Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dirty Feet Vernon - Race Report

Sunday July 16th we headed down to Vernon for the DF trail race.  It was the first race Sarah and I have done together.  We were both off all week and had ran approx. 2hrs the day before to try to get our legs to come back.  We had finished the prior week with 16hrs of running/hiking, so we were just out on Sunday for a training run.
Carter, Trent and other pacers were also down for the event that day.  Not to mention, our family supporters and cheering squad, Grandpa Joe and Grandma Mary made the drive too!  Carter ran the 5km distance.  He has ran every single dirty feet race since their first event last September in Kamloops.  The first two 5km races Trent and I ran with him.  Then the Kelowna race he decided he wanted to do it solo and he did a great job!  So this race would, again, be on his own.  It is so cool to see him have the  courage and sportsmanship to do this at 9yrs old.  (okay, okay, there might be a wee part of me that is having a hard time letting go of the fact that as he gets older he needs me less and less)  I am actually very proud of Carter and for such a little dude he sure gives me enormous amounts of inspiration!

Trent is someone else close to me that inspires me on a daily basis.  In fact, simply by example my husband inspires me to believe more in myself... set goals that matter to me and to always just do my best.  It was hard to learn he struggled that day and shit the bed and had lots of cramping.  I so wanted him to have a strong race... but it doesn't always go as we plan.  And it is always more important to get involved and finish than anything else.  It was super cute to see Carter run back to wait for Trent so he could 'finish' with him.

As far as things not always going as planned, it was much the same for me that day.  Sarah and I set a very conservative pace for the first 6km but my legs just exploded at the 6km mark and I never recovered from it.  It was too bad because Sarah felt good and it was our first example of running only as well as the weakest link.  Just because I shit the bed didn't mean I gave up or stopped pushing or trying.  I still gave it my best, it just ended up hurting more and I felt like I was walking/hiking 1/2 the course that day. 

None of that really matters though.  The best part of the race for me was the support, patience, encouragement and attitude of my TAP.  Sarah didn't once make me feel bad.  She didn't run way ahead of me.  She communicated well and offered me enough space to focus and grit through it, while also pacing us the 2nd half of the race to a 2hr 20min'sh finish.  We did average a 3:45min km pace the last few k's to the finish which almost put me down, but I was inspired to push and finish strong with my partner.

So it was a great day after all.  I was grateful to be surrounded by the constant reminder of how much I love to coach, as I witnessed my athletes finishing and/or shared race chatter post-run.  I left the race that day feeling 150% that Sarah has my back and I was inspired to try to be 1/2 as supportive and patient if the shoe should ever be on the other foot in the alps and to once again have my parents present and showing their interest and support in our passion to trial run really meant a lot.

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