Thursday, November 25, 2010

Trots, Trails and Trepidations!


Today is Thanksgiving, a day family gathers to stuff themselves with copious amounts of food, watch parades and football and find reasons to be thankful.  A select few will be starting their day with a local race before the festivities begin.

I had signed up for a local Turkey Trot 10k but have elected to stay home from the icy pavement.  We have had a storm blow through our region this past week, leaving most residents (including my family) without power for three days.  The news said that "most" in my county will have their electricity on by Thanksgiving dinner...which, of course, will not be much of a dinner without electricity to cook it.  Our power was restored about 3:00 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Snow run!
Currently it's 27 degrees, warmer than the 14 degrees it was the night before.  Snow and ice have blanketed the ground for the last 4 days.  I awoke today with all intentions of running the 10k.  So many of my friends are much braver than I.  Running on icy pavement has never been "fun" for me, even when surrounded by friends.  My muscles protest, my ankles turn, and my back screams every time I try to "catch" myself.  Make fun if you must.  I am a wimp.

Sunday is the Seattle Marathon and I have all intentions of going into this race without injury.  I will grab my husband, dogs, and head out on the trail this morning.  Will it be 6.2 miles?  Probably more like 2 miles.  My dogs are not used to running very far unless motivated by food.

My running this week has been d"icey"...3 miles, 2 miles, etc.  I bought SnoTrax from Costco, their version of Yaktrax, basically chains for shoes.  They have given me the ability to actually "run", even though my times have been fairly slow, 10-11 minute miles.  Without power, I couldn't use my treadmill (which I haven't been using anyway since it started shocking me a few months ago!).  I have kept my running streak alive despite circumstances.


I have been taking a couple of my soccer players on trail runs this past month.  These girls had never run on trails and loved the new adventure.  Since the wind and snow storm, our local trails are a mess, and that's saying it nicely.  We are known for our tall trees in the Northwest.  The tops of some of those trees are MUCH closer to the ground now. 

December 18, I will be running a trail marathon with a goal to finish. 


Now that we have power, I no longer have worries about how to cook food or flush the toilet! 

I am concerned about the Seattle Marathon since the weather has been so cold.  It looks like the snow/ice should mostly melt off the roadways by Sunday.  My "training" that wasn't aslo concerns me.  Hopefully I can attach myself with an invisible rope to some faster runners to keep me moving along.  My body feels ready to run a 4+ hour marathon and that is NOT good.  Every run, my muscles and lungs keep asking me, "Really?  Again??"  I keep telling them that they will thank me later.

The end of the year is fast approaching and as I have reviewed my marathons and goals I set at the beginning of 2010, I am coming up short.  I had "10 marathons" and 3000 miles for running goals.  Currently I have 6 marathons completed, plus 3 ultramarathons.  I still need 4 marathons, with Seattle and the December 18th trail marathon on the schedule.  That would give me 8.  I had another marathon on the schedule (Veteran's Day) but since I am an assistant soccer coach (and my daughter is on the team), I was unable to run it due to a soccer game conflict.  I needed one more to make 10 marathons if I had completed the Veteran's Day Marathon. 

I searched and searched, but there was nothing close enough.  With lack of funding, I need to choose local races to avoid overnight hotel stays along with higher registration fees.  There is a free race in Bellingham on December 31st Last Chance Marathon but that is too far away and I don't travel on days when people binge on alcohol. 

What was the solution?  Researching what qualifies for Maniac status as a marathon, I discovered that a marathon needs at least 5 starters and 3 finishers, a month of "advertising" and posted results.  I decided that I would put the question out on Facebook:  Do you want to run a marathon on December 31st in Port Orchard?  Simple, right? 

With the help of  Narrows Bridge Running Club, the Yukon Do It! Half and Full Marathon is set for December 31st in Port Orchard, Washington.  I am making my debut as a Race Director, a title I have never desired to acquire.  All the details seem to be coming together and all runners should be in for a real treat with a beautiful course.  I'm praying for decent weather after the crazy week we've had.

I must tell you my older daughter helped come up with the name.  The marathon course runs by Yukon Harbor and thus...Yukon Do It!  Some runner-up names?  Snowflake Shuffle and Frozen Assets Marathon. 

In the end, I hopefully will have 9 marathons, 3 ultramarathons and maybe 2900 miles.  The weather is adding to the difficulty in getting the full 3000 miles for the year.  I will choose to be thankful for every mile.