Thursday, October 13, 2011

Walk for the Warriors

I have fallen behind on my blogging, and every day I intend to write, but nothing gets written.  So, I figure that writing a little something about the events that I have participated in lately is better than writing extensive race reports "someday."  So, here we go:

On September 20, 2011, I participated in the Walk for the Warriors, a 14-mile course along the paved Chipman Trail in Eastern Washington.  The race started at 8:00 AM in Moscow, ID, and I have to admit that at 7:55, I had some mixed feelings about the event.

First, I was nervous about the 14 miles.  Fourteen miles is the second-farthest distance that I have ever run, and most of my long runs these days are only 5 or 6 miles.  A part of me worried about injury and/or embarrassment. 

Second, I was disappointed by the turnout.  The race was advertised on the radio, and when I found out what the event was raising money for - the Warrior's Promise Foundation - I figured that lots of people would attend, especially since the event was on the weekend of September 11.  However, there were only five or six people there total, and I think that all of them were a part of my Wednesday night running group, the Palouse Falls Beer Chasers. 

(Side note: I still think I might write a harshly-worded letter to all of the ROTC programs on both the WSU and UI campuses, scolding them for their absenteeism.  They should have been there, if you ask me...)

And third, I was pretty excited.  It is hard not to feel some adrenaline on the morning of a race, even when one knows she is going to do a lot of walking.

At 8:00, the race began, and I quickly determined that I needed to pace myself.  I had been casually planning to run 1/2 mile then walk 1/2 mile for 14 miles, and after running the first half mile at about a 8:30 pace, I decided to fully commit to that plan.  I simply could not keep that pace.

It turns out that my plan was a good one.  It was realistic given the distance of the event and the shape that I was in.  I felt good for nearly the whole run.  Around mile 10, I was feeling pretty tired, but I didn't have many options and decided to just keep plugging along.  And at mile 13, I had enough energy to entertain the idea of running the final mile.

In the end, I ended up walking about 6.5 miles and running 7.5.  I came in at 3:22:31.

I really hope the event attracts more people next year.  The volunteers were great, and it is for a good cause.  I'm glad I participated.


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