My writing has been less than average this summer but if you can read to the end (no skipping ahead) you will discover (one of) the excuses I have for not writing consistently. But first–let me tell you what I did last weekend!
While researching races this past spring, I came across the Wild Woman Marathon in Trout Lake, Washington. The more I read, the more I fell in love. A bunch of women camping out in a field at the base of Mt. Adams–running, eating, yoga-ing, and enjoying each other’s company. I originally aimed to run the full marathon but after some…eeehhheemm, developments…I decided a relay format would be best. I rallied the troops and came up with one more wild woman up for the adventure.
We set up camp in the field and enjoyed the company of the other women (and their children–yep,wild women out there camping with their babes in tow) over a potluck dinner and then turned in early. The next morning, we rose and walked to the start line. I would be running the 1st (7 miles) and last (6.6 miles) while Em made the filling with legs 2 and 4. All of us first leggers and full marathoners (about 60 women in total) set off on the trail through forest sometimes skirting the edge of a farm. The morning chill was soon long gone and I settled into a comfortable but challenging pace.
I could hear the women whooping about 1/2 mile out. They ushered each runner into the exchange point with great gusto. It was wonderful. I picked Emily out of the crowd–she handed me a bag of our stuff and she set off on her first leg.
Meanwhile, I grabbed the car and drove up to the next exchange point. Since Emily would be running the next two legs, it was fortunate that the exchange points where in the same location–I got to hang out, snack, and chat with other runners while I waited for her to finish the 2nd and 3rd leg. She ran beautifully, despite a sore knee and some other less than ideal running circumstances.
Leg 4, to my advantage, was mostly downhill. I love running downhill and as long as I keep my mind focused, I’d say its one of my strengths. Focus is key–I’ve had many a wipeouts flying down a rooty, rocky narrow trail. Not this time though. With every step I sought stability between my foot and the earth. I picked one runner off…then another…then 2 at once…and before I knew it I had passed 10 other runners. I hit a short but extremely steep climb and swore/smiled/shook my head as I slowed to a scramble. I soon recalled that I had run this same portion of the trail earlier in the day and that it was very close to home! This spurred me on and I charged toward the finish.
Emily cheered me through (I love having Emily at the end of races–she’s great) and after crossing the finish line, I was handed a bundle of lavender and greeted by Betsy, the race director and owner of the pasture we were camping in. She asked me if I had enjoyed the race and showed genuine interest in me and every other woman that crossed the line. Spectacular.
I ran both my legs with less than 9 minute mile splits and we placed 7th–just about half a minute behind 6th place–not bad for a pregnant lady on the trail. What? Pregnant? Indeed. If you didn’t notice the pooch in the photos–look again, its there (I feel gigantic–and it’s only going to get bigger). Josh and I are excitedly awaiting the arrival of our March baby…and I’m anxiously awaiting the end of my first trimester in a couple weeks and the “energy full, feel almost like yourself” second trimester everyone keeps telling me about.
That’s my excuse–exhaustion, nausea, excitement, anxiety…So, now that the secret is out in the cyber world, I will hopefully be more diligent about sharing my running, eating, and ponderings with you.