"Only those who risk failing greatly can ever succeed greatly." –RFK
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Spokane River Run 50k - 4.19.2009
The Spokane River Run is a wonderful trail run just a few minutes from my house. There are several distances available to run - a 5k, 10k, 25k, or 50k. Tim, David, Ethan, Craig and I ran the 50k. John ran the 25k. The guys came in from Ellensburg yesterday and stayed over for this morning's race. We had a blast. Lots of laughter - the best part of running with friends.
(pic: David, John, Lisa, Ethan, Craig, Tim.)
We carbo-loaded with pasta (with the Englund family sauce and meatballs recipe) and grilled chicken, topped off with a little apple pie (if you had saved some room). We slept well and the dogs woke us bright and early this morning for the run.
The weather was great. The forecast was for mid to high 70's. I don't think it got past low to mid 60's a light overcast. Really perfect for running.
My previous blog entry shows some of the course. It's a beautiful course, not too easy, not too hard. Most of the trail is very runnable, as long as you're good with hills. There were some incredibly rocky sections (see picture in last post) and lots of well-groomed hilly trails through gorgeous scenic views of the Spokane River, which was rolling pretty good.
My goal was to have a "good race." That means that I would try to run well but stay happy. After all, I'm in this sport for the joy of it.
Trails are very difficult for me ever since I ruptured my ankle ligaments and had surgery. I've since ruptured those surgical ligaments too, so needless to say, I'm just no longer a good, and certainly not a confident, trail runner! I wear my ankle brace now - every time I'm on the trails. I have run trails in the past few years but I've never run them without fear of reinjury. I've been running trails filled with tension. I've made progress with that more recently, but this run was going to be a test of whether I could return to running trails with joy and confidence.
That was my goal.
I accomplished it.
It was invigorating to be on these beautiful trails...and to be racing on them. I had only a few scares where my ankle started to turn but I caught it early. Instead of looking at the rocks and trying to avoid them, I instead looked at the flat spots and tried to plant my foot there. Sort of a subtle difference. Kind of seeing the "negative space" if you will. And this turned out to be hugely positive for me. I found myself running through, around, even over the rocks with confidence. I was thrilled, overjoyed.
(pic: 3rd (Francie), 2nd (me) and 1st place women (Emily).)
I finished in 5:08, 2nd female overall. Tim finished in 4:33, 7th overall. It was a fast race! Lots of fast runners as you can see in the results.
All the guys finished well and we celebrated with beer brats on the grill back at home. Thanks to Tim, David, John, Ethan, and Craig for sharing a fabulous weekend and for all the laughs.
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!