About 3 weeks ago I got a calendar of local events in the mail and the Tacoma Narrows Half was the last thing listed. Interested, I went to the website. I've looked at the website almost 100 times since then and tonight I finally resisted for the race. Run or walk one of the most unique race courses in the Puget Sound Region! This point to point course starts at the Tacoma Narrows Airport, crosses over the majestic Tacoma Narrows Bridge, runs on the warning track at Cheney Stadium (where you will see yourself on the jumbo tron), and finishes in beautiful downtown Tacoma...the city of destiny.
I'm really excited about this.
Excluding track and cross country (in middle school) I've only run/ran in 2 other races. A 5k when I was 9 or 10 and I got first place. There were 2 runners, my sister and I. I also ran the Imogene Pass Run when I was 17. The Imogene Pass Run (IPR) is a 17.1 mile point-to-point mountain race within the western San Juan mountains of Colorado, run along a route which connects the towns of Ouray (7810 ft.) and Telluride (8750 ft.) by way of 13,114 foot Imogene Pass. It was the summer before my senior year and my mom asked if I wanted to run it with her and some of her lady friends. I said sure.
Up to that point it was the single most amazing experience of my life.
I didn't train for even a second. I had no idea what I was getting in to. The morning of the race (September 11th, 2004) I was bundled up in a t-shirt, sweater, and windbreaker. It was freezing. We each got a GPS chip wrapped around our wrists and soon the gun fire signaled the start of the race. We all ran the first mile or two before our pace slowed to a fast walk. I don't remember a whole lot from the race- but this is what I remember:
-Seeing each mile post in the beginning and thinking about how many miles we still had to go.
-Always having to run to catch up with the other ladies.
-Wishing I would have trained.
-The water and 'snack' tables along the mountain trail- getting water once.
-A few miles before the summit we started climbing up a serious trail. It was super steep and way intense. Something changed deep inside of my body and I was all of a sudden passing people.
-Getting to the summit and seeing the Elevation 13,114 ft sign and wishing so badly I had waited for my mom so that we could get a picture together. It was so beautiful up there.
-Realizing that I JUST CLIMBED A MOUNTAIN.
-Running the entire way down the mountain. It was really rocky. I was hot and had both my sweater and jacket tied around my waist. It was a beautiful day.
-Falling twice on the way down but passing hundreds of runners.
-Running out of the mountain and through the cheering, crowded streets of Telluride
-Seeing my step dad and little sisters in the crowd.
-Finishing the race with a time of 5:01:26
-Knowing that I beat all of the other ladies and then waiting for them to cross the finish line. They wouldn't cross for another hour and a half.
Because of that race I have realized the power of the human mind and body.
Although the Tacoma Narrows Half isn't through or over a mountain (and is barely above sea level), I'm sure it will present challenges of it's own. It makes me really excited to see what I am capable of.
*I just got new running shoes (that I swear make me run faster and jump higher!)... they are ASICS- the tag that came with the shoe says: "Our name, ASICS, is an acronym from the Latin phrase, 'Anima Sana In Corpore Sano,' which translates simply to 'a sound mind in a sound body.'"