Sunday, August 19, 2012

A First Double Dip: Playing Duck Hunt, ditching the Garmin 305, relaxing for the end is in clear view, and pushing forward…

A Double Dip:

August 18, 2012

Racing two races in two different states in one day, insane, yes probably.   Just what the adrenaline junkie needed, oh yeah.  (Still on the endorphin high from yesterday.)

Well my first adventure was at the Charlotte Whitewater Center, the event:  10K Trail Challenge.  Race start time was 8:30, we drove up that morning leaving the house at 6:15.  The usual breakfast of eggs, sunbutter and a rice cake accompanied by a large glass of water.  

All things packed for race the night before including my camelbak.  Ever since the Xterra Half Marathon in July, where the water stop ran out of water, I do not do a trail race without my trusty pack, no matter the distance.  

The race starts, temperature is 66 degrees, pretty much perfect.  The sun is hidden behind the fog and clouds that are starting to burn off and the shade from the trees makes the temperature upon entering the trail even cooler.  As with any run, the body heats up quickly so no extra clothes needed.  Music blaring at the start was hair metal….oh yeah…going to be a great race.  

Having still only done a couple trail races, literally two, I always allow for extra time just because I have to have a goal, which was 1 hour 20 minutes.  (I didn’t realize how much my Garmin was limiting me, I just wear a watch now, it helps me relax and just enjoy what I am doing, at the moment.)  

The race was pretty uneventful, the scenery was beautiful as always, however, trail racing requires focus to be on the ground and not really looking around as fall are inevitable.  I could hear crickets all around me, frogs, and just the sounds that are so relaxing, they bring a smile to my face.  This race was different for me, I had decided I was not going to walk, I was going to push further than I had before. Convince the mind that the body is willing, and I did.  I ran the whole thing. My mantra was: relax and enjoy the moment, you are doing what you love, breathe, relax, repeat. 

 I also fell in love with my Brooks PureGrits.  Charlotte trails are slick red clay, even slicker due to the rain we have had lately.  Rooty, rocky, steep climbs, mostly single track with several jumps involved, my shoes made a huge difference, my footing was certain, and no foot pain today.  

Even more proud was I that I had finished the race in 1:02, 18 minutes faster than I had allowed myself. 

It was a great morning.  

Part Two

I had seen an add for the Springdale 5k advertised and I had always wanted to try it, so Friday afternoon I signed up. What the world was I thinking?  I was thinking that I am in marathon training and what better way to get my mileage in with other people so that I would push myself harder. Yes that is my thought process, and yes it worked.   

Last night 6:45pm, 90 degrees, no trees to block the brutal sun, grass on a horse track, no spring in my step and three water stops for a 5k, it was hot.  

I was surprised at the start, my friend Cindy was there and her husband, Kevin.  We walked over to the start and in true Pam fashion, I had not even bothered to look at any course map.  Oh well it is just for fun, it was flat, not my favorite, but it was on anything but asphalt so yahoo!

I saw a ton of folks I hadn’t seen in a while, got to chat a bit. We lined up and the race started, garminless I have no clue where I am, time wise, I was just running.  The first loop was done, water stop, sip water, pour over head. Next mile, done, sip water, pour overhead.  

Approaching the last mile, I am going to play Duck Hunt.  Coach G would say there’s your rabbit, chase it, catch it, pass it.  I played Duck Hunt instead.  The finish is in sight, plain view, push and pass.  Target in sight, aim, explode, pass, repeat…next.  I continued until I was crossing the line.  

As we were leaving the last race Nik asked me how I had liked double dipping, I said I loved it! It definitely will not be the last. We headed by Food Lion because I wanted peanut butter ice cream, and then we were couch bound! 

About an hour later I get a text from Cindy, saying that I had won first place age group for the Springdale 5k.  She had my trophy! I was elated.  She had won third place herself! 

Today as I looked at the standings from yesterday, I had finished 6th in my age group in the Charlotte 10k Trail Race and 1st place AG at the Springdale 5K cross country race.  Not too shabby, but was all for fun.

I am thankful everyday to have a supportive husband who always is with me at the races, waiting for me to finish, who carts me around from race to race.  Sometimes I think he is more proud than I am, in fact I know he is. 

The one thing I am certain about, I love running, I love the challenge,  I love the feeling of crossing finish lines, I love the discipline it takes to get to the start lines.  When training for runs, nothing can be substituted for running.  

Through running I have learned more about myself.  Running allows me freedom - mentally, spiritually and physically.  Finding my love for running, is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Having support system at home is priceless.  

Two races, two states in one day…what a great way to spend a Saturday.