After going through hell at the 30K on Saturday (and not winning anything) I decided not to skip running practice anymore. That meant that Tuesday I went to "Getting Back on the Track" with the Antifreeze running group. It was pouring rain so there were only a few of us there. On a good day there are ten or fifteen people. We did six 800s. I've been getting queezy every time I run track. I'm not sure if it's motion sickness or if it's caused by my diet or drinking too much coffee at work or something else. It usually hits at about the middle of track practice, and I slow down because I feel like my guts are about to burst. I try to hang on, even though I fall to the back of the pack. I've tried running with my eyes half closed, staring at the sky, eating less at lunch and not drinking coffee. So far nothing has helped. Maybe I just need to do more track practices. I've been skipping for the past couple of weeks because things like Duck Dodge get in the way. If anybody knows any tips for not getting sick while running track, please let me know!
SSW (Matt Winberry's acronym) was there as always, keeping up a good pace. At the end of practice, he asked me and Tony, "Do you want to run Ragnar?" and we both said yes without a minute of thought. So now we're signed up for this. Something to train for. Which meant that tonight, even though I was exhausted from Wednesday night "tapering" (swing dancing in Bellingham most of the night and waking up at 4am to make it to work on time) I woke from my post-work power nap to get to Road Runner Sports "First Thursday Adventure Run" run by 7pm. This was my first time at a First Thursday, and I didn't realize what a big deal it was. First Thursday Adventure Runs are scavenger hunts where you run from business to business claiming prizes and raffle tickets. I was ten minutes late, but there was still a huge crowd gathered outside of Road Runner Sports. They seemed to be a lot more festive than the usual Thursday group is pre-run. I realized that everyone had cups of beer and handfuls of raffle tickets. A large percentage were wearing blue "First Thursday" t-shirts. I managed to find Matt and Tony in the crowd and asked them what was going on.
"Hey guys, where did you get the raffle tickets?"
"Monica, where have you been? We got the tickets on the run of course. They hand them out on the scavenger hunt"
"The run? You guys ran already?"
"Yeah, this started at 5pm"
Wow. I was two hours late. Tony went to get another beer and handed me his tickets. The organizer was rapidly reading out the raffle winners and I tried to keep up. They were giving away t-shirts, backpacks, shoes and all sorts of sports goodies. I felt pretty disappointed that I'd missed out on all this awesome. I would have to wait another month for the next one. Suddenly I heard the announcer say "Monica...Monica Simone..."
"Hey, that's you!" Matt nudged me. They had drawn my name from a hat. Somehow I had won something even though I was two hours late and hadn't participated in the Adventure Run. I squeezed through the crowd and claimed my prize - $160 towards a new pair of Asics, $25 at Irwins Coffee Shop, and entries to six summer races! Apparently since I had RSVPd online they had drawn my name from the pool of RSVPers. Now I get to run six races AND Ragnar!
Sometimes just showing up is the whole battle.
I did go for a five mile jog later that night - just me and the lake breeze and the shadowy figures of lovers strolling around Greenlake, whispering in the trees. Running, I've missed you.