Pseudo-Race Report: Wildcat Mountain 1/6 Marathon

On Saturday, I ran my first pseudo-race. It was a certified* 1/6 marathon course of 4.4 miles.

The first HRCA Wildcat Mountain 1/2 Marathon was held on Saturday. The HRRC running group had 6 members who were planning to race; the rest of us non-racers met near the course start and ran a portion of the course before turning back to cheer our fellow clubmates on during the race.

In true Colorado fashion, the weather was iffy. (The race had 235 racers, but as of late afternoon on Thursday, just 42 people had registered for the race--guess no one was too motivated to lose $50 on the race fee if it ended up being snowy weather.) It was kind of chilly and damp and we had a bit of snow Friday night. The course was mostly cross-country style dirt and grass trail through the backcountry around Highlands Ranch. But, miraculously, it wasn't nearly as muddy as I figured it would be.

Us non-racers ran out a couple of miles and decided to come back along the course, passing the racers as they started the first 2 miles. It was kind of fun to be going the wrong direction on the course, and I could see the wheels turning in each racers head as we passed, "Why are they running the wrong way on the course? Why are they smiling? Who are these strange runners on the course, clearly not racing but out here in this marginal-ass, chilly, damp weather nonetheless? Did they do the whole course already? Is is that easy? Are they that good?" (While I can only wish I was indeed THAT good, we actually DID have a running star in our midst, a real pro runner: one Cassie Slade. Athlink HER ass, she is GOOD.)

We got to cheer on our running group mates, which was cool. And we got back to the start in time to chat a bit (heck, I even had time to go inside the Rec center and do a core workout) and still see the winners finish. Even though it was cold, it was a good time. The HRRC runners had a good showing, with one of our own winning the race (yay Kyle!).

*It's important to remember that the certifying body may have permanent peanut butter M&M-induced brain damage and be slightly lacking in exact math skillz--yeah I know 4.4 is more than 1/6, but it is close enough and I don't really care that much about precision anyway.


Early TG Spirit

Because Thanksgiving is fast approaching, because it is my favorite holiday, and because I am in a dang thankful frame of mind this week, I am going to bandwagon it and do a gratitude list today, too. Here is what I am presently thankful for:

1. The Healing Power of the Human Body - Healed (praise Jebus I'm healed and whole-ish) and able to run again.

2. Mad Men - Don Draper, nom-nom-nom. By GOD I love that show. Full stop.

3. Comcast OnDemand - so I can watch the entire season of Mad Men over and over and over and over again, until the next new episodes start...Don Draper, nom-nom-nom.

4. HRRC* runners - what a great group of folks that I am so glad to have met and gotten to know.

5. Peanut Butter M&Ms - because nothing says, "I defeat you, stress!" like saying it with your mouse raised and a mouthful (and I do mean FULL) of peanut butter M&M's.

6. New Running Shoes - Asic's 2140's I love you! I resisted giving up my 2130's but so far the 40's are a decent replacement. Plus they are pink. Yay/yay.

My week so far has involved high amounts of stress...which I am now *smartly* managing with small doses of low-mileage running, meditation, and peanut butter. I have worked up to 3-4 miles, and am *smartly* running every other day and gradually adding distance. Emphasis on gradually. I got to run with the running group again last Saturday, and turned in a nice, foot pain-free run of 3.64 miles. Then did about 3 miles at the track with a couple of other running buddies on Monday. Planing to do a *smart* run of 2 miles or so tonight. And the fact that I can once again say that, is all I need to be thankful. Well, that and the M&Ms. And maybe a bit of soft porn (i.e. Mad Men) here and there...but that's all I really need. Really.

*Highlands Ranch Running Club, for the uninitiated


First-off, congratulations to all you runners who did the New York Marathon yesterday. I find it extremely humbling that Meb won the Marathon yesterday with a time that was faster than my last HALF marathon. Wow, it just amazes me to see the elites run that fast, for 26.2 miles. Simply amazing. My goal is to one day run ONE mile at that pace.

In my own running news, I am happy to report that I completed my first mile in nearly a month this weekend. Saturday I purchased my new Asics 2140s (pink and white--cute but they will be dirty quick in the winter muck) and then took them out for a spin at the track. FInished a mile and the foot felt fine. Felt fine the rest of the day, and weekend too. And, it STILL feels fine! Woo hoo! Now, my lungs on the other hand were a different story. I have been swiming some and walking and trying to stay moving in my running sabbatical; however, nothing compares to running for keeping me fit. After that single mile, I looked and felt like I had done 5. But, I know that it won't take long to be running 10 again with ease. And I look forward to it eagerly.

Though I am running again, I have completely resigned all hope of running a full marathon in 2009. BUT, early 2010 seems doable. I am scoping out alternatives for my marathon...Miami in January? New Orleans in February? Bataan Memorial Death March in March? (eh, maybe not...)