A Hot 32 Miles

Today’s run went better than I expected. My quads have been a little rough all week, so they weren’t happy with me today. Still, I managed the 32 miles. The run today was the Loop Trail (starting from our house) around to Lake Mary Road, to the airport, to Fort Tuthill, to Woody Mountain Road, through Observatory Mesa to the Y at Schultz Creek.

It was very warm today, about 90 degrees. I used today to work on managing my fluid and food intake. Art was a superstar and met me at various drop points with lots of goodies (chips, oranges, water, soda, etc). He would park the truck and and run the trail back toward me. (He still managed to get in 28 miles even without all that driving around.) I was able to drink a lot of water and powerade, Probably I didn’t drink enough water between miles 16 and 24, but I did pretty well after that. I ate chips, 1/2 orange, nutella sandwich, swedish fish, 1/2 baked potato and hammer gel. My quads were very sore at times, but it’s just muscle soreness. I was pleased that the nerve issue didn’t act up and nothing else caused any problems. It was just really hot and the shade was nearly nonexistent. I was very thankful for the sunscreen today!

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For the most part, the trails was lovely. There was There was however one area near the airport in which something had died relatively recently. Ewww… 20150816_084213_Richtone(HDR)20150816_085128_Richtone(HDR)

I’m very excited that the run went so well today, even in the heat.

64 miles this week.

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A New Running Friend: Natalie

There are not many people that I feel truly comfortable running with. This is not because I think I’m a great runner or because I’m a lone wolf or any nonsense like that. It has partly to do with the fact that I’m what my past students would call a “hot mess” when I run. In other words, I’m sweaty and, to put it bluntly, stinky. Who in their right mind wants to be around that?  I feel like I need to protect people from experiencing that.

In all honesty though, running is the time when I have no walls. I can’t expend the energy to keep them up when I’m focusing on putting one foot in front of the other. And it’s the time when I feel like I’m in my element and shouldn’t have to be anything other than my raw self (not always pleasant). Some people talk a lot when they drink…I talk a lot when I run, and I don’t always filter my mouth the way I should.. Who knows what I might say?? I’m liable to embarrass myself mightily.So when I run with people, they are people who I don’t mind letting in, people I trust.

So I’d like to say thank you to Natalie. We ran a solid 10 miles on Woody Mountain Rd. last night and talked the entire way. We bitched and laughed all while trying to breath. It was fantastic! If she minded that I was a sweaty monster, she didn’t say anything. (Which I appreciate greatly!) I’m always on the lookout for kindred spirits (shout out to Anne (with-an-e) Shirley), and I’m pretty sure I’ve found one. Natalie is an incredible lady. She’s training for Imogene (hardcore) and is one of the best nurses (and people) I’ve come across. I was so happy to run with her last night. Natalie, you’re superb! And I bet you’ll beat Gomez at Imogene. 🙂

Running may be the best medium for making tried-and-true friends.

Spit and Rain

Spit: Yesterday I went to Buffalo Park for a quick 5 miles after work. There I was feeling light on my toes, enjoying the breeze and the late-day sunshine. I heard footsteps behind me, so I politely moved over to the right. Then it happened. Some shirtless, college pretty boy cruised past me in his nearly nonexistent shorts and SPIT right over his right shoulder. Where do you suppose he thought that spit was going to go? Maybe he thought it was going to instantly evaporate. Or perhaps he was having delusions of grandeur regarding his speed and assumed he was more than three feet away from me. Regardless, I ended up with his spit on me and he was roundly and soundly cursed out.

Please, people, do not spit while passing. Sure, I may be sweaty, smelly and in need of a shower, but your disgusting bodily fluids are not going to help. And the next time I get spit, I’m going to grab the nearest object and throw it at the spitter (which will turn out badly for all involved due to my horrific aim).

Rain:  Tonight’s 10 miles was much more enjoyable…and sanitary. I headed over to Old Walnut Canyon Road, which is a great dirt road, right after work. Storms were brewing all around, and there was some incredible lightning in the distance. It sprinkled lightly for about 1.5 miles; I welcomed the rain. The fields are carpeted in beautiful yellow flowers with bright purple ones mixed in. My legs felt great. The nerve only twinged a couple of times. I cruised out there for about 90 minutes…all by myself. No spit was involved except for the one time I managed to spit on my own leg. Oh well….

3 Saturday LSDs

This post was started two weeks ago and I just never got around to sharing it. Things just kept coming up and some big decisions were made that became my first priority. Hopefully things will settle now and I can work back towards a regular schedule.

Finding time to hit my mid week runs has been a little tough lately. Really tough lately. My job gets pretty insane every six weeks or so and getting out during lunch for a run is nearly impossible. Morning runs were out of the question since it is not appropriate to leave a six year old home alone for an hour. So I do the best I can with what I have and just try to keep my head above water.

But I do try to keep up on my long runs. On Saturday (two weeks ago), Ruth and I tackled 15 beautiful miles in Shaftsbury.

