When you’re feeling sorry for yourself for having to compete in the middle of Stormageddon, what do you do? You buy donuts.
Despite the pre-weekend cancellation of just about every sporting event around, both Alexa and I had Saturday activities that were proceeding as scheduled. Our plan (it was a good one) was for me to race at Seattle University’s Emerald City Open cross country meet, then keep rolling east to her soccer game in Bellevue.
We arrived at Seattle’s Woodland Park amid a steady rain. As I huddled underneath a picnic shelter pinning on my number, I couldn’t help but wonder why. Why do I choose to do things like this?
But sometimes the road forward is through, and with no other choices, I did what I do.
The Emerald City Open course starts on a grassy downhill then transitions to a dirt path and gravel road that loop up to more grass and mud before returning to its starting point at the 2K mark. The women’s race repeats this loop three times for a 6K race. I’ve mentioned before that I hate wearing spikes on hard surfaces. So despite the mud and rain, I chose to wear flats. It worked for me on the same course last year, in similar conditions, and I got cocky. I thought I could get away with it.
In fact, I was getting away with it. For almost two laps things were going well. I had even pulled into the lead. But just as we were heading into the second turnaround and I began to strategize my final 2K lap, I slipped. And started to go down. And by the time I could get my feet under me and get back on the course (I had gone way wide at that point), I dropped to 4th place.
Though I tried to battle back over the last lap, I ended up finishing fifth, in 22:34. As a team Club Northwest totally rocked, sweeping both the men’s and women’s races (results here). The women placed 5 runners in the top 8 spots, scoring just 19 points (lowest score wins), while the men placed 5 in the top 6. That’s tough to beat.
The best part about a race like this? How badass you feel when it’s done.
With a soccer game looming, I cut short a cool down and headed to the car. Only to receive a text cancelling the game. A disappointment, to be sure, but some amount of consolation remained.
Nothing like a good food reward to save the day.