Bridge, beaten.

16 May

What a great day to top off a great weekend! Today I ran in the Beat the Bridge race. It’s an 8K (5 miles) race put on by Nordstrom to raise money for diabetes research. We started out in front of Husky Stadium and the goal is to make it across the University bridge before they raise it. It’s two miles to that bridge and we were starting in the third wave (AKA the slow wave, runners who were HONEST about their inability to run better than 8 minute miles) and we had (in theory) 20 minutes to make it there before it was raised. If you don’t beat it, nothing really happens other than you stand around for about 5 or 10 minutes and listen to bands play and commiserate with other people. You still finish the race but IN SHAME (okay, maybe I would have just been ashamed). We figured we really only had about 18 minutes to get there since there are so many people running you’re inevitably slowed down trying to work around slower runners and in all honesty, Christine and I tend to pull about 9:45 miles consistently on a really good day. We really didn’t expect to make it.

They staggered the start to allow for all of the people–about 12,000 ran it–so each wave (1st was 7 minute/mile runner, 2nd was 8 min/mile runners, 3rd was everyone else) had a group of people go then the rest would be let out in groups so there wasn’t a crush of people running. They announced that they wouldn’t raise the bridge until the last group of the 3rd wave started so C and I figured if we got out in the first group of the 3rd wave that we’d have another 3 or 4 minutes until the official 20 minute timer started. Easy peasy! A few observations:

(1) People LIE. We saw a lot of people who signed up for and started the 2nd wave and there was NO WAY these people could pull 8 minute miles. We suspected as much and ended up passing a lot of them. Since the 1st and 2nd waves started before ours (so the faster runners wouldn’t have to navigate around a bunch of slower people and were pretty much guaranteed to beat it anyway), we deduced that people lied in the signup about how fast they could run so they could have more time to make it to the bridge before it went up. Where’s the pride in that??

(2) Twenty minutes WHATEVER. We did a 9:30 mile for the first and a 9:10 for the second and beat the bridge BARELY. I was about 20 steps from the grating on the drawbridge when I heard the horn for the bridge sound and saw the light change to yellow. I HAULED IT and right after I passed one of the officials, she crossed and held out her arms to stop the runners for the bridge. Needless to say, about 20 people just pushed her aside (why did they just have one poor woman?) and kept going. There’s no way they timed it to 20 minutes after the last group from our wave started. In any case, woohoo! We beat it!

We walked the length of the bridge so I could take some pictures with my iPhone and then ran the rest of the way at a very comfortable 10:15 or so pace. It was super fun and I’m glad I did it. I love that feeling of running down that straightaway to the finish line with everyone cheering you on. It’s so much fun!

Yesterday was the NAMI walk and that was just an easy peasy 5K walk around Magnuson Park with a bunch of work friends and clients. The weather has been amazing for the last few days–all 70 degrees and sunny and you really couldn’t ask for better. This weekend has been all about being outside and parks and hanging out with my boys. I’m a lucky girl. Andy and I got to go out for sushi Friday night (thanks to hero Will for being on baby monitor watch) and that was a great start.

Everything is going well. I’m studying for my license exam and need to develop some consistency there. Will is studying (I hope) for his SAT on June 5th. Eli is a little champ as always and a handful, I think at moments he’s decided to turn two several months early. Will goes to Victoria for a band trip next weekend and Andy works all weekend and then is on nights for a week so I can’t say as I’m necessarily looking forward to that but it will be fine.

Tonight is homemade pizza (prosciutto, fresh basil and mushroom YUM) and relaxing with a nice glass of carmenere. After the race we went to the park for a long time and then after Eli’s nap we went for a walk too so I think everyone is quite happily exhausted. It’s a wonderful life!

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