Last weekend I was supposed to run 15 miles with Maureen on Wildwood and then the Blooms to Brews Half Marathon on Sunday. Sadly, it didn’t quite work out that way.
I didn’t go to work on Thursday or Friday for a variety of reasons. None bad.
I started Thursday out by showing up to run 5 at 5 with my girlfriends. I was in the middle of a conversation with one of the girls when Tony (the token male) said it was time to go. So I started running with her. She runs faster than me, and I knew that going into it, but I was enjoying the conversation. When my Garmin vibrated to let me know I’d run the first mile, and I looked down to see 9:15, I was all WTF? And began the internal conversation with myself about the feasibility of me maintaining that pace for 5 miles. Not likely. I managed to stay with her for 3.5 miles – but I truly thought I was going to die.
I hadn’t intended to run on Friday because I knew I’d be running both days over the weekend. Unfortunately, though, my oldest son put a kink in my plans for Saturday and I was forced to cancel on Maureen. I was annoyed by this because I was looking forward to running with her in my brand new trail shoes. Hoping we can make up for it next weekend.
I spent Friday with Blue Eyes. He had the day off, it had been a while since I’d seen him, I had plans with a girlfriend that night so it seemed like the best idea to spend the day with him. It was so very nice to spend a weekday with him. Among other things we went to see Oblivion at Cinetopia in Washington. I did not like the movie, but please don’t let that stop you from seeing it if you are a Tom Cruise fan.
Saturday I ran a myriad of errands, dealt with my oldest son and passed time until 4, when I drove up to Washington to spend the night with Blue Eyes. My half marathon was in Washington, about 40 minutes from his house, so it seemed appropriate to stay there instead of having to drive the additional hour from my house.
We got together around 5 and headed out for dinner. There is what we thought was a new pub open in Washougal that we’d been told had 40 beers on tap. I am a big fan of beer, REAL beer (not Coors Light and the like) and the Pacific Northwest has some stellar brewers — When we got to the place we found that while they did have 40 beers on tap (and a bazillion others in bottles) they did not really have food. It was more a tasting room.
We got a couple pints of an IPA (each of us tried a different one) and studied the board listing the beers on tap. There were some interesting ones listed and while we drank our pints we decided we would share a beer taster – 6 glasses, 2 ounces each, of 6 different beers.
Blue Eyes and I have been trying out beer for a while now. We keep a notebook (well, I keep it, but we both contribute to it). We write down the names of the beers we’ve tried and our opinion of them. There are so many local beers that it can be easy to forget what you’ve tried and it would suck to order a beer that you really don’t like because you didn’t remember you didn’t like it. This is why the notebook was created.
While I really love good beer, I only drink beer every other weekend, when I’m with Blue Eyes or if I’m hanging out with beer drinking girlfriends — so for all intents and purposes. . . . I’m a lightweight drinker. Turns out the pints we started with had a pretty high ABV percentage. Add to that, three of the ones we tasted were pretty high as well, and then remember that we didn’t eat beforehand. What does that equal. I was pretty drunk. Happy, but really drunk.
We went to a Mexican restaurant when we were done with the beer, but it was too late for that. The beer had taken its toll and the food just kind of went down and sat on top of it all – did not do any soaking up of the alcohol.
Because Blue Eyes would be driving me up to the half marathon on Sunday he volunteered his services. So we had to be up at the event between 6:30 and 7. I have been practicing before race nutrition on longer runs, trying to prepare for the marathon and it’s been working for me. It requires that I eat 3.5 to 4 hours before I run, which has, in the past, meant getting up real early to eat (and sometimes going back to sleep). So I had Blue Eyes set the alarm for 4:30 so I could eat my breakfast, be up for a bit, and then go back to sleep until 5:50.
Yeah, well, since I woke up at least twice throughout the night feeling as though I was going to vomit there was no way in hell I was going to eat anything at 4:30 a.m. We got up and out of the house timely and I choked down a banana and a piece of bread with jelly about 90 minutes pre-race.
It was supposed to be sunny, but it wasn’t. It was cold, drizzly and pretty crummy. That might have just been my hung-over view of the world, but I was not happy. Didn’t help that I had packed my race top that has no shoulders (it was supposed to be sunny!!) so I was really cold. Blue Eyes had to kick me out of his car 40 minutes before the race start because he had to drive out to mile 9.5 where he would be stationed to direct runners. I was not happy. My girlfriend, who was also running, showed up ten minutes later and let me sit in her suburban and warm up. Thank goodness.
I really just wanted to crawl back into bed. Honestly.
The course was relatively flat throughout and it went through some really nice countryside areas. We ran past barns, horses, the Columbia River. Would have been able to see Mt. St. Helens if there hadn’t been so many clouds (producing a drizzly and cold rain). I took no pictures of any of that, however, because I didn’t want to be there. Two miles in I was getting stitches in my side and swearing that I was going to just stop. I didn’t though, because stopping would have meant walking back to the start where Blue Eyes wasn’t anyway! So I consoled myself with the idea that I would run to him, at mile 9.5 and then quit. Sit in his car, sleep in his car, whatever, while he did his volunteer duty. I was so not into it.
When I got to him, however, it was such a pick me up to see him, get a couple really great hugs and kisses and encouragement that I just went on. He told me I was getting ready to enter the tulip fields so I couldn’t stop yet and really I was less than 4 miles to the end so why not just finish.
There was a mile of running a dyke that was all gravely. I hated running on the gravel, but it was only a mile and at the end of that mile there was a woman handing out handfuls of gummy bears. Coming down the hill you came upon the tulips. Beautiful tulips, of all colors. It was pretty spectacular and I was glad I had continued on to see it. I stopped and took a couple of pictures and then another runner came by and asked me if I wanted her to take a picture of me. I said something about not looking really good, but she said I looked like I had just run 11 miles so I figured I’d suck it up.
I finished. I actually finished in a good time, for me. No P.R., but I was not feeling this race at all, so the fact that I didn’t finish worse than any other half I’ve run, and actually finished closer to my better half marathon finishes I was pleased.
Strangely, though. . . my quads are killing me. I say strangely because last week when I ran 23 miles I had absolutely no quad pain at all. I really didn’t have any pain after the 23 miles. No pain, no stiffness, no nothing. This weekend I ran 13.1 miles and I can barely stand to walk, and stairs make me cry. I’m wondering if that’s because I didn’t do my pre-race nutrition, drank way too much beer with way too high of an alcohol content or whether it’s the difference between running on a trail and running on pavement. Maybe its a combination of all of that.
The weekend was good overall and I learned a few things. Mainly don’t drink on an empty stomach (I do know this one, but I temporarily forgot it) and maybe only one beer before a race. Ya think?
Have a great week everyone!