Monday, January 28, 2008

3rd Annual Pigtails Run!

...6:00am came early Saturday morning, early enough for the "I could just skip out, no one would miss me" thought to cross my mind, thankfully I was just awake enough to also have the "DFS (Did Not Start)" thought cross my mind... I haven't had one that yet so no reason to start now. After a couple hits of the snooze button I was out of bed getting dressed for a chilly, early morning run. I had laid everything out the night before, my tights and shorts packed with Gu and Sports Beans in the pockets, my beloved long sleeve Nike Technical shirt, my running cap, socks, shoes, and "drop bag" including a change of clothes, a banana, my bottle filled with Lemon/Lime Gatorade, and donations for the food shelf. I was out the door by 6:30am and arriving at the Lake Youngs Trail in Renton by 7:00am.

(Starting point/Aid station photo from 2007, though the scene was quite similar)

After a quick sign in and a few minutes of standing around I, and about 100 other area runners, were off. Most of my fellow runners were setting out with intentions of the 3 lap (plus) 50K option, as previously stated, I had opted out of this in favor for the 2 lap, 19.2 mile option. My first lap was fairly uneventful, the majority of the time I and another runner 'yo-yoed' back and forth, I would pass him going up a hill, he would pass me on the next down hill, I would pass him up, he would pass me down, over and over for the entire first 9.6 miles, this was only interrupted by the 2 of us both stopping to use the (1) porta-potty, I was there first and thus, that was the last I saw of him.

Lap 2 started out the same as lap one, eat a Gu and run, but within a few minutes of being on the trail again I was 'caught' by another runner, for about 45 seconds to a minute we ran side by side without so much of a glance at one another, then, I broke the ice. I don't remember what I said exactly but I think it was along the lines of a casual " how's it goin'?" Shortly there after we were having a fairly steady conversation, we talked about each others running experience (he's been doing marathons since '99), or inexperience, in my case, various plans and goals for the coming months, and just your general 'get to know you' sort of stuff. About half way around the second lap I became conscious of the fact that I was really enjoying my run, and not just this second lap, but the first as well! The course wasn't scenic, though I did see a couple of horses and a deer, it wasn't flat or 'fast', in fact I was a bit surprised by the hills, and it wasn't all that 'exciting', after all, we were doing laps, but wow, I was really enjoying myself! "Guy" (his actual name) and I stuck together for all but my final 1/5th of my final mile, which I choose to sprint in. Turns out Guy was able to go on and set a 50K personal record (smashed his old PR in fact by 40 minutes!!!), while I ended up with a 2:47:10 time, which breaks down to a 8:42 minutes/mile pace. I must admit, ever since finishing the second lap, I've slightly regretted not continuing on for the 3rd, I keep reminding my self that had I, I'd probably be regretting not stopping after 2 laps, so I guess that's the way it goes. I'm more than well aware that right around mile 20 is where bodies start defying well meaning minds, but never the less, I feel like I could have pulled off my first 50K had I just had the confidence to plan for it in the first place.

Despite all this regret I speak of, this ranks among the most enjoyable runs of my life, and, as if that's not enough, there was even more icing on this cake! When I got home I was instantly greeted by the smell of crackling bacon. My (best in the history of the world) wife had timed my arrival perfectly, within a few minutes of walking through the door I was served up a plate breakfast hearty enough to satisfy me even after burning more than (approximately) 2500 calories. Plus, I felt great! My legs were a wee bit sore, but nothing more than can be expected, in fact, less I'd say. Sunday was the same story, and today I'm down right itching to run again.

So kudos to "Pigtails" for the awesome run, kudos to Guy for the company during the run and on his new PR, and kudos to my wife for the constant love and support... oh yeah, and bacon, can't forget the bacon....

1 comment:

Jonathan S. said...

Did you say the smell of crackling bacon?! Mmmmm....bacon! I was just telling my wife that of the best smells in the entire world, bacon has got to be up there.