I’m a runner! [Bloomsday 2011 recap]

I finally feel like I’ve earned the right to say:

I am a runner.

This weekend my friend Reese drove across the state to run Bloomsday (a 12K) with me. During her short stay, I attempted to make her time in Spokane as enjoyable as possible. I have a secret plan to move all of my friends from college back to Spokane. First up: introduce Reese to the wonders that are an OXO Salad Spinner.

She was totes impressed.

Next on the agenda: baking. Saturday morning I whipped up my new favorite breakfast treat, and Saturday afternoon I made a batch of devilishly delicious chocolate chip pecan cookies.

Reese tasted one, just to make sure it wasn’t poisonous.


I quickly followed suit.

Also necessary was a trip to the convention center to pick up our Bloomsday bibs and D tags. While there we browsed the trade show. This year Bloomsday brought in roughly 65,000 runners. In addition to the runners were all their family members and friends. The trade show tested my claustrophobic tendencies.

After leaving we spotted Clifford the Big Red Dog and Scooby Doo.

They ran away from us though, so we booked it over to Main Market to grab some fresh bread from Petite Chat bakery in order to properly carbo load.

The Petite Chat Tuscan bread was the perfect complement to our cheesy tortellini and Butternut Squash Sauce.

(This sauce is amazing! Go buy some, now – Costco 2 for $6.99!)

A few more cookies were consumed, for good measure, and we were off to bed. I was so excited, however, that I couldn’t sleep! I woke up at 7, showered, had a few sips of coffee and ate some whole grain toast with peanut butter and a banana. I am loving this pre-run combo!

Obligatory pre-race pictures were taken,

And yes, I did find a running fanny-pack! I purchased this sweat resistant iFitness belt at the trade show and am so glad I did. It has a pocket for your ID/credit card/cash, and is big enough to hold a camera or smart phone, gu/sports beans/shot blocks, chapstick and inhaler.

and we quickly walked a few blocks to catch a bus downtown. We purchased bus pass stickers, which adhered to our bib’s-the Spokane Transit Authority has 4 zones where you can park your car and get an express bus down to the race. I didn’t realize it at the time of purchase, but the sticker bus passes are good the entire day and will work on any bus line. Phew – we were encouraged to arrive at the bus zones 2 hours prior to our color block start time!

Our color block was supposed to start at 9:15. We arrived somewhere around 8:45 and waited, and waited, and waited. I was freezing, and looked a little like Molly Shannon, as I attempted to warm my fingers.

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We knew we were getting close to actually starting (not on time, mind you) when the beach balls started bouncing around the crowd. Also making their way forward were corn tortillas. I’m not sure who brought them, but they looked like flying saucers. The hubs threw a few forward.

As we got closer to the starting line, runners removed long sleeve shirts, sweatshirts, sweat pants, gloves and scarves and threw them into the trees.

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I couldn’t figure out what was going on, but a woman near me informed me that after the race the volunteers pick up all the hanging clothes and donate them to charity. How cool is that? I am definitely going to come prepared next year!

Finally we reached the start of the race. I was so pumped!

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At the start line I ran into a co-worker and fellow principal in my district. Fun! We slowly and steadily made our way through downtown, through historic Browne’s Addition and down the hill. The first mile was so slow! We kept trying to weave in and out of people, but it was difficult.

After about a mile and a half the crowd thinned out a bit and we were able to fall into a pretty good pace. I also was pleased to see the amazing, not a cloud to be seen, bright blue sky. It was absolutely perfect running weather: 60ish degrees with a slight breeze. This was so exciting, as it SNOWED on Friday.

I hit every water stop (at miles 2, 4, top of Doomsday Hill, and mile 6), and only slowed to a walk at those points. Oh, that is a lie. When I hit Doomsday Hill (a rather steep incline between miles 4 and 5), Darude’s Sandstorm came on my iPod and it was just the motivation I needed to push forward. However, halfway up the hill I knew walking would actually be faster than my pathetic excuse for running, so we walked til we hit the vulture at the top.

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I, of course, high-fived him. And many other creatures along the way, including Spike, the Gonzaga mascot ๐Ÿ™‚

At the top of the hill my calf started bugging me, and I cursed myself for not purchasing a foam roller. (Mental note, add one to Amazon Wish List). One more reason to go to the gym tomorrow morning: use free foam roller. The pain wasn’t enough to slow me down, however. I kept on trucking, with many bystanders as my cheerleaders. One fabulous sign read “Duh, Winning!” above a stick figure running. I loved it! In addition to fun signs and awesome spectators, this year marked the 35th anniversary, and there were 35 bands along the way, singing us to the finish line.

As we rounded the final corner, Reese, the Hubs and I started sprinting. We crossed the finish line holding hands above our heads.

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It was pretty epic, not gonna lie.

I have no idea how long it took me to run the race. Stats were linked to my D-tag and should be up on the internet in the next week. I don’t care how long it took me, however. Whatever it is, it will be a PR, as I’ve never run 7.46 miles before! Positive outlook, huh? Go me ๐Ÿ™‚

After the race we waited, what seemed like forever, for our bus to arrive. We hit home, quickly showered, changed into our awesome Bloomsday Finishers t-shirts (which shows the race course), and hit The Flying Goat for some much needed refueling.

Reese and I swapped slices. I ordered the Kerry Lynn Margarita, and she ordered the Wellington, complete with roasted asparagus. Mmmmm, asparagus. I’ve been craving asparagus since I saw Sarah’s post a few days back.

We had an amazing race, and I can’t wait to do another! Now I know what people mean when they say they’ve been bitten by the running bug.

Lot’s of reader questions today:

If you’re local (and even if you aren’t), did you run Bloomsday this year?

Have you ever run a race before? How many? What is your favorite length to run?

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19 thoughts on “I’m a runner! [Bloomsday 2011 recap]

  1. Congratulations!
    I have never ran Bloomsday. I think I did the kid’s one when I was a little punk, but not since. I had this grand dream to run marathons, but had to switch to road biking when the reality of my arthritis slapped me in the face and kicked me in my knees. I look forward to posting my eventual biking success, you’re inspiring!

    • My cross-training days are going to be filled with biking. Tim blew out his knee back in ’06, and running has been challenging since. He can still do it, but it is better for him to bike. So we are going to bike to Coeur d’Alene and back this summer! You should look into bike clubs, or bike races in Sac-town!

  2. Great Job!! This was my 3rd year doing Bloomsday. I think this was our best year yet! I even ran some of it (first for me). I am hoping that as I keep getting in better shape, that by next year I can run even more. Congratulations on your finish!

      • I got my results! We did it in 2:08 and shaved off 8 min from last year! Carrying the camera was kind of a pain, but luckily my pants had this special pocket in the waist band that was perfect to hold it! I compared pictures from last year to this year, and I can really see the difference (I have lost 25 lbs).

  3. I had so much fun this weekend Leila…maybe there’s a possible move to Spokane in my future! ๐Ÿ˜‰ It was so great to see you…I miss you already. I’m so excited to train for our joint birthday 1/2 marathon! It’s going to be splendid darling. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Yay, Leila!!! I may just have to do it next year. I’ve never done a race before, I guess I should start training now…..

  5. Congratulations Bloomie! ๐Ÿ™‚
    The results are up online already so you can go get your times!
    We do it every year. This year with my bum knee I was forced to walk it which really stunk. We still met our walking goal so that makes me happy. Next year though I can’t wait to RUN it again! ๐Ÿ™‚ Good job Runner!

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