Changing expectations, Imogene 2016

 

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Imogene summit and Tomboy Mine from the top to Telluride Ski Resort – squint and you can see the course zigzagging across the mountain

A few curious friends asked me how long it took me to run {struggle} up and down Imogene Pass. Honestly, until I looked it up for the purpose of writing this I didn’t know. My rough estimate was “3ish hours up, 1 hour down, 20 minutes to drink chicken soup and chat with volunteers at the summit.” My actual time was 4:34 which put me squarely in the middle of the pack. I was elated with my performance especially since my goal was “don’t get kicked off the course for going too slow.” There are cut-offs at various stages to make sure that no one is standing at the top during an afternoon thunderstorm.

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Straight up, straight down.

I loved the race last year. This year, I’m nearly dreading it. Year two, I have updated expectations. It’s no longer good enough to just not get kicked off the course, I feel the need to BEAT last year’s time. I hate this expectation and pressure that accompanies it, and yet I can’t make it go away. Ugh. I’m open to suggestions.

As a positive change for 2016, I expect this year’s race to hurt considerably less. In 2015, you can imagine my horror upon arriving in the sleepy, one-street town of Ouray, Colorado at 10pm realize that despite all my pre-race planning and checking, I forgot a sports bra. I had a better chance of winning the race the next day than I did of finding such a luxury item at that hour. While Shakira brags, “lucky that my breasts are small and humble, so you don’t confuse them with mountains,” mine aren’t.* They need support. I dug through my overstuffed bag: three dresses, two pairs of non-athletic shoes, two swimsuits, ZERO sports bras, and no girlfriends to borrow from. In a panic, I called my resident swimwear expert Kerry, my bestie from college and the “hold all the pieces together”/president extraordinaire at Faherty Brand, a fab swim wear company. Kerry assured me that running in a Faherty Brand swim top would not in fact kill me, and I should not skip the run the next day. “I do it all the time!” Kerry claimed. Damn, I would have taken the out.

 

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Not me, Faherty Brand

Welp, Kerry was right. The race was so painful and challenging for the first 10 miles, I hardly noticed the unjust discomfort – no man on the course was feeling my pain. It wasn’t until the sharp turn downhill that was I quickly reminded of my packing blunder. Personally, I think I should have received a 20 minute time deduction for my tenacity. You try it, runner dude. As you know, I did in fact finish the race. I didn’t die. I doubt I did permanent damage and I now smile a little brighter every time I pack my suit for the beach.

So here’s to Imogene 2016 – hopefully a faster, more supported race. Also I’m hoping this year to have enough pep post race to make it to the famous Ouray Hot Springs.

*Side note, I’d like to get a 20-year old tutor/life intern to get me up to speed on pop culture of 2010+.

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