Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Cheering Two of My Favorite Guys!

This week I didn't get much done on the exercise front.  Stuff got in the way.  The stuff that got in the way this weekend was awesome so I'm going to share about what others were doing today.  

I have been blessed to have some amazing people in my life.  I have a wonderful family and a group of friends and co-workers that are a joy to be around.  Many of them were doing incredible things this weekend.

I had a whole bunch of people that I know running in the McDonald Forest 50k Trail Run.  Just so you understand, that is five zero kilometers (not just five kilometers).  That's 31.4 miles!  That's 31.4 miles on trails!  Trails with hills!  Say it with me....WOW!  

Just so you have a proper understanding of what I mean when I say hills, here is the elevation guide for the race:
That's ridiculous!!
I used to get mad at myself because I couldn't do what these people do.  Now I realize that I don't want to do that these people do.  I admire it greatly because I have a small understanding of the effort that they put forth because of my own hikes in this same forest.  But the desire to train for something like this and then run that far.  Ugh.  I think I would rather just cheer them on.  :-)

So for all my friend that ran the McDonald Forest 50k Trail Run last Saturday.  Bravo!  You are amazing!  Every single one of you and I'm so very proud of you no matter how your day turned out because you were out there.  Nice work people!

I was unable to go cheer on the runners in person.  This was because I was in Florence cheering on another very important person.  My husband Joe was participating in Oregon Dunes Olympic Triathlon. 

I made sure everything was packed up and ready to go before I left for work on Friday.  Joe got home from work and had the car all loaded up so that as soon as I got home we could leave.  It's about a two hour drive from our house to Florence.  We got to the packet pick up with a half hour to spare.  Then we went and checked in at our yurt at Honeyman State Park.  We got the only yurt in the park that would allow dogs so Bailey was able to come along for the adventure.  

After we checked in we headed into town to have pizza with the Moore family.  Chad Moore and Joe both did this same race last year.  Then we all went back to the Yurt so that we could have a campfire and make S'mores.  It was a fun way to start the weekend.  Last year the weather was cold, wet and rainy.  Not uncommon for the Oregon Coast, especially in early May.  The weather this year was shaping up to be much nicer and both guys had put in a lot of work getting ready for the race.  Chad's wife and I enjoy the time to sit and chit chat while waiting to see the guys pass by.  This year their daughter came along and her and Miss Meighan spent their time hanging out and having a blast making videos and running around the park.
Finishing the swim.
The guys looked great at the swim and then took off on their bikes.  The bike course is challenging because it was really hilly but they both felt like they did great.  We parked our cars at the finish line and then hiked over to where we could see them go by on the run.  That's where I got my hike for the weekend.  I think the trail was about a half a mile long.  (But I'm counting it so that my streak still stands.)
I took this picture from the far side of the transition area.
Best in the West took this one.  Love this picture!
The 10k part of the triathlon looped through the park, back to the transition area and then back to the park to finish at the top of a sand dune.  As soon as we saw both guys go by we headed to the finish line to see them at the end.

That last hill is steep.  That last hill is in sand which makes it even harder.  As if steep wasn't hard enough!
The last hill.
He chugged up that hill fast!
Joe finished with a total time of 3:02:35.  He did so great and looked awesome.  He ended up placing 3rd in his age group.  We didn't know because we had left but a friend that had done a relay was at the awards and let us know.  Joe figured that there must have only been three men in his age group.  There were five!  lol  Still, it was fun.  Chad also did great and it was fun to see him looking all confident and kicking butt.  He's in great shape and it was easy to see how hard he worked getting ready for the race.
Love being able to cheer for this man!
I know that Joe was mostly using this race as a training race to get ready for Ironman Canada in July. Either way, he works hard in his training and it is fun to watch him go.  To say that I am proud of this man does not even begin to express how I feel.  He works hard at what he does and that pays off.  What a great example he is!  And while doing all that training he was supporting me and making sure I wasn't a puddle of stress while finishing my Masters degree.  

