ONE OF THOSE WEEKENDS...
you never want to end. The weather was so perfect, it was unbelievable.
It all started with running a little 10k race Saturday with Jan. Jan had decided after the Toronto half, with the prospect of the GR half coming up, that maybe she would practice more running while wearing her sling, to see how much she could do. She's got about 10 more days with the sling. We did a practice "run" on Tuesday, putting in about 5 miles, using different run/walk ratios starting with 6 min. of running with 4 walking, ending with 8 running, 2 walking. She did pretty well and we decided to see what we could do at the race. I couldn't help notice though that her running intervals were somewhat faster than mine, so it would be a challenge, I knew, keeping up with her, despite her handicap. And then there has been my back problem lately. I thought I would start up with yoga and pilates to get some more intense stretching back in my routine, and wouldn't you know it, I strained it again at Thursday's class! So I was glad we were going to be taking it "easy" at Saturday's race.
Saturday morning turned out to be perfect weather for running--upper 50s, slightly breezy, and sunny. Couldn't beat that. We decided to start in the back, but then realized it wasn't a chip start so we hustled over the start line and started our run/walk. I was more than ready to walk when we hit the first hill, but Jan decided she felt okay to keep running, so we crested the hill and were on the downside before we did our first walk. I realized my mouth was very dry but realized there would be a water stop at the first turnaround. Before I knew it or was ready, we were off for the second run interval. Jan was starting to half joke about being at the back of the pack, but again, I couldn't help but think I'd be there anyway without the walk breaks.
But we did hit the first mile under 12 min., so we were still well within the time frame I had predicted for us. Before we even hit mile two, however, the first place 10k runner was coming through. We were headed over one of the bridges we would cross in the race, and there were a lot of walkers and very slow runners here. We picked our way through and headed to mile 3. Most of this race is along the river, on a route I take frequently, so it all was very familiar to me. But, when we came off the river path and headed out to the street, crossing another bridge over the river, it wasn't as obvious where we were going. We finally saw the chalk lines ahead but realized no one was in front of us any more and only one woman was behind us. Oh well, we never said we'd be fast.
By now my mouth was very dry and I had had only a tiny bit of water at the first water stop, not realizing we wouldn't have another until past 4 miles. And I know Jan picked up the pace between miles 3 and 4, so now I was really trying not to gasp or spit dust I was so dry. If the chalk lines had not been down, I'm not sure I would have known exactly where to go. No matter which street we had gone down though would have been the same distance, but they did keep the streets closed the whole time, which was very nice.
When we got by the fish ladder (the dam), there is another narrower path along the river and here we met up with another walking group,with strollers,dogs, and kids on scooters and tricycles, so here again we had to pick our way through this mess and back across the river again. The route is very circuituous, winding one way, then back, across one bridge, and back across it going the other way. But it was all familiar, so easy enough to know how much farther we had. By the time we got to 5 miles, I was extremely happy to be coming to the end of the race though. At this point, the walk breaks were definitely more for me than Jan. She could have easily finished this thing ahead of me, but stayed with me, pacing me through the running portions.
When we hit 6 miles, we picked up the pace, finishing in 1:11:35. Not bad for taking so many walk breaks. And the funny thing was? We both medaled in our age groups! I got second, Jan got third. So almost our worst 10k times ever and we both get a medal. And checking the results, I could have won my age group if I'd done the 5k!
After the race, I again went to another orchard, meeting up with my son and his girlfriend and her child. This is the orchard where I am not kidding there were probably 5,000 people there. Its almost like a circus, with elephant, camel, and pony rides, a petting zoo of tortoises, llamas, donkeys, rabbits, goats, pot belly pigs, and even a flying squirrel. The goats and pigs had no interest in eating the treats you could buy to feed them. Instead, the goats were chewing and licking on the side of the barn, and the pigs just rooted around in the dirt. They did have a corn maze, pumpkin patch, apple picking, and a huge assortment of other activities, but after about 3 hours of walking through the dusty fields in the very warm temperatures, with bees swarming everywhere, and the baby squawking almost the whole time, I had had enough and we all left to go home, with me vowing to never go there again. Its a nice place, but its not something I feel I need to do again in my lifetime!
Sunday's weather was 85 degrees, and a perfect day to go for a long bike ride. Don and I rode 31 miles, taking in all the changing colors, and listening to the chorus of all the insects in the trees and fields, most likely singing their last songs of the season. Even if we get more nice days, its unlikely we'll have this warm of weather.
After, we again went to the farm market. They still had a huge abundance of tomatoes, corn, peppers, pears, apples, etc. I wish I had found this place earlier in the season! And much more reasonably priced than the grocery store or even our city farm market (where if you didn't know, they jack the prices way up) (I got 6 years of corn, a 1/2 peck of HoneyCrisp apples, a dozen pears, 3 large tomatoes, a cabbage, and a half gallon of cider for $14). A nice color tour to the country, and you've got a great farm market with great quality produce. Then it was back home in time to spend some relaxing time on the sun porch reading.
Hope everyone had great weekends too! Congrats to all who ran marathons this weekend!