Saturday, December 5, 2009

A Win-Win Saturday

Today was the BIG DAY: the lottery for Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run. But instead of sitting in front of my computer waiting for the next name to be drawn (which I admit, DID sound appealing, no that's not facetious), I headed out with some friends to the Shellburg Falls 10k (ish), a new trail run put on by runners from Salem. That's right, Salem - the armpit of Oregon's running scene, now has people putting on trail races! This was something I definitely wanted to support!

This morning was freezing, but the day was sunny and the trail was gorgeous. Just as the Shellburg Falls website says, this place was a hidden gem! Check-in was so much fun; I can't believe how many people I know when I go to these things now. Heck, it was better than a Holiday party. Plus we got to go for an awesome run afterwards.

This was a casual winter run and most people were taking it pretty easy. I wanted to run hard, but comfortable and just enjoy the day. Running behind a waterfall
makes it pretty easy to enjoy! I was able to run strong up the hill which made me feel good, because I don't always think I am a good hill runner, but I seem to be getting better. And the last couple of miles going back down just felt smooth like butter.

As soon as I crossed the finish, one of the Corvallis Trail Runners came up to me and told me I had gotten in to Western States. I immediately started jumping around and screaming and I had this irresistible need to hug the news-bearer, even though I really don't know him all that well. I was just so excited: I AM GOING TO WESTERN STATES! Most of the crowd looked at me funny, thinking I was a bit too exuberant for my finish in a low-key race.

I just kept telling anybody within earshot I got in, but as the lottery proceeded, the chances for the other Corvallis runners got worse and worse, and I had to reign in my emotions; somehow my excitement felt like bragging at that point and it no longer seemed appropriate.

My hubby sent me a super cute text, pretending like I had just gotten drafted:
"And for our 13th pick, the WS lottery chooses the reigning Oregon Trail Series Champion, from Salem, OR...Pam Smith!" So at least I got to gush profusely to him in my excitement.

But more surprising was a congratulatory call from my Mom before the lottery was even over. This is shocking because a) My mom believes long distance running is bad for you, and b) My mom sent her first e-mail this year, so following an on-line lottery is really pushing the limits of her technological skills. (yes, those are both true). Even though I know this is not her thing, it felt great to have her behind me.

All in all it was a great day for me: I got a nice plaque, a million dollar bill (the race prizes), and a spot to Western States!!!
I definitely feel badly for those who did not get in, because I know how crushed I would have been. I would be delighted to have anybody who had their heart set on running join me for the last part of the race. Let me know if you are interested in pacing - the job is currently vacant!


Yassine said...

congratulations on getting into WS Pam! You may not have to enter the lottery again! Hope to see you at some local races in the new year! :0)

Lori said...

Congratulations! ;-)

SteveQ said...

Congrats on getting in to WS; so far, no one else I've heard of has (except of course those who get automatically in).

I'd pace you - could you handle hours of a guy talking non-stop about nothing?

Olga said...

Congrats on getting in! That is a win, indeed:) Sorry the sleeves didn't work out - go do those bicep curls! :)

Pam said...

Thanks everyone. I am super excited.

Yassine - I would love to pick off one of those last spots in the top 10 and avoid the lottery next year, but that is a very tough order! I am just planning to savor the experience this year and not get too caught up in anything else - at least till mile 75. ;)

Steve- A guy talking about nothing for hours sounds like a godsend for the last stretch of a 100 miler! Let me know if you want the job!

Olga- I almost came for a visit: I had a flight on hold to TX for one last chance at WS, but didn't need to go through with the purchase. Although, the idea of 100k in January is really growing on me... You are still my hero for the sleeves.

Hone said...

Congrats on the entry. It seems like a fun race that I might try to get into sometime in the future.

Olga said...

Don't come to Bandera...leave that spot for someone else! :) Just come to visit, or run away at Rocky 100. I am with Yassine, if you run smart and within your capabilities, you may get that sweet spot. It's a lot about your day - and about what kind of day the others ahead are having. You just never know.

Pam said...

Uh, oh Olga. It sounds like you will not be very happy to see me in January! I guess I should have been less coy in my last comment and said I was still strongly considering coming (since I had already traded call, rearranged work, haven't done an ultra in 4 months, need redemption in the 100k, and had the green light from my hubby). Long story short, I committed to Bandera yesterday. Please don't push me into a cactus field when I get there!

Anonymous said...

Of course, I'll be happy! oregonian in Texas for a visit, I'll take it as a personal visit!

Bret said...

I would be happy to pace you at WS but I think you might leave me in the dust!
Congrats again on WS!