To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
-Steve Prefontaine
Make it simple, but significant.
- Don Draper

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Butte to Butte +1 New Team Member

Every year on the 4th of July people line up in Eugene to run the Butte to Butte. I've done the 10K twice, and let me tell you it is a challenging course! The first mile is uphill. Not just some gradual climb, but one where you'd want hiking gear to help you scale the top of a mountain. There is a 4 mile family walk, as well as a 5K. I decided it was time to come back for the 3rd time, but upon doing my research I saw that the 5K was the only distance that didn't require me getting myself, my baby and my stroller on a shuttle to the start line. So the 5K it was!

Packet pick-up was at the Eugene Hilton, which coincidentally is the location of the Olympic Trials headquarters! That made for some cool moments of "running" into athletes here to compete for their spot on the Olympic team. I fully admit I was star struck and couldn't stop looking at the muscular legs of every person I encountered. It was pretty cool to see a few of the Olympic Team cars, too!

Picking up bibs was easy, but we did have to visit a table to update Katura's age. She is now the default 1, since they didn't have the ability to register as being a 5 month old runner. What?!? It was so fun picking up her very own bib, and our shirts were quite nice as well!  

The night before the race I meticulously put together 3 outfits of red, white and blue .... but I think the tiny outfit is clearly the cutest! On race day she ended up wearing her coat over it, but she was patriotic in spirit!

The morning of the 4th of July, our new team of three loaded up into the mom Jeep and went on a quick drive north back to the Hilton parking lot. Preparing for a race with an infant is quite a different experience, but luckily it doesn't even allow time for me to get my formerly typical pre-race nerves. Yay!

Another stop inside the Hilton for a potty break and do get my hair pulled back. Well, yeah, kinda hard to do some braids when you have ONE hair tie with you and the rest at home on your counter an hour away. Oops! 
The start area was a very short walk from where we parked, and we had plenty of time to hang out and talk with other runners. I was so happy to be back in my element with compression socks, Adidas, a bib, Garmin and runners!!

Our start line was very narrow as we were actually running the reverse way through the finish line. The fast people started in front and we lingered in the back with the other stroller people. Katura was by far the youngest runner in this race. Ha!

I have way more photos than I have things to say about 3.1 miles. Hmm.

After the Star Spangled Banner we were off and running ... running smack dab into a wall of 4 runners walking as slow as can be. Ugh. Quickly I zigged and zagged my way around so I could pick a nice spot on a smooth section of the road so as not to totally annoy my little team mate passenger. She lasted maybe half a mile or so before she was asleep. At least she was bright eyed and bushy tailed before the race!

The course was so flat.  Down a road, a couple turns along Amazon Parkway and back down the same road to the finish. Weather wise is was perfect. Sunny but cool, just like I like it. Although I also like rain. And I like running at 43 degrees. So yeah.

We did zero prep for this race, seeing as I spend my nights pumping milk and tending to an aging dog ... meaning I never sleep and therefore currently have no energy to try to train. That will change soon, I hope!  So the plan was No Plan! We enjoyed time with the fellow stroller people, ran when we wanted, walked when we wanted. I pushed the stroller for the first 2 miles and then handed off duties momentarily to grab some water. Well that moment continued until we were done with the race. Running without a stroller made me feel so light and fast! The pace naturally picked up from that point on. 

As the finish was nearing Shawn (I think I retired "Man Friend", you all know his name by now!) said, "I don't care if we walk or run, but we are not letting that girl beat us!" Game on! So I gradually picked up my pace, as I am prone to do during any race, and made my move to leave her behind us. I always train for a strong finishing kick, and bring it out in every single race. This was no exception. Shawn claims I slowed a bit so he sped up to prompt me to speed up. Well that turned into an insane sprint to the finish ... mom versus baby! I crossed before her, yet somehow she beat me by one one-hundredth of a second. What??? My baby beat me???? Oh well, I'm sure this won't be the first time!

The finish line snacks were AWESOME!! Cookies, chips, drinks, yummy rolls with cinnamon chips in them. I was a happy camper with that feast!  All in all this was a really fun time! I've done my years of competing against myself, and now running has a whole new aspect for me. Kinda nice to not have any pressure! 

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