Sunday, May 13, 2012
Good Day, Sunshine
Mona had a great Cougar Mountain trail running race series last year, winning the master's women spot in each of the four races. This year she's evidently kicking it up a notch: in Saturday's five-miler, the first race of the series, she was the first woman overall, and came in 22nd out of about 250 finishers. Way to go, Mona!
I finished at the opposite end of the pack, as usual, but I actually had a very satisfying race. A couple of years ago, I drove to this race with Martin and we talked about goals. His was to win the race, which he did, and he suggested that my goal might be to pass four people. Usually I just kind of doodle along, looking at flowers and listening to birds and enjoying an outing in the forest, but trying to beat four people suddenly changed the total complexion of the day: suddenly I was trying, and strategizing, and paying attention, and actually ... racing! It was total fun!
I thought about that conversation as I was driving to the park on Saturday, but I'm not really in five-mile shape right now, so I decided to bag the goal and just enjoy the day in last place. As it turned out, I passed three people right at the beginning, and suddenly my focus shifted; I didn't want those three to catch me, so just like that, I was back in racing mode -- physically slow, but mentally racing. I ended up working harder than I expected to, pushing myself to run faster than was comfortable, constantly paying attention to voices behind me and voices ahead of me, gauging my position. I passed a few more people, and in the last mile or so, caught up with three women who were a little bit faster. I didn't have enough gas to pass them, so I tried to just stay with them. In the last quarter-mile they pulled away and I couldn't keep up, but I ran strong to the finish and ended up beating seven people -- seven! -- and meeting my time goal! It's not the same as Mona's first place, but it's a happy happy place for me.
After the race and a restorative stop at Starbux, I changed from running shoes to biking shoes and headed up to Snohomish for a bike ride with Glenn and Anna Louise. It was a glorious day for a bike ride, and this urban commuter chick was delighted with the peaceful rolling farm roads (no stop lights!), the massive farm machinery lumbering down the middle of the road, the goats and cows and frisky horses and puffy sheep, the super-polite car drivers. We went 28 miles, which is exactly four times as long as my previous rides so far this year, my seven-mile ride to work. I felt like I squeezed every possible minute of fun out of this beautiful sunshiny May day, and by the time I got home, I was so tired I could barely stand up long enough to take a shower. That, my friends, is one good Saturday.