A Winning Weekend

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A winning weekend

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Elliott and I embarked on our whirlwind sports trip to Seattle during the Thanksgiving long weekend.  Along with going to watch the UW Huskies Football Game vs rivals Oregon, as well as the Seattle Seahawks Game vs the Titans (Yes I will take all the girlfriend points I can get for thinking up this weekend), I registered us for the Xterra Harvest 10K at St. Edward State Park.   This was a full-blown trail race and needless to say I was beyond nervous, as I had never run a trail race before.  I knew this race was going to be right in Elliott’s wheelhouse but I wasn’t so sure I could keep up… Especially in my traction-less Nike Free’s as I look around at all of the intense water belts and trail runners that all the other runners are wearing. But before I could process what was going on off we went into the trails. I think the fact that I was freezing my toosh off propelled me through the first half of the run fairly smoothly.

 

 Halfway through I made the minor error of stopping- I saw some kids hanging out after a running workout and mistakenly thought that they were part of the race.  Not until I actually looked at them standing beside me and realizing that they were about 12 years old did I realize my error.  So off I went again, down the hill, up the hill, down the hill, sliding down the hill and slowly dragging my butt back up the hill, falling spiderman style down the hill and wait what I am passing people going up a hill now (Thanks for the forced hill workouts Lauren I owe you!).  I see two girls in my sights and I know if I can tail them up the hill and gain some ground that I can put up a chase on the flats.  So I start singing myself my uphill mantra “don’t stop now, use your butt, engage your thighs”, and sure enough I passed the first girl and was coming within steps of the second girl that I could see.  I realized we were about .5K away from the finish and I started to gun it and couldn’t have been happier to see my boy cheering me into the finish line!  The confusion came when the race director came up to congratulate me.. I had come 3rd overall and won the female division and I had no idea! I thought that there were for sure a few more people in front of me so I was elated.  And I was even more elated to find out that Elliott had won the Entire race!  What a surprising and phenomenal way to start the weekend!  We had a great time eating and drinking our way through Seattle and watching some awesome football for the rest of the weekend!

 

Biggest lessons learned:

  1. I have come to realize that the post / during run treats at trail races is 1000% better than large scale organized road races.  Homemade goodies, chocolate cake and Chilli, hellllloooo goodness!
  2. Trails are single file so only pass when there’s room– no pushing other runners off the cliffs
  3. I should probably get some better trail shoes
  4. I should most likely start doing some more hill runs – ughhhhhhhhh

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Next Up: A Vacacation Run

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Although I definitely have the “travel bug”, Vancouver has always been my home base.  I grew up running on vacation in order to stay “soccer fit” but once my soccer days have subsided I started running for enjoyment, and some of my all time favourite runs have been on vacation.  I’ve realized that I’ve gotten to see some of the best places on all of my travel adventures by taking early morning runs.   From running I’ve found hidden alleys, and secret beach pathways that I would have never otherwise known existed.  I sheepishly admit that in retrospect not all of these little adventures have been my smartest or safest decisions (sorry mom!) but I definitely don’t regret them.

Highlights include morning runs along the Maui coastline finishing up at Kona coffee company (I hope to someday run the half or even full Maui marathon), through the twisted streets of San Paolo Brazil and olive orchards in Tuscany, Kensington Park and all about London, along the dusty highway in Cuba, through the morning market in El Salvador, as well as beaches in Mexico, Costa Rica, Tofino, all along the California coastline including Laguna Beach, Seattle and the city streets of Toronto and New York, just to name a few.

I’m pumped to have just registered for the Xterra Harvest 10K Trail Race held at St. Edward State Park in Seattle Washington on Oct. 12th.  This will be my very first trail race and I’ll be looking forward to having the more experienced trail racer, and part human part golden retriever, Elliott there to show me to ropes.  I figure that my eyes have already started training for this race by swallowing a multitude of fly’s and bugs on my past several runs.  Having your eyes spit out bugs several hours after a run is always exciting and very disgusting.  We’ve opted for the 10K version of this race after looking at the route and realizing that the 10K was a single loop of the park trails while the Half Marathon was 2 laps of the same route.  Personally I the running in circles and running the same course twice has zero appeal to me.  So the 10K, single lap it is.

We’re both excited for this run and we are joining it onto a pre-existing vacation to go down to Seattle to watch the Huskies vs. Oregon Ducks football game on Saturday and the Seahawks vs. Titans game on Sunday.  What a better way to kick off the Thanksgiving weekend then go for a trail run before tailgating and football watching.

Next Race: XTERRA Harvest Trail Race 10K

October 12th, 2013

St. Edward State Park, Seattle Washington

http://www.nwtrailruns.com/content/xterra-harvest-half-marathon-10k