I came out of the woods running. We moved from the Quinault forest where I grew up to “town” the nearest major municipality on the day before I started seventh grade. Then almost by accident we discovered I was fast- at least for the kids in the area. I think my Dad was more thrilled than I was; he more understood the import. For me it was primarily dry-heaving hard work. It started with the school record in the mile. I saw that number on the gym wall and easily bested it. Then my dad saw my 400 m race time and my 400 m splits when I ran the 1600 and saw that they weren’t that different from the 800 m record. So I nabbed the school record as a seventh grader in the mile and then went after the district record in the 800 m. I got that.
I went on to run three years of varsity cross country in high school, finishing up as Captain of the Women’s Team, and competing at the state meet. Then my hormones got the best of my running as I started to fill out I started getting injured and slower. Instead of changing my game, I left competitive running in favor or academics, college, hiking backpacking, traveling and yoga.
I dipped my toe in the road racing in college in 1998. I ran the Vancouver Half Marathon in the Spring Of 1998 in under 2 hours (1:57:38). Encouraged by how easily that intimidatingly long distance had raced out of me, I signed up for a full marathon later that fall in Portland. All summer I hiked and ran in the mountains of Colorado thinking I was doing great training at “altitude”. A month passed at sea level and I finished my Portland Marathon in 6:02, having walked and cried a full three miles near the end. That was my “one and done” Marathon experience. I can check that one off my bucket list and move back to yoga. And yoga I have stayed consistent with for the intervening two decades, even becoming a certified yoga instructor and teaching my weekly class. Along the way I have dabbled in running here and there, often for running dates with Michael (a high school 800 m runner) or simply because at the core I love running. I would get back into running for a while until joint pains flare up, turning me back to yoga and walking.
So it was a serious undertaking when I said yes to a friend’s invitation earlier this year in February to run the Lululemon Sea Wheeze half marathon in Vancouver on August 17, 2019. I would have to really train. I knew the pain and suffering of going into a long race insufficiently trained, and I was also feeling my age where jogs were more like shuffles. So with Michael’s encouragement and training guidance, along with the subsequent introduction of new Brooks Ghost running shoes Michael’s Garmon running watch and later the LuluLemon training guide, I have slowly but surely increased my fitness.
I settled into a routine that really works well for me. I go in to work early at 6 am then I have a few hours after work of “au pair on duty time” in which to go running. I bicycle to Greenlake, lock up my bicycle and then run laps around the lake. Interspersed in the training schedule are also hill work-outs, interval sprints, yoga and meditation.
For the month that Lake was with NanaBaba, finding time for running became a little easier and I was also able to run weekends and evenings with Michael. We even enjoyed a few cross-training mountain climbing adventures!
By the time Saturday August 17th came I was ready! And what a race! I went out strong and just kept it up. Amazing race. I ended up surprising myself and I beat my previous half marathon PR from Vancouver, BC 1998 (when I was 20 years old) by 1 minute 1 second with a new record of 1:56:37! Here I am feeling Triumphant! 🙂
We celebrated with my favorite ramen in the world, on the west end of Vancouver Marutama Ra-men and then the LuluLemon yoga party. Michael and Lake were the best cheer squad!