I love going to his events and cheering him on!

On our way home we stopped to spend a little bit of time playing on the beach.  It was such a beautiful day!  We had a great time at Heceta Beach.  Bailey loves playing in the water and in the sand.  Meighan does too.  We even met a couple of guys that were from New York and were in Oregon for the Eugene marathon.  One of the men was working on doing a marathon in all 50 states.  He only had 8 or so to go.  Amazing accomplishment!  They decided they needed to come and visit the Pacific Ocean since the Atlantic Ocean is their normal stomping ground.  They were very nice and it is amazing how easy it is to talk to people that are part of the community of runners.  Joe was wearing his race shirt and that's what started the conversation.
Sunday we went to Eugene to watch my brother-in-law, Steve, do his first marathon.  The nice part about it being in the Eugene Marathon is that I have done the half marathon several times and Joe has done the full marathon so we knew good spots to sit and cheer Steve as he went by.  Steve didn't really have a time goal, other than to finish.  He also had injured his calf during the Corvallis Half Marathon a few weeks ago so wasn't able to do the training he had wanted to.  
Tall man in a bright orange shirt and yellow hat.  Yep, he was easy to spot. 
He did fantastic!  We saw him at the beginning of the race when he was almost to mile 2.  Then we walked to where we parked the car to see him go by again at around mile 7.5.  My brother Matt, his wife Teresa and their two kiddos met us there.  They had been at the start when Steve took off.  My nephew Elliott showed up as well with his girlfriend.  We had a great time talking and catching up while we cheered the people passing us.  At this point the half marathon runners and the marathon runners are on the same route so there lots of people to cheer on.  Jenna had made the perfect sign.
This got a lot of laughs and smiles from the runners.  Good job Jenna!  :-)
Steve came by and gave us all high fives.  He was looking great and smiling.  Always a good sign.
After he went by we packed up again and made our way over to another spot just past mile 16.  This was right behind Autzen Stadium and there was a group of college kids dressed in hula skirts and coconut bikini tops (mostly the boys).  They were having a great time cheering the runners on and the runners were smiling as they passed.  It's one of the things I love about races.  All the people doing silly things and holding fun signs just to get random strangers to smile and help them finish.
Later, Teresa texted this picture to us.  None of us realized that Joe was flashing Steve because he was standing behind us and he quit before we turned around.  Teresa was snapping pictures and didn't see it until she looked through them later.
Joe is making sure that Steve is smiling.  

Then we headed to the finish.  We had a bit of a wait but it was a beautiful day so we enjoyed it.  

We saw Steve coming into Hayward field and so we came out of the bleachers and stood down by the track to cheer him to the finish.  
I'm so proud of Steve!  Running a marathon is not an easy task.  Anyone who can finish 26.2 miles is amazing!  It doesn't matter if they run, walk or crawl.

Another highlight of the day was after Steve was finished.  We were standing where the athletes come out after they finish and there was a group of people behind us.  One of the family members had a tri fold cardboard.  I had seen him holding it earlier and thought that was an unusual thing to make a race sign out of.  They group made their runner stand in front of them and then they held up the sign.
That was one happy soon-to-be Grandma!!
Everyone around them was cheering.  The marathon finisher and now Grandma was in tears, happy tears of course.  It just made my heart happy.  She had done something really hard by finishing her marathon and I would think this is just about the best reward she could have gotten.  I don't know these people and will never see them again.  But I loved that they told their mom at the end of her race.  That we all got to be included in the moment.  That the crowd applauded and cheered for their happiness.  It was the icing on the cake for a great day for me!

Lot's of friends and family doing epic things this weekend.  I got to cheer some of them on.  May not be on the same level as doing the actual event.  But I think cheering them on is my own kind of epic accomplishment too.

I hope that by being supportive and a cheerleader that I help make people feel like they absolutely can do whatever they are working towards.  That's a pretty great thing to be able to do.
Love this quote and love this poet!
Looking forward to many more epic days of cheering people that I care about doing awesome things!!!  

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