Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Bloomsday 2021

This was my ninth Bloomsday, and, once again, I completed it in Salt Lake City. Even though vaccines are readily available these days, the race organizers made the (wise) decision to keep people off of planes to attend an event where 50,000 runners and thousands more spectators gather in the streets of Spokane. Hopefully, Covid will be managed by 2022 and we can see our Pullman/Moscow/Spokane friends for Bloomsday next year.

Two months ago, Megan Whiteman and I decided to start training for Bloomsday so that we could improve our times from last year - and feel better about ourselves overall. I won't speak to her progress, but my own progress/training can be described as minimal. I tried to log miles each week, but it wasn't a priority after full days in the office every day and managing a household. Further, my second Pfizer shot was pretty hard on my body, and, even two weeks later, I still don't have all of my energy back.

But, enough with the excuses. I started my race around 10:30am on Sunday, the day that Bloomsday would have occurred on in "regular times." I decided to run the same course as last year - at Liberty Park, just 10 minutes from my home. My goal was to beat my time from last year and come in under two hours. I also hoped to run some of the race, get fewer/no blisters, and get some audiobook reading done.

I felt pretty good throughout the race. I walked most of it and jogged occasionally so that I could keep my pace under control. I finished my first mile in under 15 minutes, and every one after that was in the 15s. I made it through a lot of my book, The Body Keeps the Score, and I enjoyed seeing my boys (who cheered me on and gave me water as they ran and biked) each time they passed me on the 1.4-mile loop.


When I hit just over 7 miles, my little sweetie joined me to finish the race together. I couldn't help but remember when he finished the race with me back in 2016, when I was 8-months pregnant with him.

I met my goals and finished with a 1:54:10 and a 15:18/mile overall pace. I also had only one small blister, and my book is almost done. :)

We celebrated my finish at Winger's and had a Kona Big Wave Golden Ale. (We were surprised/disappointed the patio wasn't open, and we ended up eating indoors, which hasn't happened in over a year. Note the red mask sitting next to me.) 

On Facebook, I posted pictures and words of love to my fellow Beer Chasers who completed their races in Washington, Idaho, Michigan, and elsewhere. Even during a pandemic, we remembered and supported one another. I'm lucky to have them in my life - even at a distance.

Monday, October 5, 2020

Bloomsday 2020

I believe this was my 8th Bloomsday.

It was weird and virtual, just like the rest of 2020. There were no crowds or popcicles or cheering spectators or loud music. No Doomsday Hill. No Beer Chasing friends. No abortion protestors. (A huge silver lining to this year's Bloomsday!) 

Instead, I woke up, put on my running clothes, and drove to Liberty Park in Salt Lake City, about 10 minutes from my house. I turned on a podcast about the Trail of Tears ("This American Life" with guest Sarah Vowell) and began my "race." 

Over the next two hours, I listened to my podcast and talked to my mom twice and my brother and sister-in-law once. We talked about Scott in Law School, low mortgage refinancing rates (2.25%), businesses surviving the pandemic, and other things. We wondered what Christmas in Idaho might look like this year.

And I just kept walking - and occasionally jogging, but not much. I ended up with a finishing time of 2:03:31 - a 16:33 minute/mile average. Since I had no goals, I was neither proud nor disappointed. My feet hurt, but I could tell my body wasn't going to hurt as bad as it did after my little 5K a few days before.

Here are a few pictures of my uneventful race.

Beautiful morning for a walk/race. My mask is around my neck.
"The 2020 Utah windstorm was a hurricane-force windstorm that struck the U.S. state of Utah in the early morning of September 8, 2020. Nearly 200,000 homes lost electrical power. Thousands of trees were toppled, causing much damage and closing dozens of parks. One man was killed." - Wikipedia
Blister starting to form. I had one to match on my other foot.


Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Be Well Utah Virtual Walk, Run, & Roll

Ok - so I know it has been FOREVER since I've entered a race (or even jogged around the neighborhood, or to the mailbox, or to the kitchen...), but this month, I entered two. 

The first race was the Be Well Utah Virtual Walk, Run, & Roll, a "pick-your-level, pick-your-challenge, free, family-friendly event" sponsored by the University of Utah. Participants could choose to walk a mile; run a 5K, 10K, or half marathon; or bike a 1-mile, 5-mile, 10-mile, or 50-mile self-selected course. I signed Oliver and Scott up for their own races, and I signed myself up for the 5K. I mean, how hard could it it be?

Well, the answer to that question is "pretty hard!" I put on my free Be Well Utah shirt, running capris (that I've used exclusively for lounging and sleeping over the past few years), and bright pink Brooks Launch and headed up to campus to run.

I had two goals, and I really had no idea how realistic they were. I wanted to run the first mile without walking, and I wanted to run a 12-something average mile. I only accomplished one of those goals.

My first mile I ran/jogged the whole thing at an 11:45 pace. I felt pretty good about that. I mean, I know that isn't fast or anything, but it was nice to know that I could still run a mile if I needed to and that I wasn't starting from scratch (when I couldn't run more than 60 steps without walking).

My second and third miles were hard, though. I had to walk a bit - and then a lot. My second mile was a 14:03 mile, and my third a rough 16:45. My average pace, then, was 13:58, and my finishing time was 43:20.

I can't help but feel kind of bad about my results even though I didn't train for even a second before starting it. Back in 2009, I ran my first 5K after only three days of training and finished in 37:49, 5.5 minutes faster than I ran yesterday. I'm eleven years older and more than eleven pounds heavier now, and I guess that showed up in my time.

Well, at least I got a free T-shirt, right? ;)