Monday, January 13, 2014

Pullman Winter Ultra 12/14/13 & 01/11/14

I participated in both races again for the Pullman Winter Ultra in Pullman, WA.  This year, however, I ran the 25K in December and the 12.5K in January.  I am especially proud of the distance in January, and I'm proud that I survived the rain and wind in January without catching pneumonia or becoming hypothermic (as did some of the other racers).

The 25K in December was pleasant for the most part.  It was quite cold (35 degrees), and I did slip around a bit on the course (especially in the shadows, where the ice could not melt), but I enjoyed being out on the course, knowing that if I finished, I would get a PR.  I found that Lou Bega's "Mambo Number 5" is a wonderful song to jog to and that my ankle is at least 90% recovered, as it did not start feeling sore until well into my second lap.  All in all, I walked away with a PR, two gnarly blisters, and third place overall female.

The 12.5K in January was not much fun.  It was cold (40s) and wet and very, very windy.   In the first mile or so, I thought that I may do two laps; my legs were feeling good, and I felt like I had dressed appropriately for my speed and effort.  But soon thereafter the rain came, and my mind changed completely.  It rained so hard that my fleece mittens were completely soaked through in a matter of minutes.  My rain coat kept my body dry, but my feet squished water out the sides with every step.  I could feel my healing December blisters get new blisters inside my wet socks.

Worst, perhaps, was the wind.  The wind sprayed the rain into my eyes and, at certain sections of the course, kept me from jogging in a straight line.  The 40-50 mph gusts pushed me sideways.  I cursed under my breath and wondered why I had gotten out of my warm bed to run in such weather.  I finished with a time of 1:52:00, or a 14:25/mile pace.  I was glad to be done.  I felt for the runners still out on the course as I drove home with the heater on high.

Here are a few photos from the January race, though they simply cannot do the weather conditions justice.
Checking in and bundled up
Climbing the hill to Banyans

In a downpour, just past the bears
Just a few yards before finishing with Steffi Tietz
Good to remember, even in the rain and wind :)

Also, I signed up for Bloomsday again this year, and I am registered for the 12-hour Transcendence Race in Olympia too.  I don't have many races on my agenda, but the ones I do have actually mean something to me.  And I think that's what matters to me now in my running journey.