following day, Sunday.  I am considering this MY official Seattle 50k because I prefer it to the actual marathon, it's fun, low key and it's 5 miles longer.  Plus, I know everyone at the aid stations so it's a social event as well.  I haven't done a race since Big Horn 100 in June and have taken some time off mentally from running and physically, sort of, as well.  I stopped putting in my regular mileage for a few months and then recently started back up again.  I of course supplemented the time I would have spent running doing other physical things so  I didn't go crazy.  I looked up my time from last year thinking I would compare it to this year and see if that time off was helpful.  Last year at the 50k I went a 4:49 so I was hoping to break 4:40.  I was using my friend's Garmin 305 so I could keep track of pace and the eventual demise.  I actually ate something a few hours before the race to get some calories.  The weather was perfect for running, maybe not for volunteering, but running wise, I couldn't have asked for anything better and that is saying something for the latter part of November in the PNW!  The run started and we were all mixed together, half marathoners, marathoners and 50k-ers.  Plus there was an early start so it was unusual not to see fellow runners along most of the way.  And since we were running on multi-use sidewalks, there were lots of other people and dogs.  The nice thing about seeing the other runners so much is that it's nice to say hello and a "nice job' here or a 'looking good' there to take my mind off the fatigue that eventually came.  But oddly, I felt great almost the whole way. I was into my music, I was excited to get back on the horse and do a race again and I just felt happy.  I got tight a few times in the middle, hip flexor, groin, etc, but then it went away or I got used to it.  The last few miles felt long to me, I was getting pretty tired and I am certainly not used to running on the road that far.  But all in all, it was a great experience to get out and get involved again in doing a race, AND feeling healthy.  As I always do over the course of a run, I calculate how many miles I have left and then go through the possibilities of what time I can go.  As I was passing the start/finish for the last loop around Seward Park, I was at about 3:50 or so and I, maybe I can break 4:20.... I kept looking at the Garmin and trying to go faster, but my legs were moving as fast as they could.  I was swinging my arms like crazy, trying not to lean over, etc.  I was coming down to the last few yards as best as I could...but alas, I came in right at 4:20!  So I didn't break 4:20, but I certainly surpassed my expectations.  It has been a long time since I felt healthy during a race and really THAT is what I am most thankful for.  I have been waiting to get back on the horse for a while now.  Maybe it's a short lived wellness, but in any case, it felt great to run healthy again.
Owen running smooth and happy!
photo by Lind Say
Healthy and Happy
photo by Lind Say

Another cool thing about this race is the finishers award.  How about this bottle opener?  It's actually a useful household item.  Very good idea Scott!

After the run, Owen, my niece and I went out for pizza and cookies, of course.  Owen went home to sleep and get ready to run the Seattle marathon the next day b/c that's just how crazy he is.  I took my niece to the movies and got all crampy in the seats.  The movie, the Descendants, was awesome.  My legs were achy through the whole movie, but I was highly entertained none the less.
Sunday- More relaxing, marathon cheering in the wind and rain, eating and a big drive up to Bellingham and back in the apocalyptic rain.
A great 5 day weekend it was and now it's back to reality.....HARSH!


Rooster said...

Such a great post! So happy for your Amazing PR but better is how you felt during. Seems you are back on the horse. Recover well!

Olga said...

So, so thrilled for you running again, and running well to boot! Yay for being healthy! I think I am on the other side of the uphill battle as well, flatting out and ready to roll down:) And your dinner sounds fantastically perfect to me, next year I am coming to visit!