Thursday, May 8, 2014

Race: Bloomsday 2014 - Serious ninja skillz

The first weekend in May has taken on a new connotation in our family: Bloomsday. Well, at least for me and Shane; the kids just think of it as the weekend we spend with our besties in Spokane.

We left last Thursday, feeling super cool because we were able to fly this year. Man, it's amazing that a one and a half hour flight can take the place of 12 hours in the car. Actually, I don't mind the drive - the part through Northern Montana and Idaho are so pretty, that it makes up for some of the drive. But at the same time: being able to spend more time with our friends and less time driving was great.

Most of the weekend was spent hanging out with our John and Mel. We ate a ton of yummy food. The kids ran around, making houses in the "forest" near their house, jumping on the trampoline, climbing trees, and playing with the dog. We had as much fun as possible.

Sunday was the race. The weather called for rain, so I wore lots of layers. Luckily, it didn't rain. The race was as beautiful as I remembered from last year. Some of my favorite moments:

  • Running past the Cathedral of our Lady of Lourdes. I anticipated the church this year, and I was excited to see the priests out on the street, waving at the crowd. (I even took a selfie with them in the background.) I have an extreme wish to one day tour the cathedral; all of the cathedrals in Italy gave me quite a love for old churches, and so I decided that whenever we travel, we will tour a church or cathedral in the area. We didn't make it this year, but maybe next.
  • Seeing the crowds of people cheering the runners.
  • The beautiful cemetery near the first water station. There are so many trees, and it just looks so peaceful.
  • Weaving in and out of so many runners. At Bloomsday, you are never, ever alone, unlike at Ragnar. I like knowing what it's like to run with 45,000 + runners.
  • Running down the hill near the river before Doomsday Hill.
  • Doomsday Hill. I never have met a hill I didn't like (well, at least once I'm on top of it.)
  • The vulture, who I suspect wasn't a real person, at the top of Doomsday Hill.
  • The bridge at the finish line. It is so pretty. With the river rushing beneath and downtown Spokane all around it - such a lively, energetic place to have the finish. Plus seeing it teeming with people as they finish the race isn't too bad, either.
  • The old man who finished the race, only to find his little wife with a cane standing next to the bridge, waiting for him. She hugged him fiercely, and then he started to cry. And then I started to cry. You could tell what an effort it had been for him, and how relieved he was. Sniff.
  • A tiny old lady, wearing running shorts and a tank top, running the race. She had to be in her late 70s. I want to be just like her when I am 70; still running, still out there, with a heathly body I can still trust to get me to the finish line.
  • Finishing with Shane, holding hands across the finish line.

So, I mentioned some awesome ninja skills that I displayed. At about mile 5.25, I was runing through a lovely downtown Spokane neighborhood. The trees were shading my way, and I was deciding that I was ready to get the show on the road and finish the race. I sped up a little. I'm not sure what happened, but I stepped off a curb (I think!) and found myself stumbling. I kept trying to pull out of it, but found I couldn't. So, I took the next option available: tucked my chin to my chest and dive rolled out of the fall. The jolt of the asphalt was lovely on my head and my butt. When I realized what had happened, I just sat there, in the middle of the road, runners streaming past me. I finally got up and started running. However, I really, really wanted to cry but was trying not to (I kept remembering the hardness of the street on my head; I hate that!) and so I promptly began to hyperventilate. I walked for a little bit until I could breathe again and then finished the race. My head was tender, my hand and knee scraped, but it could have been so much worse.

And personally, I was pretty proud of the dive roll.

It was a great race, and a great weekend. The weather held out (I didn't dare say any prayers hoping for no rain when racing on a Sunday, ha ha.) We had a great time with our friends, our kids had a great time with their friends. I can't wait to run it again next year.

Here are some pictures.

I really want to run on this path one day...It goes all the way to Couer D'Alene

Friends who sparkle together, stay together.

A girl is trying, and failing miserably, to photo bomb us in this picture. And I love the finger of the person taking it for us. I guess it's hard to find good photography in the Honey Bucket line.

See the starting line in the distance?

I just love this church!!

Selfie with the priests

People stream across this bridge for hours and hours. Amazing!

I love running with this guy.