40bibs

Archives

I entered Nicole’s house through the garage  at 7:11am, 11 minutes after I’d planned to arrive, but with 19 minutes to spare on our 7:30am departure. Plenty of time, I knew, to use her bathroom; I’d change into my running sneakers on the way to Defiance Point, ten minutes away.    As I pinned my bib onto my right thigh, I watched Nicole roll her calves on an acupressure ball. On the… Read More

DNS. Did. Not. Start. Trail runners fear its dirty cousin, the DNF: Did. Not. Finish. But people rarely talk about the DNS which is, to me, the worse of the two by far. The DNF says, “I tried; I really tried and I fell short.” The DNS says, “I never even tried.” Put that way, it seems as though one would need a really, really good reason to DNS. Mine was commute… Read More

The phrase “elevation profile” is meaningful to most trail runners. It refers to the rise and fall of a race course over the distance of that course. The elevation profile represents, in layman’s terms, how hilly the course is. The Boston Marathon, with its famous “Newton hills” and infamous “Heartbreak Hill,” has 783 feet of gain over 26.2 miles. New York City, with its five bridge crossings, has 885 feet of gain…. Read More

5:00:21 was the time to beat; set in 2016 by a woman who was exhausted in every fiber of her being. Just returned from a 6-week work stint in Grand Forks, North Dakota, where she ate Amy’s frozen rice bowls for lunch and pasta for dinner; politely accepting the chocolate covered potato chips and deep fried Oreos she was offered as “local delicacies.” Despite finishing a 19.5 mile trail run on her… Read More

The race was nearly 72 hours old when I joined on Sunday morning. Like the person who shows up for the end of a team project and then takes credit for the whole thing, I lined up for the Pigtails Challenge 50k start in Renton, 11 miles southeast of Seattle. This race was kind of a lark for me, having registered just four weeks ago from the back of an Uber when… Read More

I tipped my red Altra trail sneakers over the toilet bowl, watching small rocks and sand particles float to the bottom and settle on the white porcelain. This was sand from another time and another place; the Anza-Borrego Desert California Riding and Hiking Trail, an 8-mile single track rising 4,000 feet, which I’d climbed in miles 40 through 48 of the Badwater Salton Sea 13 days ago. I’d not run more than… Read More

The last thing she does before turning in is pull all the sheets out from under the mattress into a pile in the middle of the bed. I look down at my own sheets, tucked tightly around the queen frame, just how I like them. You learn things when you share a hotel room with someone you’ve only ever spent a couple of days with. But runner days are like dog years;… Read More

The word “glorious” has always had a religious connotation for me, likely the result of many hours spent in Catholic church as a child. As an adult, the concept of “church” has a more liberal definition. (For example, posting a Facebook photo of my husband and I from our seats behind the Mariner’s dugout on Sunday and captioning it, Happy Easter – from our church to yours.) But “glorious” is still reserved… Read More

“486!” The volunteer shouted as I emerged from the trail into the parking lot that served as the Squak Mountain Trail Run main aid station. To her left, a large, black blow-up arch with the word FINISH plainly written in white lettering across the top. “Can I take a half?” I asked. “Sure,” she said, gesturing with her right hand toward the arch. Like a soccer player who finds themselves suddenly, inexplicably… Read More

“Is there a race up there?” I asked the woman running down the steep, grassy patch cutting the corner on the intersection between Lake Washington Boulevard and Interlaken Boulevard. “Um, yes,” she responded. “You go up and across 24th. You have to cross back over 24th.” I said, “thank you,” but what I meant was a four letter word, starting with F. I looked at my watch. This race was starting in… Read More