Monday, September 8, 2014

Cramming the Weekend

This past week was the first week back to school for the kids.  Tuesday was E's first day (and mine) and Wednesday was L's.  Wednesday night we had swim lessons, Thursday evening an ice cream social at E's school, and Friday I had to get up for PT before work (more on that another day, but one thing I have discovered is there is nothing therapeutic about Physical Therapy).

You would think that for such a busy week we'd take it slow for the weekend.  Not when PCT Days is happening in Cascade Locks!  Not only that, I had my first group training run AND a bowling fundraiser to attend.  How was I going to cram it all in?  It seemed impossible, but I was determined.

Saturday morning, I got up and got myself ready to drive down to Road Runner Sports in NW Portland.  I had no idea where I was going, nor did I know what to expect.  I pulled in, walked in the store and saw my coach talking to a parent of a former student.  What the what?!?!?!  I couldn't believe it.  She joined our group run as a guest, and we spent the first two miles catching up and talking about how school is going for her son.  It was nice to have something to do other than listen to music and calculate how much farther I had left to go.  She turned around at the 2 mile mark to make it a four mile run, while I continued a little longer for a 5 mile run.

I didn't turn my music on, so I was alone with my thoughts:

Wow, over two miles and I don't feel the need to wet myself.
I didn't know the Dragon Boat races were this weekend.  I wonder if we can come here Sunday afternoon.
There's one of my teammates coming back.  I hope that means the turn around spot is coming up soon.
There's my coach.  She didn't see me and I put extra energy into smiling.  I hope I don't run out of energy now.
That guy on the bike is an ass.  It's people like him that makes people hate cyclists.  I think I hate him.
Hmm... was it this bridge coming up that has our water station, or the next one?
I don't remember running by Saturday Market on the way down here.  Am I lost? 
Lots of smiles before our run
Oh wait, I do remember running by Saturday Market.
Are those people really thinking they can drag their bikes down those stairs?  Should I tell them there's another way around?  Too late, I'm already past.
I wonder where M is now.  Should I have turned around when she did?  I'm supposed to run 6 miles today.  Should I run more later today or tomorrow? 
Hung Far Low.  Are you kidding me?  How long have I lived in Portland and I have never seen that sign?
Or maybe I have seen that sign and I just don't remember.  How could I not remember?  Am I really getting that old?

And so it went like this until my coach caught up on her bike and we talked and talked until I completely ran out of breath.  And I walked a little bit, which is strange for me because I ran 13 miles not too long ago and didn't walk one step.  But whatever, my pace was 10:36, even with the walking, so I guess I can't complain.

I like my coach, Kimberly Graime.  She feels really familiar to me, and reminds me a lot of my friend Beth.  Maybe her familiarity is what makes me like her.  Or maybe it's the fact that she told me to hold my arms close in to my chest when I run uphill, and it really did make the hill easier.  Either way, I like her, which is very important when training for a half marathon.

Somebody was not too pleased to meet Smokey.
I got home later than I expected, which means we left town later than we expected, but when we arrived at PCT Days, there was a great tent spot waiting for us.  We got to hang out for the night with hiker trash.  The kids became BFF's with another hiker trash kid, and we enjoyed trail magic and merriment, even when Nalgene bottles were raining down on us.

In the morning, we hung around at the ALDHA-West (American Long Distance Hiker's Association) thru-hiker breakfast, watching Freefall flip pancakes and AllGood make coffee.  The kids played, we talked and reminisced, and life slowed down for a few beautiful moments.

She makes bowling in a dress look easy
It was tough to pack up, as any time we're near trail folks, we just want to stay and hang out and do trail folk sort of stuff.  Alas, I had a fundraiser to get to - my first one for Team Challenge.  A bowl-a-thon at Grand Central Bowl.

He has amazing form.  No speed, but amazing form.
I brought the kids in with me while Paul went in search of food since he didn't have breakfast and was ready to eat his own arm.  I met more members of our bigger team, people who are doing walks, other runs, and alumni who have already done or or more Team Challenge runs.  Everyone thought E and L were adorable, which is good, since L was running around like a fool and crawling all over the couches like a monkey.  While I don't know how much we collected altogether, I think it was a successful fundraiser.  I didn't take a picture of the final score for our game because it's embarrassing for me, but I beat my children at least.

Can't even slow down for a picture.
We also were lucky enough to win some prizes in the raffle.  I kind of splurged and bought 20 tickets.  But come on.  It benefits the CCFA, so I kind of had to buy the tickets, right?  I won a cool reusable cup with lid and straw (which E has already decided to claim as her own), and a family pack to bowling night in Hillsboro. 

I typically don't plan so many events in one weekend.  I usually pick one big event and ignore the rest.  For this weekend, hiker trash would have trumped everything else.  But there I was, staring at my training plan, fundraising goals and time left to do it and realized that I needed to make the commitment.  I needed to figure out how to get everything to fit into this super-compact weekend.  I made the running and the fundraising a priority, and I made it to those two events.  I am committed to Team Challenge and the CCFA.  I am committed to Paul, and finding a cure and better life with UC.  I am committed to running and training for this half marathon.  I can do it!

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