Monday, May 21, 2012

1st Annual Cronan Ranch Run

I had great intentions of getting to bed early, but that didn't happen and I couldn't fall asleep until 1am.  My alarm went off at 5am and there wasn't any energy to even cuss it out.  Tabitha called at 20 to 6 and told me that she was heading over in a bit.

My clothes were set out the night before and I just crawled into them. When I went to find my car keys I saw the note that Alyx had left for me.  Yes, it brought tears to my eyes.

After all our coffee, sausage mcmuffin and oatmeal rituals we started up to Coloma, a trail we had been on many times before. We got there in time to be able to park in the parking lot and when we opened our door all you could smell was the burgers being cooked for after the race.  This wasn't just ANY burger, this was a Fudruckers Burger and as we walked by to get our packets I decided that no matter whatever this race cost, that burger at the end would be worth every dime!

We got our shirts, bib and that coveted ticket for the burger along with some other stuff in a swag bag and got our pictures taken before we would look completed whooped and busted at the end.

The race almost started on time and by the time the gun went off I was so ready to run! Tabitha got a quick lead and I focused on  passing as many people as I could so I didn't get caught behind anyone like the week before.  My goal was to keep her in my view and not let her get too far ahead of me and I did FANTABULOUS at that until she all the sudden got rocket jets in her ass and took off.  I kept running and didn't stop even when I passed her going through the first river crossing.
"I KNEW YOU WERE THERE RIGHT BEHIND ME!" She yelled up to me and then got a second wind and passed me again.  The first part of the UP part of the UP/DOWN trail started and I wish I could say that I made it half way before I started to feel it.
 My watched showed we were only a mile in and I wasn't even close to being anywhere near being finished with this damn hill.  People started slowing down and I had to turn around and stretch my legs. That is when the few people behind me passed and I knew I didn't have too many people left behind me.

At two miles I had resolved that I was in last and I actually found some comfort in that. No more pressure.  The book I have been writing would get a few more chapters added and as my legs soldiered up that hill I began to write.  My book shall be called,  "Last Girl Running" and the cover would have a picture of me wearing a shirt that said, "Thank me now, i'm about to make you look fast."  I began to market my products and would grab a few new cuss words as the muscles in my legs began to spasm.  The thought process was getting deep and I was thinking about "Last Girl Running" running teams.  This wasn't to encourage people to be last, but know that you can say you can't run, but you can...even if you come in last. Ain't no shame in it...for now. Each person in my running group would go through stages and work their way to a self made goal, be it a distance or a time...or even both. GENIUS! no one had thought of this before I was CERTAIN of it (did I mention it was hot, I had minimal sleep and the onslaught of sun stroke and fatigue set 2 miles)
I was really getting into it and not noticing the horrible incline I had to stop and turn around to stretch my calves.  Last place. There were worse places to be. The couch for starters.  Then I saw a flash of color behind me!  I WASN'T LAST!
NEW CHAPTER: How I thought I was last and now I'm not and I don't want to be last! RUN, BITCH, RUN!

I held up for awhile and then the two men caught up. They were so sweet. I must have looked like I just got my ass kicked by 15 high school girls because they both asked if I was alright. "Yes, fine...thank you."
Okay...last again.
Then I noticed that the older guy was sitting in the middle of the trail up ahead and rubbing his legs. I asked if he was okay and he said that he was just a bit sore, but reassured me he was okay and had done a bunch of 10k races before.  Great, this guy was going to give me just enough of a lead and then blaze past me.
The hill was just a bit further up and I kept reassuring him and checking to see if he was up and moving, "Almost there, Bill...come on! you can make it!"  I gave a hoot at the top and I yelled back to him, "I see the aid station!"
Then I took off, 'this is your race, Kristine. Run it." and so I did. The aid station people were awesome and almost got kissed on the lips when they said, "The worst part is behind have a nice downhill coming up!"
The 10 mile group started weaving in and out of the trails with the 10k runners and each time they were so supportive and nice. "Great job! You're doing so good! keep going!" they encouraged me as I had to slow down at points.
At 4.5 a guy that was trying to figure out where we were said, "I thought it was all downhill from that one point."  I didn't have the heart to tell him he had one more massive incline and then he could get his speed work in and make up time.
At the 5th mile, time stood still.  It felt like I was getting NO WHERE and not even fast.  Then I heard it...people.  My watch told me we had been at this part of the trail, "TURN COMING, ANOTHER TURN, ONE MORE...goooo Kristine!" If it could talk, that was what it was saying.  And then I saw the meadow.

I shit you not, I actually heard Mara say, "Is that where the car is? and that car will take us to the beer right?"  YES MARA...we were almost done!
I began to chant as I ran, 'i'm almost to the car. imalmosttothecar. almost to the car. i'm almost to the car" and then I could see the clock.  Ugh.  Did I make it under 2 hours? probably not, I was being passed by people that had been running the 10 miler. Then I heard the cheering and the clock got clearer. 1:55:00  OH HELL YES! I made it under 2 hours!?!  I crossed over at 1:57 something and I was so happy to hear the cheering from all the people that had passed me and the smiling faces from strangers that were just happy to be out running and enjoying the whole atmosphere.

I sat by the finish line hoping I would see Bill come crossing over, but he didn't during my time sitting there.  After about 45 minutes I heard the announcer saying that a 10 mile runner was coming in...and he said, " 72 YEAR OLD..." and the runners name.  Tears again, it wasn't Bill, but it was a runner nearly twice my age and doing it BIG.  The inspiration I could feel from all the people there was outstanding. Competitive without being arrogant and selfish.  Each person congratulated each other and was so proud of each of us.  "That was a brutal run!" "That wasn't what I was expecting." "Damn!" were some of the chatter around the finish line.
Tabitha took me over to the results and showed me her time 1:20:35.  She was 28th over all in the whole 10k division.  Really!? could I please stop tearing up!?!   Proud doesn't cover it.
She said she found an amazing couple of pacers who I saw her talking to as we ate the most amazing burger created.  You could see that they were proud of their little runner in the green tights.  I know I was!
"it's time for me to join a running group."  Yes, little Tinkerbell, it's time you join yourself a running group and tear up these trails and get that 1st place metal and not just some finishers metal.

Overall, this was the hardest race I have ever ran.  I'm so proud of myself for finishing it.  There wasn't a point that I would have ever quit, but that sun and those hills plays tricks on your mind and makes me think I can't, when clearly I CAN...and I DID.

1 comment:

  1. I was waiting a day and hoping I felt a tenth of good health so I could respond with MUCH enthusiam....alas, I still feel lousy but MUST comment! For starters THANK YOU! For everything! From inspiring me to run again, for pushing me, for helping me, and for always being down to get more people out to experience life rather than let it pass us by! I love you so much and this run was without a doubt an ass kicker but worth every shred of butt it claimed! I loved it, and am sadistic enough to beg God for more :-) GIVE ME MOREEEEEEE! LOL