February started out with a fun local double for me: The Roaring Run half marathon on Saturday and then the Zena Road Run on Sunday.
Feeling like I couldn’t comfortably run above 8:30 pace after Desert Solstice 100 miler, I took a few weeks to get a little speed back in my legs. I was feeling good when I lined up, but when a lithe woman in a tight fuchsia shimmel, boy shorts and black arm sleeves confidently walked right up to the front of the starting pack, my competitive juices sky-rocketed! I, on the other hand, had on plaid Lulu shorts, a highlighter yellow La Sportiva jersey and my striped arm sleeves. Don’t judge this book by its cover! I probably had no business running with this woman because when I Google-stalked her after the race I found out she was second at the Portland Marathon two years ago. I tailed her for 5 miles at 6:08 pace saying things to myself like “You SO have her” and “She is right where you want her,” despite us being 15 seconds faster than what I thought would be my “Really Good Day” pace. I accidentally got a step ahead of her on the hill at mile 5 and rather than tuck back in, I decided I needed to “break” her and surged for two miles. She fell back but was never “broken.” As I started to pay for my foolishness, she closed the gap. I caught up to my friend Joel with about a mile and a half to go and he kept egging me on by telling me every 45 seconds she was 200 meters back. Long story short, I had really bad pacing but hung on for the win with a huge PR (almost 4 minutes) of 1:21:15.
Having fun in some short races
The next day was the Zena Road Run, probably the hilliest road race around. The feature distance is the 15k, plus there is a 6 mile. But I could only handle the baby distance 3 miler and man, did that hurt! 19:04 for third overall, first female, but most notably 10 seconds per mile slower than the prior day’s half marathon pace. I did say this was a hilly course, right? I am sure that pace had nothing to do with being tired!
The following week was a call week. Call week is not that bad because I rarely get called in. But I have to work five days a week (yes, I know this is standard for the rest of America). And I have to go in early a couple times. And I have to stay late one or two nights. And I have to be around all weekend. The only thing that allows me to successfully juggle Mom, Physician and Runner is a tightly set routine. Call screws up that routine and everything comes crashing down for a week. Mileage takes a big hit during call week and and everything else seems to spiral out of control. Add to that a Monster Truck Rally to celebrate the birthday of one cute six year old, and it is amazing we get our pants on right some days. Oh wait scratch that, we sent our daughter to school with her pants on inside out one day. Yeah, call week is like that. But usually right before the chaos completely consumes us, call week ends and we get back to our happy little schedule.
|Liam turns six!|
Only this time, we didn’t get to get back on schedule. I can’t complain too much, though, because the family was off to Maui for eight days because I had a work related conference. It was a big sacrifice, but I’ve got to get in that Continuing Medical Education to stay licenced. Bummer that they always hold these things in tropical locations!
Having a horrible time in Hawaii
I was just back three days and then off to Texas and that was the end of the month. Whew!
We haven't slowed down any for March, either: first the weekend in Texas for the Nueces 50 mile National trail Championships, and then an extended weekend at Disneyland (in lieu of a spring break trip to Disneyland. Disneyland is way more educational than school, right?). This week, I am back on call (writing this as I sit around waiting for a brain surgeon to get me a specimen. Geez, why do they have to operate so slowly?? I mean, its just another organ, right?) and just treading water.
|"Pam Smith, you just took third at the 50 Mile National Championships; what are you going to do now?"|
"I am going to Disneyland!"
And this weekend Megan and I are off on a ultra-Mother-Daughter adventure. Hopefully, lots of good stories to come from that next week! I love keeping busy and having a full life, but I could use some down time! Maybe next year!