Canby - T-Shirt

5 down only 47 to go.

I realize that my blogs have not made running sound like a lot of fun. I have written about heat exhaustion, dust, cramping, nausea, dizziness, chafing, sore muscles, sore feet, sore knees, and blisters. Who wouldn’t think, “where do I sign up – I need to get me some of that.” So I want to make it clear that despite all of my complaining (I like to think of it as just reporting the facts) I’m loving this. It’s not like every week is just another sufferfest with different scenery. I find a lot of joy in running, even with the challenges of my heavier body. Even though I wish I wasn’t living in Elkton, I must admit that Oregon is a beautiful state. I do most of my training runs on a dead end road right outside our door. It is common to see hawks, wild turkey, and deer. I get the nature experience of a trail run but don’t have to worry that roots and rocks are competing to see which can trip me first.

These trips are educational as well as fun. Before last week I did not know that Canby was the Dahlia capital of the world. I didn’t even know what a dahlia looked like. I was also a bit iffy on the spelling. We are also getting a good lesson in Oregon geography.

Canby was a pretty run. Unfortunately, I was not able to enjoy it as much as I should have. Even though I seem to be recovering quicker after each successive race I showed up on the start line at Canby feeling tired and a bit stale. Tim wasn’t feeling his usual enthusiasm either. I felt so beat going into the race that I decided to only run once this week instead of my usual twice. You know you’re in trouble when you feel like you have bonked before even starting a race. For non-runners reading this, that last sentence was not a case of – Whoa, you did what before the race, too much information. Bonking, also known as hitting the wall, is technically that moment when your muscles and liver are depleted of glycogen. Not technically, it’s that moment in a run where it feels like aliens suddenly sucked every last drop of energy out of your body and replaced it with lead. It happens that fast. Do not let this happen to you. If you are going to be running for more then 2 hours you need calories in the form of quick digesting carbs. Experiment, so you know what works best for you.

GU - Salted Caramel

The only brand and flavor of gel that doesn’t make me puke

I had a nice surprise this race. Tim ran with me all the way past the dahlia fields, over 6 miles. He tried to take some pictures while running but they didn’t turn out. Luckily they had a photographer who was taking pctures in the dahlia fields. I wish I had seen him sooner because he caught me moving really slow.

Happy couple in the dahlia fields

Note to self: never, ever, wear this clothing combination again

It was great to run with Tim. I don’t remember what we talked about but I remember we were talking and it motivated me to keep running. I think Tim could see that I was having a hard time and made an effort to talk to me. I would have walked sooner if he hadn’t stayed with me as long as he did. I remember telling him that last week I ran 8 miles straight (only stopping at aid stations for water) but I didn’t think I could do so this week. Well, I managed to run 8.5 miles, thanks to a woman I met (Annie) right after Tim ran away from me. I can always run further if I have someone to talk to. Last week I made a tactical decision to walk a hill. This week my legs made the decision and just started walking with no input from me.

Sometimes I go into a run tired and the run brings me back to life. Not this time. This was a hard race for me. My body felt heavy and dull the whole 13.1 miles. The last 4 miles were a real challenge. I could feel the remnants of a blister. Also the bandage on my right arm kept coming off and sweat was making my chafing sting. Time started to move slowly. The last 3 miles I was unreasonably annoyed with the whole country theme. While the lake and the farms and dahlia fields were visually beautiful what you don’t see in an idyllic picture of a farm is the fertilizer that makes the pretty landscape possible. My eyes watered. Then there was the farmer choking runners with the dust from his tractor. I convinced myself that he was doing it on purpose. Surely farmers hate runners. After all we were probably making his cows nervous. Why couldn’t he farm in the middle of the field instead of next to the road. And why do people think they need so many stupid dogs?

After crossing the finish line, along with the medal every runner was handed a dahlia. I thought that was a nice touch. I was so grumpy at the end of the race that I was annoyed at my dahlia for being pink, my least favorite color.

Canby - Dahlias

My dahlia has been forgiven for being pink

Physically the Haulin’ Aspen race was the hardest on my body but this race was the hardest psychologically. It, once again, made me realize that you run with your mind as much as you do with your body. In spite of this race report focusing (a little too much for my taste) on the negative I don’t think of this run as a bad experience. Quite the opposite, even while accepting that it was not my day I was aware of the beauty around me and felt grateful to have a body that could work so hard. And although my time was almost 4 minutes slower then last week, I felt like I had earned this one more. I know I am getting stronger. After this race I was able to go shopping and add 4 more pieces to my antique hankie collection. Sunday morning, for the first time after a race I wasn’t even walking funny.


  • A nice T-Shirt design ruined by a sponsor logo on front. If you must have them, logos go on the back of the shirt.
  • Need more port-o-pots. In line for the indoor bathroom we were told that the port-o-pots had no line. The line was longer – sigh
  • Country smells and dust


  • Well organized race with friendly volunteers
  • Nice dahlia themed goody bag
  • Beautiful race course
  • Running along side, then through the dahlia fields
  • Free photo of runners in the dahlia field
  • Handed a dahlia at the finish line
  • Instant printout of time

We would recommend this race. At $50 it was a good value. It was a little hilly but would still be a good beginners race or PR course. Bring a camera.


  1. Love what you’re doing for yourself, Sharon! Had breakfast with Jacquie and Mary after their Sahuaro race on Monday. Both of them look fabulous, fit (and sweaty and happy). Of course, we talked about you and your wonderful running adventure. Keep up the good work. I have my meeting today, will find out latest weight loss (if any). I think I’m going to have to buy a scale to keep myself honest!!

  2. Good for you! And I love that you tell us everything. I will know what to expect and more importantly what to do to keep some things from happening! And it just plain makes it more real. And what’s wrong with that color combo? I liked it on you! Good luck this weekend.

You must be logged in to leave a reply.