During the winter months when we’re bored, the hubby and I play a game called The Farming Game. It’s much like monopoly but with a farming theme. Apparently the game was created by a rancher in Washington who wanted to illustrate the challenges of farming. Each time around represents a year and throughout the ‘year’ you could plant your fields or fruit trees, purchase cows, purchase a harvester or tractor and other ‘farm-like’ stuff. And as in monopoly, there are Farmer’s Fate (Chance) or Operating Expense cards that you draw that will either make you pay or allow you to get paid. Overall, it’s a good, fun game – if you still play games the old fashioned way (no technology).
Anyways, one of the squares say’s “Independence Day, It’s a cooker!” It’s been a while since I’ve played but I’m pretty sure you have to do something when you land here. However, when the hubby lands on this square, he yells “Itttttza Coooooooker!” (in the most hillbilly voice he could muster up). Makes me laugh every time.
This weekend…it was a cooker! I know I complain about the weather a lot. Complain when it’s cold, when it’s cloudy, when it’s hot, when it’s sunny, when it’s raining. My dad always told me I’d complain if they hung me with a new rope. I’ll admit…I’m not easy to please. I do love the sun and I love the heat…just not when I’m running a race.
As I was planning my races in January, I decided that it would be a good idea to sign up for a half marathon in Salem, OR the first weekend of June. I’m not much a gambling woman but I took a gamble that it would be overcast and cool on June 5th. I lost that bet. But to be fair, it was ideal conditions for running (upper 60’s, cloudy, raining) last weekend so I wasn’t that far off.
Okay so it’s race day. I do my usual routine. Wake up, put on my pre-selected race outfit, and head out the door by 6:30AM. I make a quick stop to Starbucks for my usual breakfast – with a minor change. Normally I get a tall hazelnut latte but it occurred to me that I could get it ICED! I know…I know but it was a game changer for me yesterday with the temps already in the 70’s. I got to the race, picked up my bib and sat in my car and finished my breakfast. The race director indicated there would be early start times for those who wanted to beat the heat but those folks would not be eligible for any awards. Normally, I wouldn’t think twice about awards but a quick search earlier in the week told me there was only going to be about 100 folks running the half. Given I’m getting older and in the early stages of this age bracket, my chances of placing well in my age group were good so I held out till the 8AM start. What would 45 minutes make anyway. right?!?
In case you’re wondering, every minute counts when the sun is blazing on you and you choose to spend your free time pounding the black, hot, pavement. The race sounded like such a good idea in January. The first several miles were good but as soon as we turned down a new road, a headwind appeared, then a hill, and lack of a water stop and I was ready to DNF. I saw my placing slipping through my tired, hot, feet. Each time someone passed me, I thought are they in my age bracket? At about mile 9, I just wanted to be done and take a long cold shower. I had to resort to run-walk -run- walk to make it back to the finish line. My final time was 2:23, definitely not my best time but I got it done. I actually placed 6th (out of 16) in my age group and 46th overall (92 total half marathoners). Even though I finished, I wouldn’t say I’m proud of my placing. It was hot and everyone felt it.
Overall, (course, organization, and execution) it was a really good race. Would I do it again? No. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…My race season is from October to May. (Although I did sign up for a full marathon in September – so I guess I’ll make an exception)