Monday, August 18, 2008

Riding the Wave

So forget this Meghan chick! Let's talk about me! I think I have finally recovered from my own burning river adventure, so let's get back to business.

Things have been good over here. Now that I am about 10 days away from the third trimester I am finally feeling that second trimester bliss I read about. I had morning sickness well into the second trimester and really never believed any of it. But now, finally, I don't feel so puky and my energy levels have been much higher. Don't think for a second I haven't been taking advantage of this tide of good fortune!

Last week went to three races, but I only ran two. The first was a local cross country race that I really wanted to run last year but it was too muddy. This year, my pal E was running. Mrp wanted to do a track workout so I dropped him off at our local track and while he did 1000 meter repeats I went to cheer on my friend.

When I arrived, Miss E was talking about how bad she felt and how bad she was going to run and bla bla. Sure, she might be smiling in this picture, but she was pretty nervous about her race. I told her to pep up and be confident! At least I was confident in her! I ran up about 1/4 mile from the start to get a good cheering spot, or so I thought. Turns out high school runners are kind of stupid and all go out WAY too hard. E was totally boxed in a huge mob of kids and was probably 15th woman at that point.

While I was waiting at the mid-point of the race I helped out at a water station. It made me feel less weird standing around in my office clothes at a race of mostly high school kids, anyway. I filled up a bunch of cups and when the first runners started coming through I quit to make sure I got a good photo. And boy did I ever! Look at E working hard! Now she was in 2nd place! She had moved up quite a bit.

After E passed through the middle section of the race, I spent 5 more minutes filling water cups before bolting to the finish. I made it just in time as E came blasting through the chute in a sub-20 for a 5k cross-country. Very very nice! I was super happy for her (can't you tell!)! It was one of those monkeys on her back--you know the kind that stick with you all the way from high school. It was something she always wanted to do and for the longest time never thought she could. Well, now look at her! She did it! Hard work, determination, and good training pay off. Here's your proof!

Then on Thursday I joined a gaggle of friends to run a 5 mile trail race right around the corner from my house on the trails I run almost every day. It was so much fun! I ran with IronG the entire time and we chatted away the whole time. After a very slow first mile due to a very long and steep and absolutely horrid uphill, we managed to run under 9:00 pace on rolling trails. Lately I have trouble cracking 11:00 pace on these so I was quite surprised. We picked up each mile and then gave it a final push over the last half. We came to a field near the finish and we had to make a big loop out in the open. I could hear my friends cheering for me and peanut. It was so great! And then the announcer guy at the finish said, "Now ladies and gentlemen, here is a woman making us all look bad. She has a little one in there!" I was at once a little embarassed but also quite proud. It just added to the fun of the day.

Afterwards, I had to decline the after-race beer, but I did meet up with all my friends. We did not let the opportunity pass without a photo. Guess which one's me! I bet you can't! E and the woman making the crazy face on the right (solar squirrel) were the winning women's team followed in close second by Daisy (on the far left) and CJ (in the cap).

And then on Sunday, mrp ran a 10 mile race and I went along to cheer him on. I am working hard to support him in his quest to run a decent time in Chicago despite myriad of setbacks to his training (car accidents, sick dads, etc). So even though we had to leave our house around 6:00 AM I pried peanut and myself out of bed and made it out the door in time. Since it would be a while until he was in a good spot for me to cheer for him I decided to get my run in by running the 5k. A few minutes after I watched mrp off in his race, I lined up for mine. And right before the gun went off, who should say hi to me but Jack Staph of Cleveland Marathon fame. He was running it too!

The gun went off and I trotted along. I figured people would go out too fast because the start was 300 meters on a track. I just took my time and ran what felt comfortable. I saw Jack and his red shirt for a while and then it was gone from my view. After the first mile, I felt good so I pushed the pace a little. Even though it was just a little bit I was passing lots of people. I made it the second mile and still felt good so I started pushing a little more. I made a turn and I saw Jack and his red shirt up ahead. That's a good target! So, I used Jack as a target to help push it to the end. I didn't quite catch him, but I came in with a respectable 24:31. I came in 9th out of 48! I even got an age group award. Got to love small local races! But the best part was how wonderfully encouraging and supportive my fellow-runners and the course volunteers were! So many people said such nice things about me running with peanut. It was so flattering and just made me feel really nice in general.

After I was done, I jogged about a mile up the course to wait for mrp. I arrived just in time. He came around a corner in 5th place. Not bad! He looked relaxed and super strong. I always tell him he doesn't run hard enough in races. He had another guy right on his tail, but I didn't want to be rude and say something about it and plus he was so close I thought mrp knew. After I cheered for mrp, I jogged back to the finish hoping he held on to 5th. But when I found him, he told me he came in 6th (out of 405, so really really good!). At the time mrp didn't seem to care. He is not very competitive. But as the day wore on I could tell he was mad. He had not known the guy was there and said if he had he would have dropped him a long time before. That's the thing with mrp. I would have been running to my max regardless of who was where, but mrp is so casual about the whole thing he needs a lot of extra motivation to really push himself. And as a testimount to how little he pushed himself he ran a shake-out run at night in 7:30 pace and was easy. I used to feel completely broken and hobbled on mine, maybe just barely cracking 10:00 pace. Hopefully, all of this is getting mrp fired up for Chicago! (There was a real live photographer at this race so when the photos are online I'll post some. Well, unless they're really hideous!)

So, that's what I've been up to. How about you?


katesun said...

Salty !!

You are amazing ! 2 races !! You look amazing too! I hope we meet when I move to Ohio !

E-Speed said...

You were busy last week! Glad you had fun at all the races and thanks for coming to cheer me on! Looks like tonight may not be ideal!

TrainingtoTri said...

Me, I'm fine :) Great recaps, you have been busy! Cute pic of you and E.

Meghan said...

Wahoo on the race there, pregnant lady. Peanut is going to pop out with his legs already running. You are such a stud!


PS. Congrats to E-speed, too. Wowowie!