I've realized that I'm going to be lucky enough to not only start my August off with a dose of Spark, but to end it that way as well.
Yesterday, August 6, was the Race for the Homeless 5K/10K in Vancouver, WA.
Kashmir had mentioned she and some other SP were going to be there, so I jumped at the chance to reconnect with them and signed Bill and I up.
Yes, Bill has learned to accept those moments when I start off a conversation with "By the way, I've signed us up for....."
Even though I did a successful 8 mi run with the Tribe the weekend before, I was still taking it relatively easy on my legs this last week during my maintenance runs. Tuesday, my legs hurt a great deal starting out. The only way I can think to describe it is as if I have to 'break the tension' in my knees in order to get to a normal running gate/speed. That may or may not make any sense to you, but it works in my mind LOL Think of the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz - they had to get his limbs actually moving before they could continue to move even more.
Anyway, Tuesday was a rough start, but by the end of the 3 miles I felt pretty good. Thursday started off not hurting as much, but I cut it short to a quick 2 out of simply being very tired from the week.
Bill would go out with me, but didn't finish either run, cutting each one short. We had a couple of conversations about walking vs. running, and what I expected of him vs. what he expected of himself. For those of you who don't know me and Bill well, he's 20 years older than I am. While in the bigger scheme of things that has no real bearing, when it comes to running, it does bear some consideration.
I'm slightly obsessed with running. He does it, eh, now and again, it's sorta fun, but it's a way to participate with me. Or, as he puts it, to try and keep up with me. I truly appreciate this from him, I do. But, I keep explaining to him that even with all the heart and desire in the world, it's not enough to not put in the miles and time for training. He can't expect to just show up and do well without putting in the prior effort. Maybe that's more about being stubborn than it is about being older, although his knees are also 20 years older, and they certainly feel it even if he isn't willing to admit it.
Aaaaanyway, we were going into the 5K on Saturday to run it at Bill's pace, to run it together. This means I get to nag him... erm.. encourage him to keep moving, keep going, don't slow down, don't race off, just keep a steady pace and continue moving forward.
Ready to Run!
Ready to Nag!
We left the house Saturday morning about 30 minutes earlier than needed. Heh. That's so us. We got to the site around 6:30, and check-in wasn't until 7. We walked around the grounds of Ft. Vancouver for a bit and it was so very nice! I'd never been there, had no idea it even existed, so it was awesome to get to know a new place. I believe it's also the location of the Start/Finish for the Girlfriends Half in October! W00T!
We walk around, up and down, warm up our legs, jog a bit, breaking the tension and getting things moving smoothly. Finally it was time to get our bibs and shirts, so we commenced our racing adventure. Taking our tshirts back to the car, we saw GayeMC. After hugs and laughs, she went on her way and we hit the car and headed back.
We hung about with Gaye, then HotRodSandy found us! She introduced us to GOOFIERNU as well, and we chatted a bit. KEakman arrived, and had HTC shirts for us - woohoo! Then Kashmir arrived, along with her son, and other friends. We ended up with a nice little huddle of talking laughing people, and it struck me how awesome it was to have found myself as a small part of a running community. Yes, SparkPeople ties us together, but running takes us offline and outside, and that is awesome.
As we continued milling about, we headed over to check out the 5K route, and were stopped by a loud 'hey!' and there was Courtney! She and several of her workmates were running the 10K, but neither one of us thought to tell the other one about the event, and yet here we were together LOL It was great to just run into her, pardon the pun.
More milling, more chatting. What a great way to spend a Saturday morning! Finally, the runners were called to the starting line to start the race. Bill and I, and Sandy and Gaye all headed for the back of the pack. I could see Kate and Robin and their gang a bit ahead of us. Finally, we were off, and headed down a slight hill to start the out and back route. Bill of course took off like a bat out of .. well, he just went out fast. I jogged slowly behind him until we reconnected and he was out of breath and I was ready to keep him moving LOL
We did our 30/30 intervals, and watched the herd of runners surge on ahead. Slowly but surely Sandy caught up and passed us, doing fantastic! The route was absolutely wonderful - one of the nicest I've ever been on. It ran through a field, where I think Bill had the hardest time with his breathing (allergies?) then up and over a bridge that crossed the freeway, then onto a part of the river walk to the turn around point. Gaye would catch us up, then we'd pass her, then she finally overcame us and we trailed her to the end. It was fun to cheer on people as they passed us coming back the other way as well.
The last part of the run was back up the hill we started down. I watched as Sandy, then Gaye made their way to the finish, and kept encouraging Bill to keep moving, don't stop. He was tired, but managed to finish off the run at a run. 48 min. later and we were done.
It was wonderful to have seen everyone, and to put new faces to names, all for a good time for a good cause. There was much watermelon munching and after-action talk. All good things must come to an end, though, so we all parted ways until the next gathering. Sandy and Gaye are also volunteering for HTC, so we'll be seeing them again for that great event as well.
Once we got home, we didn't even bother to go into the house. We grabbed our water, and headed off to the gym. I felt so good from the 5K still that I continued little runs to the gym for another 1.5 mi. We don't usually hit the gym on Saturday, but had opted out of our Friday evening workout for dinner out instead. It was noisier than usual, but we had a great ST session and headed back home again. Still feeling good, we goofed around with more brief spells of running back home another 1.5 mi.
THAT to me is what Spark is all about. We ran when we wanted to on the way down and back, because it was fun, we felt good, we were enjoying each others company, no push and no pressure, just pure enjoyment of our lives in that brief moment.
The rest of the day was spent doing the usual - a few chores, a few errands, and simply feeling good. What a great day.
Next weekend, I'm running the Pineapple Classic 5K w/ 4My2Kidz and her daughter and sister-in-law. It's another obstacle course, so that should be interesting!
A week and a half after that, IrishBeanerGal will be in town briefly, so we'll get to meet her as well. Yay!
Then life starts to revolve around Hood to Coast on Thursday, Aug. 25. People are coming into town to form the Sparkin' HTC and Coasties and Ghosties HTC teams. We're fortunate to be invited to gather with some of the teammembers Thursday evening before the grand event. I can't wait!
Friday we volunteer at Exchange 14. I've got an 11 mi run scheduled on Saturday with the Tribe, and I'm hoping I can do the run and THEN head to the Coast to see our teams finish. Two days after that, my Mom arrives for two weeks.
I hope I survive August LOL