Sunday, July 22, 2007

7/22/07 Wharf-to-Wharf

Today I ran in the HUGE Wharf-to-Wharf 10K race, from Santa Cruz to Capitola!

Well, sort of ran. It is a very popular race, and was very very crowded. I was there with Sonia, her husband Tom, her two boys in the jogging stroller, and another of Sonia's running pals, a statuesque Englishwoman named Lynne. We all stuck together for the first 2/3 of the race, but since it was SO crowded, it was impossible to get the jogging stroller through the throngs of walkers and trotters that made up most of the crowd around us. The runners were long gone. Usually it's courtesy for strollers to go last, but if you have actual runners pushing it, they're not going to do much running. Tom and Sonia traded off pushing the stroller, but anytime there was any sort of uphill, the whole crowd slowed and we'd have no way to get through and would be back to walking.

After a time, my hips started to ache from all the walking/trotting, so I told Sonia I was going to pick up the pace and meet them at the finish (we'd arranged a meeting place). Lynne did too, so we ran together.

Together?! I was in for the ride of my life!! Holy Cow!!

Lynne is a serious athlete, and her normal pace is very, very fast. I was at a sprinting pace right away trying to keep up with her, while she appeared to be relaxed and hardly out of breath.

We immediately started threading our way through the crowd, dodging walkers, scooting through gaps, weaving back and forth looking for ways through, passing tens of people with each few strides. Often, a window would close just after she made it through, so I'd have to put in an extra blast to catch her again. In the short unobstructed stretches, I was pumping hard just to stay with her.

By the last mile, I was about spent, but still determined to keep up her pace, despite her kind offers to slow down. But eventually it was too much, so I called to her and ask how much longer...just half a mile. I put my head down and coached myselt to stick it out. I've been through worse! Think sand traps. Think steep, dusty, rocky uphills on a heavy motorcycle. Panting hard, stitches up and down my entire body, completely wrung out, I flew (well, to me) across the finish line. Lynne was still barely trotting.

What a fun event! The cities close the streets, and onlookers line the course, spraying water on the runners, and many people set up bands or other entertainment along the course. I've never seen a bagpipe band before! The event ended in Capitola, a charming little town with a very nice beach. We also had fabulous weather, which in Santa Cruz in July means, it wasn't foggy or cold. And, of course, spending time with friends and making new ones. I like the running crowd.

My only complaint is that the actual running was hard because it was so crowded, and the fun venue attracts...well, non-runners. Which, I still insist I am, but I still like to actually run. Or gasp for breath behind real runners.

But I was a wonderful morning in a beautiful place with great people, and in the end, more running than I could have imagined.

Meantime, Dave did so well with all three kids alone this morning that he actually took them all to Bobbi's -- by himself!

Before you're too impressed with that, remember that for Dave, sitting down and being served food is much easier than making it at home. He got away with this partly because the boys were well-behaved, and also partly because Katrina is just full of joy, especially for any new situation that involves new people to beam at.

And, Katrina's food repertoire has expanded to the point that there are now only a few things I won't give her, rather than only a few things that I do. Breakfast food is especially easy: she had scrambled eggs, pancake and toast at Bobbi's.

(A note on the eggs: I know she's not supposed to have whites, or yolks, I always forget which, until 12 months old. But my nephew Aidan's experience with food allergies "enriches" my perspective. Case in point: eggs. Aidan was allergic to eggs. Avoiding the the white or the yolk wouldn't have made any difference. Meantime, pancakes and pasta are on the OK list, but Aidan reacted to them. So the advice to avoid part of an egg, when they're exposed to whole eggs in many other foods, seems silly to me. Perhaps it's a quantity thing. But if you're allergic to eggs, you're allergic to even a small amount; and if you're not, you're not. Katrina isn't. And she LOVES scrambled eggs.)

Oh yeah, one more thing about the 10K. They ran out of size Small T-shirts, so I got a Large, for Dave to wear. I wish they'd give out kids' sizes.

I'm going to sleep well tonight!


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