Tuesday, October 1, 2013
fter my walking in Philly I came home and continued to walk, which started to cause me plantar fascia pain so I had to back off. It was disappointing to have something as basic as walking taken away. I was feeling like there wasn’t anything I could do. I realized that if I walked with friends my feet were okay but when I walked on my own I walked too fast and they hurt. It was a good reason to get together with friends so I started making walking and hiking dates. My friend Haley and I hadn’t seen each other in a while so walk were a good way to catch up. She’s been injured can’t run either so we can commiserate.
My cousin Andrea had planned months ago to do the Leavenworth half marathon in October; she invited any interested cousins to come along. Pete and I met three of my cousins and their significant others there. Since this is the year of injuries, nobody was actually running the race. We went to Octoberfest, hiked and climbed. It was probably more fun than planning the weekend around the race anyway. We decided to make it an annual event.
The following weekend Pete, Rachel, Michelle and I watched the Spokane Marathon on our cruisers. My cousin Josie was doing her first marathon so we made a sign and cheered for her in several places. We saw her at the beginning of Doomsday hill and she was looking pretty good. But halfway up we saw that she stopped to walk. It may have just been an excuse to run, but I decided to catch up to her and encourage her. I had to run almost all the way up, in my jeans and bike helmet, to catch her. It was fun! Once I got up to her, I channeled my dad’s encouraging spirit and got her running again. I ran back down the hill happy that she was smiling and that I’d run. Then I stopped and gasped. I don’t think I’ll start my running with hill repeats.
After all that spectating, I went to Flagstaff, AZ for an alumni swim meet later in the month. It was very low key, nobody timed the events and you just raised your hand if you wanted to swim. Of course, I wanted to know my times. The pool was 25 meters, not yards and it was at 7000 feet, so times wouldn’t have meant much anyway. The first event was 100 Freestyle. At about 28 meters, I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it to the 50, let along the full 100. I was trying to figure out how to get my friend Leia to dive in at the 50 and make it a relay. My arms hurt so bad, I was out of breath, even my teeth hurt. I’d forgotten what 7000 feet felt like. I managed to finish, but only by sheer willpower. I’m glad nobody was timing me. After that I stuck with 50s where I could out sprint the lack of oxygen at 7000 feet.
After the meet there was a fun reunion social and I saw swimmers and divers that I hadn’t seen in ten years. I hiked through aspen groves in the San Francisco Peaks and through the red rocks of Sedona. At this point I was just starting to run so I got to do a few one minute runs during my hikes.After seeing friends and sun in Arizona I wasn’t looking forward to going back home to rain and too much time spent at home without much to do.
When my friend Jerry said I should stay another week and help put on his Terrain Mud Run race in Phoenix, I only hesitated long enough to call Pete and see if he minded. He thought I should stay so I did. We spent Tuesday through Friday setting up for the race. I had no idea how much work went into a mud run. We had to unload a semi full of obstacles, lumber and supplies. Once we sorted out all of the different supplies we set up all of the obstacles including 20 foot climbing walls, 50 foot long traverse walls with giant cargo nets that weighed 400 pounds and had to be set up with a fork lift. This isn’t work I’m really accustomed to, especially when it was 93 degrees out! But it was fun, I loved working with others and seeing the race come together. I spend one day with Jerry’s mom marking the course. That was actually more tiring than the manual labor the guys were doing to set up the obstacles. It involved a lot of walking and re-walking the course and a lot less standing around thinking about how to set something up. I still managed to get my swims in either at 5am or 7pm. Swimming outdoors was nice because it was still so warm in October but I didn’t bring home a tan since I was always swimming in the dark.
On Saturday the race started at 9am and waves continued to start until 11:15. There were almost 1500 participants and they all looked like they were having a great time. From the fastest runners doing the 12 mile race to the girl in flip-flops holding a 64 oz. Big Gulp, everyone seemed to like getting muddy. All the participants were gone by 1:00. We stayed until 6:3