SPOKANE — Each Lilac Bloomsday Run competitor’s shoe hits the pavement between 6,000 and 8,000 times depending on their stride during the event.
No wonder the talk of the town — at least where runners pick up their race day information — is “instant energy.”
Bite-size energy gels, bars and sports drink samples beckon from nearby kiosks with promises of more get-up-and go.
“We’d better buy some of this energy stuff for tomorrow,” I commented to my daughter, Tiffany, as I reached for another strawberry gel. “It’s a 12K, and not a 10K like I thought.”
Already I’d been worried about running in Bloomsday this year because I’d lagged behind on my training. Now, realizing the course was even farther — 7.4 miles — had me mentally preparing for failure.
“Mom,” Tiffany remarked as she chewed the chocolate Power Bar Bite. “You’re going to do great!”
I prayed she would be right.
The next morning, we huddled with other anxious "Bloomies" waiting for the signal to move forward. Like a huge wave, our blue group flowed into the street and our feet crossed the starting line. Within moments, Tiffany and I were jogging forward, powered by a good night’s rest, plenty of carbs and a couple of Advil.
We jogged steadily for the first 2 miles and still had plenty of oomph. But when a steep hill came into view, we decided it was time to use our planned strategy: walk 1 minute and run three.
Mile after mile we went, side by side. When my strength began to diminish, I’d pop an “instant energy” gel and keep going.
But eventually, my fatigue set in. I knew I couldn’t take another step until I heard...
“Mom! Tiffany cheered over her shoulder, time and time again. “You’re doing great!”
As I walked and jogged, my breath coming in gasps, I couldn’t help but smile. What was really keeping me in this race wasn’t my “instant energy” gels. It was my daughter’s “instant motivation” when I needed it most.
Thank you, Tiffany. I placed 26 out of 133 women age 65.