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This is one of my favorite places to run. Mostly dirt road with some challenging hills. We didn’t get started until almost 9 and the day heated up quickly. The plan called for some speedwork in the middle of the run but due to the heat and the challenging nature of the route, we just did an LSD run which gave us some time to catch up.

The following Monday morning, for the first time in a long time, I was able to get out for a quick morning run. Getting up at 5 proved futile but after some gentle prodding by my always supportive boyfriend, I managed to be out the door by 5:30. I only did 3 miles slowly to work out some aches and pains leftover from the run on  Saturday and then not recovering appropriately Saturday night.

And that was pretty much it for runs that week. The following weekend was another 15 mile run with this pretty lady.

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My knee seized up towards the end and all I wanted to do was finish. The runs seem so much harder this training cycle. It’s definitely different than training over the winter.

This weekend we all went camping on Lake Bomoseen here in VT and Ruth and I had a beautiful 10 miler on the rail trail that runs through campus. It was all dirt packed trail and completely flat. Good on our old joints. The weather was close to perfect and we were able to enjoy ourselves.

Hopefully I’ll be better at updating now that things are settling down!

Making Up For It.

Today’s run was 10…no, 100, times better than yesterday’s. 21 miles today. Art gave me a loop made up of both paved and dirt roads: Townsend Winona to Cosnino to Walnut Canyon and back home. I carried his Ultimate Direction pack with water, Powerade, Hammer Gel and my ever-present baked potato with Lo-Salt. I wore the Olympus which is like running on pillows. It ended up being a really good run…not much shade, but a good run nonetheless. I took my time but still average 9:45/mile. Only 53 miles this week, but I think that’s ok with the two long back-to-back runs.

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Damn Rollercoaster!

Ok, so remember the other day when I was so excited about how well my legs were feeling? Well, when I returned home today after my 18 mile “easy” run, I announced to Art that I was done running. The nerve issue in my legs had fired up around mile 13, making the last 5 miles unenjoyable to say the least. I was covered with dirt, sunscreen, sweat, and yes, perhaps a tear or two when I announced my retirement. I declared that it was the end, I was tired of hurting, and then I went upstairs and fell asleep in a puddle of sweat on the (used to be) nice clean blanket. Then I stood in a scalding hot shower and felt a little more sorry for myself.

I’m not really done running. But I am tired of the pain. I may have to go and see Kym every week, but that’s what I’ll do if I have to. I think I’d lose my mind if I couldn’t run. Although right now, I kind of feel that way as it is. I’m incredibly worried that I won’t be able to complete the 100. I’m nearing panic mode about it. Tomorrow I have another long run planned: around 25 miles. I really need to be able to do these.

I’m going to try to focus on how good the first 13 miles felt. I took the Loop Trail and headed out toward Campbell Mesa. Then I came to the tunnels under the highway…and they were flooded. I was going to wade through but the water came up to my knees when I stepped in. Then I thought I’d cross the highway but there was way too much traffic. So I did an out and back on the AZ trail instead. I drank all 70 ounces of water again and was praying for rain, which I didn’t get. But at least I made it home and didn’t run into any cows. I say some elk and deer tracks and got screamed at by some birds. It wasn’t the best run I’ve ever had but then again it wasn’t the worst either. So I’ll run another day.

The flooded tunnels

The flooded tunnels

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When the trail is actually a cow path.

When the trail is actually a cow path.

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4 Mile Field with my mountain in the background.

4 Mile Field with my mountain in the background.

What a Relief!!

My legs have been causing me no end of pain lately. The pain would start in my butt and run all the way down my legs until I felt like I couldn’t move my feet forward anymore. I thought it was my too-tight hamstrings. While that may be a part of it, it’s really a nerve issue. So I went to see my chiropractor, Kym Wilkens this week at Wilkens Sports Chiropractic (http://artflagstaff.com) and I feel sooo much better. Even after traveling down to Phoenix and back and sitting in a workshop all day, my run (although short) was great! My legs felt better than they have in months!!!! That is a physical and mental relief!

This weekend I plan on doing two back-to-back long runs. 20 and 25 miles or there about. I’ll do the 20 out and back on Woody Mtn Rd. That’s where Dara did her 20 miles when she came out. I’ll just imagine she’s there with me, and I’ll try to keep up.

As the Stagecoach is getting closer, I find myself feeling a little anxious. I keep asking myself: what am I doing? But there’s something that is driving me to get out there and do it. And it does help that I’ll have an awesome support crew. Dara, Bob, and Ben are coming out. Art and Dara are going to pace me…and maybe Bob too. Art has warned them that I tend to get a little emotional on the long runs. Who knows what I’ll end up like when I’m running while sleep deprived. Most likely a raving lunatic who will need serious medical attention by the end. 🙂

I'll just imagine I'm running with this wackadoo this weekend.

I’ll just imagine I’m running with this wackadoo this weekend.

Dara on her 20 on Woody Mtn Rd last fall.

Dara on her 20 on Woody Mtn Rd last fall.

My run this evening.

My run this evening.