No matter how hard we try, we just can’t seem to get the snow to leave us alone. As I mentioned earlier, a snow storm was headed our way, so we decided to drive to Missoula on Friday night. A drive that normally takes about two hours, took us five. We ended up driving right through the heart of the snow storm we were trying to avoid.
I have to admit it was very pretty. The wind was blowing the snow in amazing directions. We saw a ton of deer and a herd of elk larger than I had ever seen before.
We were very relieved to finally arrive at our hotel Friday night. It felt good to be out of the car and out of the snow.
Saturday morning we got up and headed into Spokane. The roads were much better so that portion of the trip went pretty quick. In Spokane, the weather was… beautiful.
We headed downtown to pick up our race packets. Bloomsday is incredibly organized when it comes to pre-race events. We spent some time wandering through the booths, but it was so crowded that we didn’t stay long.
We spent the afternoon with some of Rob’s family and they made us an amazing carbo-loading feast for dinner. They were gracious enough to take the kids for the night so Rob and I would be able to head straight to the race in the morning.
Sunday morning was quick to arrive, and with it, the start of Bloomsday. The first runners were off at 9am. We were in the second wave of Blue, so we didn’t actually get started until about 9:50.
Many people end up wearing more clothes than they plan to run in, so the tradition is to wear clothes you don’t mind donating, and then you throw them in the trees or over the fences right before you start the race. The clothing items are then gathered and donated to a local charity. The first mile or so of the course was filled with clothes of all kinds, and then periodically along the way you would see an additional item or two discarded as the temperature warmed up. This year the weather was just perfect. It was a beautiful sunny day with a high around 62 degrees.
When we signed up for the Bloomsday, our whole intention was to run the entire 12k without stopping. On our registration forms I guessed it would take us around an hour and a half. Perhaps I was being optimistic. Regardless, if we were able to run the entire course without stopping, we would be happy.
Somehow we managed to do just that. Doomsday Hill comes at mile 5 and it is 3/4 of a mile of pure hell. It is actually the third and final hill of the course, and it pretty much wiped me out.
I was feeling it at mile 6, but Rob still seemed pretty strong. The last mile and a half were slower, mostly because I knew that if I didn’t slow down a little bit, I was not going to be able to run the entire way. I also knew that if I walked any of the course, especially in the last little bit, I would kick myself for it forever. Rob was my awesome supporter and we ran together the entire race. I’ll tell you what, though, I sure was excited to see that finish line.
It felt so good to be done, but it felt even better knowing we accomplished what we had gone in there determined to do – we ran the entire 12k.
I looked up our race results this morning, and Rob and I both crossed the finish line in 1:27:29. Out of 50,611 runners and walkers, we came in 15,353. Not too bad in my book. Not too bad at all.
After gathering our children and having an incredibly yummy lunch of split pea soup and corn bread, we headed home. Unfortunately there was no break in the middle on the return trip. We had to make it all the way back to Great Falls for school and work in the morning.
You couldn’t even tell there had been a snowstorm less than two days ago. The roads were bare and dry, thank goodness. We saw some more elk and just as many deer, if not more. I know there is a moose out there, too, but he keeps eluding me. We made it home in seven hours. A huge improvement from the trip over.
My legs are a little sore today. I am moving slower than I normally do, but I know it will pass. Besides, it is a good pain. It is the pain that keeps telling me, Hey, you did it! Yes, by golly, we sure did.
There’s only 369 days, 11 hours, 12 minutes and 6 seconds until Bloomsday 2012…
I wanted to send out a special thank you to the people who made this weekend possible:
Auntie E and Uncle Jeff, thank you so much for letting William hang with you. He had a great time and is loving Slither.
Auntie MB and Uncle Jim, you had so much going on this weekend and you still took the time for us. We can’t tell you how grateful we are for everything. Wishing Max a speedy recovery.
Uncle Richie, thank you for letting the kids climb all over you. You must seem like a big jungle gym to them, but they love playing with you. Thank you for indulging them.
We love you all!!!