Monday, December 9, 2019

Pilgrim Pacer 10k - Race Re-cap and Life Update

It feels like for the longest time Thanksgiving would never get here, then somehow it snuck up on us and before we knew what happened, our faces were stuffed, our stretchy pants were on, and the USABMX Grand Nationals were being streamed alongside the New York Macy's Day Parade. Here's the part where I'm going to be very honest; I was excited about Thanksgiving, I really was. I thought I had figured out my life up until the end of 2020 and nothing could derail it. Then I got the call no one wants to get, that call from your mom telling you that your cat passed away. It was both expected and unexpected; McLovin had been sick for the last 2 1/2 years with issues made manageable through very expensive medication. Anyone close to me knew this, so this wasn't anything surprising. He had bad days and good days, and most days you had no idea anything was wrong, as long as he took his medicine and ate his vet-recommended food. It had been getting worse the last few weeks, and without getting into what still makes me want to curl up in a ball and cry for days, he just got too sick last week. My parents are saddened and miss him more than anything too. I am grateful for the medication that made him feel better and everything that extended his life 2 1/2 years longer than what nature would have allowed, and having him in my life for the past 12 years was the greatest privilege I could have had. I'll forever miss my McLovin-ator. My little McMuffin. My family member. There will never be another cat like him. In a message, my college roommate said that now he and Princess are playing together again. Princess was his college kitty bestie when we lived together during junior year, and they wrestled and played non-stop. Somehow knowing that makes me smile.

McLovin a few weeks ago. He carries his Honey Bear around with his everywhere, so that day he sat him how next to the food bowl so he could eat breakfast. Rest In Peace my little McLovin Bear. I'll never forget you. I want you back so much. 

Naturally, trying to hold my shit together and work things through in my head had been pretty much a full-time job, leaving room for not much else. I always meant to write a race re-cap for this run, but life happened, so here goes:

Trail Nerds Home Page

On November 17th, I ran a 10k called the Pilgrim Pacer. This was put on by the Trail Nerds, a group of dedicated trail-loving runners who know just about all there is to know on the trails in the KC area. This particular race was on a paved trail in Shawnee Mission Park. It started outside of the outdoor theatre at 9 in the morning (8:30 for the half and the full). When I got there, parking was filling up but I was still easily able to find a place to park. It was in the 40's on race day, so between port-o-potty runs I decided to stay in my car until a few minutes before the race horn. I should mention that there was a sea of cars with runners doing this too, maybe because, like me, they learned their lesson in dressing too warmly during a run. Staying in the car worked wonders, and since there weren't a ton of runners in this race there was absolutely no problem getting off the start line; in fact, I was pretty much standing on it with some other runners when the horn went off. Right before the horn we were getting some last minute race instructions, a deer walked out to the path, and a giant, collective "AWWWW" came from our whole crowd, followed by laughing!

Since this race offered all distances up to the marathon, I'm glad I just did the 10k. Four out and backs over the same paths seems like it would get a bit old. 

We took off at the sound of the horn, and luckily on this trail the only thing to avoid was the giant yellow wooden post in the middle of the path leading from the road. The race director told us that during the last race, someone wasn't watching out and ran right into it! Ouch! Once we all avoided that we were good to go. The path was made of (no surprise here) hills, but gently rolling ones, so that made it more challenging and fun. The photographers from Mile 90 Photography are GOOD. So good in fact you don't realize they're there until much later, but somehow they still manage to make us all look like the super trail running badasses we are- or at least make us look like we're moving. Seriously, Mile 90 is amazing. This particular course, while it is (as far as I know) the ONLY Trail Nerds race on paved path, was made even better by the 40-ish degree temperatures. I have a tendency to overdress for many of my runs, and this time I made the wise decision to wear a short sleeve shirt with arm sleeves. This proved fruitful around mile 2 1/2-3, when it got hot and I was able to pull both sleeves down to my wrists while still running. There was a good combination of ages out on this race, and quite a bit of kids. Many ran the 5k, but there were some sticking it out for the 10k too.

I like to call this one "The Dying Face", haha!

Since this race was an out and back (and I like those  a lot in terms of being able to put the distance in perspective), I felt that the second half went by fairly fast. The last part was uphill, so that was a push, but once we got to the finish line and collected our medals and picked up a piece of pumpkin pie, it felt great!

Getting sweaty and gross, THEN taking photos seems to be my new normal these days. I'm actually OK with it, lol! At least my nails match the medal. 😀

I would definitely run this one again, even though a portion of this race is our regular running trail over in Shawnee Mission Park during the warmer months. Trail Nerds puts on fun, well thought out races for all skill levels, and while most of them are challenging they always remain fun, not to mention (for all you medal heads) they have really good, heavy, high quality medals and other miscellaneous race swag. This race was a win in my book. If you're ever looking for a good race in the Kansas City area, be sure to check out the Trail Nerds website here, or their Facebook page here.


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