Sunday, August 22, 2004

Trail Notes

What an amazing women's marathon race today: the triumph of Deena Kastor and the heartbreak of Paula Radcliffe on the historical, hellishly hilly course was incredible to watch live. While being interviewed shortly after finishing, Deena said something to the effect of while it looks like the runners are alone out there on the track, there are so many people really with them, they aren't, in fact, alone (referring to her family, friends, coach, fans, and everyone else who helped get her there). Ironically, my comment upon watching Paula's breakdown so close to the end was that despite the millions of people watching and cheering for her around the world, she must have felt desperately alone as she sat on the edge of the race course in tears.

I ventured out on the running trail again on Friday after an almost 2 week break from running (due to pre- and post-Courage Classic rest). I was a little surprised at how hard the 3.5 neighborhood route felt. I was strangely out of breath, and my legs felt quite tired by the end (and tight and sore today). I ran the same loop again this afternoon. A little easier (doesn't hurt that the temperature is in the upper 60's as opposed to the 80-something degrees of Friday evening), but I'm still feeling that decreased lung capacity.

Yesterday I did an open water swim in Lake Washington. For some reason, none of my training buddies were interested in swimming the mile with me, so I went on my own. I flirted with the idea of biking the 12 or so miles to the start at Seward Park and testing out my never raced in triathlon suit, but wisely decided to drive there instead (and wear normal racing swim suit). This was perhaps the third time that I've swum this summer, so I was a little nervous about it. I did fine, although as always it's a little scary swimming in open water, watching the vegetation sway below, searching for the buoy ahead, and feeling the arms of the swimmers behind. For some reason, no matter how large the lake, someone always wants to swim right through you. I finished my mile in 36:12, finishing # 221 of 300-something? swimmers. The fastest woman finished in 22 minutes. Guess I have some work to do before next year (and I will be swimming next year)!


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