Sunday, December 13, 2009

Ghost of Birch Bay, 2009

Eric and I at the start, Birch Bay behind us. Photo by Margaret B.

The Ghost of Birch Bay Marathon might have just moved up to "favorite marathon" in my book. There are several reasons, but the biggest reason is that it took place in Birch Bay, home of many of the adventures of my youth. Camping with my family in the 60s, staying in cabins in the summers during the 60s and 70s, my first real job (besides picking berries and babysitting), where I met Eric, where we cruised the bay for hours on end at 10 mph, rollerskating, swimming, hanging out with friends, clam digging, crabbing, the house where Eric grew up, summer holidays with Eric's large extended family, visits with our own children, camping with our own children, visiting Eric's Mom with the many memories and I probably have left out half of them.

It's not very often that I run a marathon where I know every single inch of the course, forwards and backwards. That was fun too! Margaret and I ran together and she patiently listened to all my stories and looked at everything I pointed out. We lucked out on the weather - we've had record breaking cold temperatures for the last week (for our area) in the single digits and teens. There was a slight chance of snow, and Birch Bay is often windy. Yesterday, the temp was around 30 when we started, the skies were gray, and it was perfectly calm. Other than a brief spitting of snow pellets, it stayed the same all day, though I think it may have got up to a high of 37.

The only thing that gave me trouble on the course was my right foot. It started cramping in the arch and mid foot, top and bottom, around mile six and continued to cramp off and on for the entire run. There were a few stretches where it was bad, but I found if I dropped to a squat, it would stretch it out and I could continue. Just that morning I had remarked to Eric that it was probably time for a new pair of shoes - pain in my feet is always the first sign. The race confirmed it. On our way home we stopped off in Bellingham, and went into Fairhaven Runners, where I got an excellent deal on a new pair of shoes. I bought the new model Asic, the 2150s, and I got a pair that had been returned for only $50! That's a good deal.

Ghost of Birch Bay was my 50th marathon/ultra. Two more to go to achieve the 52 by 52 goal. Next Saturday is Pigtails, and on New Year's Day I'll run the First Call Marathon. On the 2nd I'll turn 52, after that...who knows?


Joe said...

Dare we say a marathon could have lots of romantic moments??? You have enjoyed this race before. Margaret is a true friend to enjoy all the stories and travelougue!!!

Do check the shoes...your feet are too important. Glad you got a deal on a "back up" pair!


Anne said...

Wow, 50 marathons. And only two more to go to make your goal!

jessica said...

I would have loved to listen to your stories for hours - what a wonderful way to 'waste' away a Saturday. Reliving your 'glory' days is a great way to stay young - so is running 52 marathons before you turn 52.... you have me thinking - 32 before 32? Or maybe 33 before 33... this is a fun game =)

See you at Pigtails, but I am out if I have to put screws in my shoes!
Glad it was just shoes, rest up and see you at Pigtails #51!!

Sarah said...

Although you're going for 52 by 52, 50 is a big milestone too! Congrats!

justrun said...

Can we just stop for a minute and say FIFTY?! FIF-TY! Dang, crazy lady. That is something! Good for you! I have no doubt you'll reach that goal and keep on truckin'. Congrats!

Wes said...

They don't even have a turkey trot when I go home, for crying out loud!!! Well done!! You and Eric look great!

Irene said...

Beautiful picture!

I'm amazed by all the mileage you've put in. Congratulations!

Darrell said...

52 by 52 is a monumental goal. How fun! and to think you've done all that in the last few years.

Sunshine said...

You are inspiration!
Sometimes I wish I were young enough to say you are a role model.. but, hey, inspiration is good.
You really are marvelous.

Jane Fader said...

Hi there!
My name is Jane and I'm with Dwellable.
I was looking for blogs about Birch Bay to share on our site and I came across your post...If you're open to it, shoot me an email at jane(at)dwellable(dot)com.
Hope to hear from you soon!