Happy trails to you…

It's all about the waterfall! (photo by Janine Penney)

Today’s long run at Waddell Creek was special for several reasons.

First, it was the first true “marathon training” run of the season: 14 miles, which means we’re now officially past the halfway mark of a marathon distance. It only gets longer from here on out!

Second, it was at at this very run 2 years ago that some very special friendships were born for me, with my ladies, Janine and Robin (as well as Beth and Dianne who are not currently on the team, but are distinguished TNT alums :)).

And last but not least, it is one day after the 5-month anniversary of my friend Siobhan’s passing, so she was in my thoughts a great deal during this run. I have a feeling she was watching over me closely and no doubt got me through the last part of it–you know, the one where I wanted to just have it be done with.

Waddell Creek isn’t exactly one of my favorite runs. I don’t hate it by any means, but it’s a tough course–set almost entirely on a trail, it’s full of dirt, tree roots, rocks, leaves, mud, babbling creeks, rickety bridges, and even a tire or two (the tire, by the way, has a funny story associated with it–which may or may not be fact ;)). Running it is never an easy feat, and it’s probably the first real test of the season for me.

The legendary tires (photo by Janine Penney)

I’d yet to have a bad run this season; all of them have felt really good for me–surprisingly so, in some instances. But they can’t all be good, and I was due for a not-so-good one. Today, it was this one.

I’m stopping short of calling it bad because it was actually a lot of fun. I always have fun running with my running buddies, and you can’t beat the amazing scenery–especially that spectacular waterfall. But I struggled a lot with my cardio endurance, and those hills really kicked my butt. I ended up having to walk a lot of the run and for the first time this season, I had to (reluctantly) admit that perhaps I wasn’t as strong as I thought I was. I’d been making so much progress so far this season that being humbled like this was, well, humbling.

But a season is all ups and downs and I’d much rather get my butt kicked now than on my race(s). I still got to hang out with some amazing peeps (shout out to Ilya, who stuck with me the entire way and kept me going in the end by distracting me with Star Wars talk :)), both on the run and at lunch afterwards (two thumbs up for the Harbor Cafe), and that in itself is worth the entire run, even if it wasn’t one of my better ones.

Onwards to the next one!

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