Monday, August 11, 2008

Haulin Aspen

About two months ago, I saw an ad for a trail half-marathon. I thought, oh, I can totally be ready for a half-marathon in two months. Plus, I love trail running and half-marathons don't hurt too much. So, I signed up.

Well, two months later, I was totally not ready for a half-marathon, but I decided to run the race anyway. I couldn't miss out on running the gorgeous course, and I kept telling myself that half-marathons don't hurt too much. I figured I'd call it a training run and hope for the best.

The race was yesterday morning. After just the first few steps of the race, I knew it was going to be a long morning. My legs were not feeling perky.

The first 2.5 miles of the course are fairly flat. Then, the climbing begins. After one of the first climbs, I found this little girl sitting on a stump holding a cup of Gatorade for me. My legs smiled.

The smile didn't last long. The hills just kept coming, and there were no little girls waiting with refreshments for me.

The little girl and her daddy were cuddling on the shady banks of Tumalo Creek.

My legs were still out on the course and grumpy.

After about mile 8, the race course stops climbing, and it turns onto a single track - a downhill single track, the very best kind of single track. This type of running usually arouses a chorus of joy from my legs, my body. Not yesterday. Oh, I was still embracing the sights and sucking in the smells. Trails are where I'm supposed to be. It was just hard to ignore the nagging from my legs.

But, I couldn't complain. My still pissy legs carried me to the 11th mile of the race, and there I found the little girl bearing flowers. My legs nearly grinned.

For the last mostly flat 2 miles of the race, the little girl and her dad paralleled the course on their bike shouting words of encouragement and advice. My legs didn't like the advice at all. And at one point, I think the legs talked to the middle finger. The middle finger gave the little girl's dad a salute. Those appendages of mine are a testy bunch. Especially when they're tired.

But I finished the race. I was the 4th woman in my age group. The course was spectacular. It didn't hurt too much. And I think my legs will forgive me. Someday.


At 5:55 PM, Blogger QT said...

Oh so sweet of them - and congratulations!!!

At 10:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations! Its good to feel pain, then you know you are alive!
It is when you don't feel the pain, you should worry. I love the
salute! That confirms we are related. REJ

At 10:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

julianne, i hear the olympic theme song, and here is jim lampley to comment on your performance. but we will have to pixel out the salute you gave the man on the bike. do you know if they have a 1/100th of a marathon? i might be able to compete in that! or maybe a data analysis, or method validation/linearity study combo? do they have those events? because i am up to my middle finger in those!! i need that little girl with the gatorade!
love, carrie

At 10:22 AM, Blogger J Fife said...

QT - It was awesome having them out on the course. A little less advice would have been appreciated though.

REJ - Definitely related. When certain buttons are pushed, that Romero spark is hard to contain.

Carrie - You are in the middle of the most grueling event. I'm not sure how you're doing it. Gold medals and Gatorade for you!

At 10:46 AM, Blogger Jen F said...

Congrats! You are my hero. I don't think I could walk a half marathon, let alone run one. I might spill my drink or something. :-)


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