Saturday, January 03, 2009

Running for a really long time.... the Chuckanut 50km

There was a time when my legs had no limit. I could run anywhere, any terrain, any distance, for as long as I wanted with out so much a blister. For a couple of years running consumed every second of my free time. I beat down the paths in the Chuckanuts, Padden, Gailbraith and logged some hours on the treadmill at the YMCA. I was finding my stride. As I left school and started to work more, the amount of time I dedicated to running dwindled. This forced me for the first time in my life to run fast for shorted distances. This actually worked out for me after awhile. I even raced a shorted race, Whidbey Island Half Marathon and did really well. It was a blast. My legs actually moved fast. I was RUNNING!

As this last year has passed I have put running on the back burner, giving my joints a break, put some weight back on, and focus on other hobbies/sports. I also picked up biking a bit (who am I kidding.... a lot) more, started practicing yoga again, and learning to relax a bit more.

All this explanation for one simple thing: I just registered for the 2009 Chuckanut 50 Km race. This happened out of the blue. I am still in shock that I did it to be completely honest. The race is capped at about 350 runners. Every year it fills up in about a day. A waiting list forms and as the date nears, people back out and others will go extreams to grab the last spots. This truel is a "fun run." I am really excited, with a little less then three months to get my legs back under me, it is time to get off the couch.... but there is no way that I am ever going to be that girl at the YMCA running on a treadmill every waking moment ever again!

I have raced the Chuckanut twice. The first time, 2006, was a life changing experience. FOR THE BETTER! It was the first race longer than a 10km that I had done. I met a great group of women to train with who were inspiring and a bit older and more experienced than me. Leading up to the race was incredible, I had support pouring in from all angles. My in laws all contacted me wish me well, Brenda and Carol came to the race to cheer me on, John and Brenna spent the day at the race in various locations, and Brenna even finished the last couple of miles with me. The race day was a beautiful sunny day (rare for March) making the trails prime. With this kind of support, of course my race was going to be memorable. I finished 104th in 5 hours and 53 minutes. My goal was to finish and try to make the 8 hour time limit. I was hooked.

In 2008, with less training I finished 119th in 5 hours 55 minutes. Since then I have ran a couple other 50 km races, the Baker Lake 50 (Boring!) and last year I competed in the North Face Endurance Challenge. Believe or not I finished second overall in the women's field and 12th overall. This still blows my mind.

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