Nothing pumps me up to run quite as much as race spectating.
Standing on the sidelines sends me into an excited frenzy – I become energized and adrenalized just watching people partake in sweat-filled, fabulous, running action. Especially when that action includes a muddy, wet, leatherman-y trail run. (“Leatherman-y” is a new word, yes.) Today, B, myself, and a big group of friends and family went to watch our good friend Sam participate in the Leatherman’s Loop 10k. According to the race website, “The Leatherman’s Loop is is a unique 10k trail run featuring river crossings, a quarry climb, beautiful pine forests, swamp land, and the Legend of the Leatherman.” IT WAS SUCH A FUN DAY.
Even though I was bummed I wasn’t running, it was great to catch up with our wonderful, “we-don’t-see-you-enough” friends. I need more of them in my life. It was all laughter and light-heartedness and funny stories and pure entertainment. Despite the cold and rainy weather we had a blast cheering on Sam and all the runners – about 1,500 participants total. There were some super fast times! The first guy came in around 36 minutes-mud and water pits included.
It was one of those days where I couldn’t stop smiling.
Apparently Caballo Blanco started this race off in 2010 – after his sad and surprising death this year, the race organizers instead had a white horse at the starting line today. “Caballi Blanco” means “white horse” in Spanish. (Right? Or has my 9th grade Espanol failed me again?) Anyway, pretty legit, right?
Sam had a solid race and placed 4th in her age group. So proud!
I’m so ready to sign up for next year’s event. I’m fully prepared to run through icy cold water and crawl up steep hills; I’d much rather jump off the sideline and into the action! Just like after spectating the Kansas Relays or Drake Relays in high school and college, I left this race with my legs itching to run and my mind set strictly on racing.
Obviously I’m getting antsy for the Brooklyn Half. I know I have some work to do before I can PR, but for now, at least I’m in the game mentally, right? I’m still not sure how I want to approach it, though – do I treat it like a training run? If so, do I even taper? Do I go all in? What should mylong run be the week before? Do I take it easy and save the PR dreams for later? I plan to evaluate after my 10 miler in a couple weeks and see how my body takes those miles. It’s totally nerve-wracking. I’m not a patient person nor am I very good at accepting things I can’t change when it comes to running!
I took this week fairly easy, which is always frustrating to force yourself to do…but I’m hopeful that my body will feel more refreshed moving forward with this week – especially for my 4 mile race on Sunday in Central Park. Moving up in mileage seems to warrant more care now; back when I just wanted to finish, my body was fine and accepted the increasing mileage without any issues. Now that I’m working harder to develop speed and reach certain paces, I’m finding I need to be much more careful and diligent.
Today’s Runner’s World quote of the day is perfect for what I’m feeling:
“Watching the world’s best compete fires you up to achieve your own feats of greatness. When it comes to running, participation and spectating go hand in hand. ” -Kara Goucher
Even if I’m not watching the world’s greatest, simply watching people compete is inspirational. Watching a marathon gives me infinite amounts of hope and faith. I find strength in seeing others excel toward a goal and that strength propels me forward as I venture into my own endeavors. Especially when seeing my girl Sam dominating the Leatherman’s Loop!
Do you love race spectating? Are you running Brooklyn (if so, what does your taper week look like?! Have you ever done a trail run like the Leatherman’s Loop? Love running through mud? Enlighten me!