"Only those who risk failing greatly can ever succeed greatly." –RFK
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Spokane River Run 50k
The Spokane River Run was today. Since it was right here in our own backyard, we didn't have to pack or prepare the night before. Rather, David and I just woke up a little earlier than usual, made the short drive to the Northwest side of Spokane, met our usual group of people we run with on the weekends, and had a great time on this spectacular trail.
You can read about the details in the picture captions of my album. But, I'd rather express here the emotional side of running this race. You see, I am soooooo thrilled to have run this trail race without an inkling of an ankle problem! Well, an inkling maybe...but who cares about that; it's feeling fine right now. I deliberately didn't wear a brace; I didn't spend 15 minutes taping it up. I just slathered on a thin layer of Hydropel, put on my double layer Wright socks, donned my Montrail Hardrocks (for the first time since Western States 2005!), and ran on the single-track trail, which was sometimes smooth and pillow-like on my feet and joints and sometimes covered with rocks that looked like glass shards.
I had just a couple of intrusive ankle-spraining PTSD thoughts, but I was able to quickly banish them from my mind with deliberate positive thoughts: "No, Lisa, your ankle is strong. You will not turn it. It's handling beautifully, gracefully. It will carry you through these rocks and roots." And to my surprise, it worked! I really did feel confident out there on this sometimes quite technical trail. That is something I thought I would never get back. I thought the ankle scarred my body forever, and when I was over that, I knew I still had the demons in my mind to overcome. True, I ran Chuckanut, which is a gnarly trail, but I did a lot of cautious walking and "tip-toeing" through many of those sections. Here, today, I RAN. Maybe not fast....but I RAN nonetheless. I once again experienced having to focus on the trail, plan your next steps, and becoming one with the dirt and rocks and roots. I can't express how thrilled I am to experience the confidence that I used to have doing that. It's so difficult to put in words, but I know that you trail runners out there know exactly what I mean!
Running on a trail itself will be good for my body. I have a nice long run in and my recovery will be swift. There are no aches and pains like I get from running the roads. Very nice....
The Men's winner was Jesse Stevick from Spokane in 3:34:19. The Women's winner was the fabulous Nikki Kimball from Bozeman in 3:59:13. All Montanans kicked butt! Running on rocks is what they do best. Dang they're good!
I am an ultra runner, physician and have been medical director of some of the toughest ultras. I tend to be a mover and a shaker and louder than my size suggests. However, my Gemini twin is gentler and contemplative, an artist, a writer, and a poet. I am a dog lover, a believer in souls, and have a special affinity for those who struggle because I have been there.
This is my crazy lovable huggable Weimaraner, Steely Dan. I call him Steely. He left us in January of this year at only 6 years from lymphoma that did not respond to chemotherapy treatments. Steely was a total goof. He loved trail running, road running, treadmill running, new experiences, making eye contact, sleeping on his back, me, kids, and liver treats. He was Zappa's best friend. We miss him dearly.
This is Stella. A rescue from the shelter. She's about 6 months old and a Border Collie. She is a joyous bundle of energy and curiosity and now also Zappa best friend. She will make a nice running partner when she grows up.
This is the now the big brother of my family - a rescued Greyhound. His name is Frank Zappa. I call him Zappa. He's 7 years old and has learned all about life beyond the track and crate from Steely when he was with us. It was very rewarding to watch his personality bloom as he settled into the family. And yes, he runs like the wind!
This is Natasha, my dearest friend. She was with me through college, medical school, residency, and she moved with me from Chicago to Spokane several years ago. She was my best running partner for 10 years. My sweet Natasha died from bone cancer in 2006. I miss her still. I hung a windchimes over the deck outside. When it chimes, I smile and think she has finally -- wherever she is now -- caught a squirrel!