(the song stuck in my head the entire race.)
saturday, nov. 15, 2015
grand ridge half marathon
this time was different.
my last experience at grand ridge ~ a dim, dreary, exhausted slog a year ago ~ was not fun. from the moment i arrived to the moment i crossed the finish line, i just wanted to be done. looking back, it's not so much that the experience was bad...it's that my attitude sucked.
today, as noted, was different. bright, sunny, and cold. cold as a new york city winter. colder than the siberian (not-so-permanent) permafrost. but not as cold as the internet reaction to kim kardashian's butt.
still, it was cold.
|mile 3-ish. i was warm.|
(photo courtesy of takao suzuki)
the starting area was in the shade until a few minutes before the start, and runners milling about shivered and kvetched on frozen ground.
by 9 a.m., however, the sun rose high enough over tree and hill to blast the north side of I-90 ~ the difference was spectacular. cold-weather gear-related note: black running attire heats up quickly in sunlight. metabolic-physiology note: running generates heat, as well.
aside from knocking a few minutes off last year's time, my goals this day were modest:
- have fun
- don't fall down a lot
these are not audacious goals, i realize, but achieving them is always better than not. falling on the frozen trail would've been particularly noisome ~ not too different from tumbling on broken concrete. it would've made for some interesting road rash, though.
according to the nice folks at evergreen trail runs, there's about 2000 feet of elevation over the half marathon course. it seemed like more, but that's probably because there isn't a lot of flat ground at grand ridge. you're either running uphill or downhill most of the time. plus, there's a lot of avoiding other runners heading out-and-back on singletrack trail, which adds to the illusion of extra effort.
no, come to think of it, it wasn't an illusion. in the name of good trail running etiquette, i spent a lot of time sidestepping and smiling and saying "thank you" and "nice job." i'm polite that way.
sidebar: as it's only a half-hour from our house, why don't i run grand ridge more often? aside from the fact that discovery park is three minutes away, i mean.
in conclusion, i did finish, i did have fun, and i did improve on last year's time (sort of). late in the race i saw my friend kira walking up the hill, and since i hadn't seen her in months we walked and chatted for a few minutes. yes, it was a race, but it's not like the digression cost me a spot on the podium.
so, on a technicality, two minutes slower than last year. but who's counting?
3/15 (M 50-59)