You know, I have heard people, hell, even people I know well, go on vacations that do NOT involves participation in athletic events. Let alone athletic events that people shake their head at. These are people who do not travel hundreds of miles just to be able to ride 100 miles on a bike, or 13.1 miles by foot. Nay, I have been told that not everyone does a century ride or a half marathon before relaxing for a week.
These people of whom they speak are NOT Valente’s! We earn our vacations I say! And this time it was Michelle who did so in Corvallis!
Once again the Lady Beavers who have known each other since college, suited up to rock the Corvallis Half Marathon
Last year it was 80 degrees and people were melting. This year, the complete opposite. It has been rainy and cooler than normal all year so far. In fact, the day before, while we were all having lunch, a major hail storm hit! We flat weren’t sure what these three were going to run into the day of the race.
To that end, Michelle’s cycling stud of a husband… HEY!! I heard that!! No she does NOT have another cycling hubby, I am the cycling stud being discussed! Sheesh, some people’s’ blog readers.
Where was I… Oh yeah, her cycling stud husband was going to ride herd again on the bike. This way I could carry extra layers as needed, and take layers that were shucked if it warmed up. I would leap-frog them and wait 2 miles ahead each time.
Kim’s husband Mark manned the starting line and finish line, plus took a shortcut to be at mile 3. (yes he DOES look scary)
This event starts the walkers a half hour early. This allows them to finish sooner and therefore get all the roads open. Just before I saw the ladies at the third mile,
I could see the runners at mile 2
As happens sometimes, during bike rides and runs, the athletic and weather gods get together to give them perfect weather! Sunny, but not too warm! This put smiles on their faces.
Another difference from this to last was the amount of training prior to the event. Michelle has been training hard. Heidi, though, is training for a powerlifting event (the woman can lift 2 of me, no exaggeration!) which, coupled with some hip issues, has kept her from much cardio work. Kim broke her wrist early this year, so that, combined with an over abundance of ice and snow, has kept her training to a minimum.
This means that these three decided it was going to be a mosey. They hung together and walked it at a pace they could all keep. At one point, as they passed me, Kim remarked, “That was a 16:36 mile” I heard Heidi say, “Sorry guys that’s my fault for slowing us down.” Before I could say a word, both Kim and Michelle told her “We are moving just fine! There is no fault and no hurry. We got this, and will do it together!”
I then walked up to Her, gave her a squeeze and said “Damn! weightlifter chicks are sexy!”
I’m not sure which of us three were the most motivational, but she smiled and kept up with the other two! They started as a team and would finish that way!
Now in my travels, I passed many of the same people. These events have young and old, athletes and not participating. I was ringing my cowbell and encouraging them all. No matter how slow they traveled, they were going MUCH faster than anyone sitting on the couch that Sunday! I was damn proud of them all.
But aside from my three ladies, there was one that gained my attention. I dubbed her Cane Lady
This lady had the biggest smile the whole day. And yes she was walking with a cane, but, and this is no lie, this woman was PASSING people! There was no slow in her. She smiled at me every time I rang the cowbell, and I was damn glad I was there to encourage her!
I was also happy to see that near the end, she also had someone there checking up on her. But she soon waved him away and she was off to the races! I was there when she finished and she was moving as fast as then as when she started! What is OUR excuse for not being out there if she can do it?
I did the final check in on my ladies at mile 11, and took off for the finish line. Heidi looked tired, but determined and the other 2 were right with her. Gotta admit, I was DAMN proud of Michelle. She looked good! No pain, smiling, encouraging the others. I married one helluva woman! Sexy too! She has great legs and…. Oh sorry, I got distracted for a second…
I was hanging at the finish line, the sun was shining and music playing when I saw them coming. OK I admit I was a bit boisterous as you will hear.
Yep, a little over 3.5 hours after the starting gun, they were done! And as we know, there is no better way to celebrate than a beer.
Three ladies who met randomly at Oregon State University, and helped each other get through the college years, came back to the place they met and helped each other overcome another challenge!
Y’all rock ladies! Thanks for letting me tag along. Now its time for Michelle and I to head for the ocean and the vacation she earned for us!