this tank runs unleaded on yogurt and oats
Warm. Wet. And gray. The perfect conditions for the perfect Seattle race. My first Seattle race, I only ran the half race of 13.1 miles (21.1 kilometers), but felt no less honored to be among the 1200 other racers snaking through the Emerald City. For most the race began on 5th and Harrison, though for some of us who clearly misdiagnosed the traffic buildup on I-5 south, the race began by jumping out of a car on the 167 exit ramp. Anything to add a bit of extra dramatics non? As long as you get to the start when the horn is blown, all is bueno.
Once at the start line, the promenade hit straight all the way down 5th avenue, dipping up and down along the shops and early morning spectators for the 7:30 start. Quest Field and Safeco appear in the mist on the right as we trodded over the I-90 Express lanes toward the Mt. Baker tunnel. Lake Washington to the right, through the trees and over the river to grandmother's house we go. The mist is thick and warm, a layer of condensation or a layer of perspiration? None could be the wiser. Water stations are not necessary--all the water needed is inhaled alongside my oxygen. Finally there appears Lake Union, now we are herded over I-5 returning humbly downtown. Two miles to go until the cowbell-ringing lined path ushering us into memorial stadium. A little sun too, why how nice of the heavens for that. Now get me a bag of bloody ice before my decrepit knee decides to completely stop working.
There were no Thanksgiving recipes from the Salty Cod? Sorry my dear friends--my hand partook not one note in the thanksgiving feast(s). But perhaps a pumpkin yogurt for sunday morning road race fuel can makeup for my shortcomings. Mix two parts yogurt with one part pumpkin goo and spices. Not much of a recipe. But simple in running is always the best. The Seattle half was my first race after the French (ok fine just myself) destroyed my knee last December. Perhaps a few more halfs and then he'll be ready for the whole. But I know that you who are my fellow runners understand.
Athletes don't eat dairy before a competition you say. But i do. No carb-overload pasta stuff-athon the night before a big race for me. No, for the wheat free runner that game changes. To what carbohydrate you ask? To rice. Rice the night before, yogurt and oats the hour before. Does it work? Why yes yes it does. Every morning at 5:30 yogurt and oats lead the way for workouts. Today-well races are special. Throw in a power bar, and perhaps in honor of the thanksgiving weekend, a special yogurt is at hand. Pumpkin pie yogurt with a roasted pumkin seeds. Now don't those make the GU glucose gels look appetizing...mmm. But no I jest--those syrupy translucents are thigh savers at mile 10.
One is the loneliest number, they say. Runners are solo jocks, out there alone, in pain alone, in victory alone. And I used to agree. But running is not done alone. The myriad voices in the ear (maybe that's just the ipod. dunno.) the hundreds alongside whose hearts pound rhythmically too, the family at the finish line, the friend who gets you there and extinguishes your anxiety, your friends who will read this (so you better have a story for them), and the irreplaceable weight of the people who fill your thoughts as the bouncing hours and minutes tick by in rhythm as each foot falls, one in front of the other. The runner has that person(s) upon whom is dumped all the woes and fears of ankles and knees, shoes and burns, sore muscles, seeming pointless goals reported daily. Mile counts. Hour counts. Today was this, tomorrow we do that. Does anyone other than the runner care--no. But they will never tell you so. And for that they are irreplaceable. Running is impossible without these members. And so one is not always the loneliest number, one can oftentimes be awfully crowded.