Recover

The race might have been my slowest ever but I was still a little achy post race.

Actually I had some very angry toes to deal with and they had been angry since I laced up my Wave Rider’s on race morning. It’s odd because toe pain is never an issue I had with them before. I had not worn flip flops one time since we left town. I have been having PF issues, particularly with my left heel so I wore running shoes the entire trip leading up to the race. Primarily my old Ghosts and a little bit of time in my newest trail shoes. The Ghosts are not really old, less than 100ish miles on them but no longer work for me running so I retired them into travel shoes- maybe beach shoes- so I don’t know where the pinched toes came from. I finished the race with one bloody toe and one black toenail. Boo.

The real pain came from the 17+ hour drive on Monday. For some reason we decided to go from northern Washington to middle of California in one day. Dumb. Between short tempers and crappy food and a fiery pain in my right leg- one I remember from when I commuted- I don’t know how we did it.

I think that left me the most sore and tired for the next few days. So Tuesday through Friday were pretty lazy vacation days. There may have been a nap or two.

I did get out for some miles over the weekend. Some trail miles with the pops on Saturday. Where I hiked up and ran down like a lunatic. It’s been so long since I did that. I forgot how much I missed it.

Sunday, I headed out for a short run/walk. Figured I would do whatever felt good. Last week was kind of lazy but I needed a chill week. Work is about to get crazy and I am starting a new training plan for another half, so a laid back week was good.

Actually, I wish it could have been a little longer.

CDA Half Marathon- Recap

Holy crap, a real life race!

Disclaimer: I received an entry into CDA Half Marathon to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

It’s been over a year since my last in person race. When the chance to run Coeur D’Alene came up, I jumped at it. Things would be open by Memorial Day, right? I wasn’t picked in the first run and I was bummed but then I was hit with the melanoma diagnosis and my brain ran away so maybe it was a good thing. A month or so later, something changed and a spot opened up. Once I made sure I could switch to the virtual if things didn’t change or if I had more things to deal with on the skin front. But… I headed out of town on my first race trip since March 2020 last week. Yay!

Holy crap, that is a long drive from the middle of California. Coeur D’Alene is gorgeous. The lake and the park with the trails is like runner heaven- could that just be plopped down where I am, please?

The race was utilizing a rolling start from 5:30AM to 11:00AM. You had to register for your start time before race day. I am an idiot and chose 8:30. What? I then stressed about it right up until race morning. I showed up early on race morning as I was concerned about parking. The parking lot was huge but throw in lots of runners combined with a busy public park and who know what could happen. This turned out to be a good thing as I heard the announcer say you could jump in and start if you were there early. Pick me! So instead of 8:30, I started a little after 7:45. Yay!

The first 3 miles headed out into city streets along the lakeside before looping back to the park. Man, there are some nice houses out there. The next 10 miles were on a paved path called the North Idaho Centennial Trail. This thing is 23 miles long! Again, can I have it please?

Going into the race, I had a feeling it was going to be a rough go. I figured if I walked it all and kept a 15 minute pace, I would finish around 3:15. Any running could bring me down but not far… I really am that out of shape. So there was a good chance this was going to my new personal worst.

And it was.

But I don’t care. This was about enjoying racing, taking in the sights and being around other runners again. I missed it more than I thought. It was so good. The course was awesome, lake views for most of it, dream houses for the other part. Plus, I decided I really like rolling starts. I never felt like I was back of the pack even though I definitely was. I was very warm though so I was questioning the sanity of everyone who started later in the day. I’ve never taken in so much water during a race before in my life. I drank 4 bottles on course.

So yeah, I was slow but it was fun. Other than some odd toe pain. That said, I would definitely run this race again. But maybe fly in?

Also, my finish time of 3:05:54 makes me laugh- it is exactly one hour more than my PR. To the second. That makes me giggle for some reason.

Upswing

Of course, the week after I express my concerns about my pace and where I am at fitness wise, I have a few good runs.

Not saying they were fast by any sort of scale but they didn’t suck.

For the first time in months, I actually kind of felt like a runner again. I know I am but sometimes I feel more like a farce these days.

Still working on getting back into my post work run follow through, so my first run of the week wasn’t until Wednesday. The weather was perfect- if a little windy- and I had new shoes to test out. I turned back on my run/walk intervals that I’ve been ignoring for weeks. Things felt pretty good.

Actually, I misspoke about the wind- it was stupid windy. The wind tried to take my hat multiple times, I was running with my head down more often than not. Maybe only visually seeing my route every few moments was actually helpful? I couldn’t see how much farther I had left to go, ha! 4 miles done.

I had planned on running Thursday but had to admit that I was feeling a little under the weather. Actually had been for a while but was ignoring it. It kept things pretty low key for the next few days, there may have been a few naps. And some random closet cleaning because that’s what you do when you’re feeling poorly, right?

I ventured out for my long run on Sunday, not sure how it was going to go. I had 9 on the schedule but wasn’t sure I was feeling that. I kept it at a brisk walk the first mile and a half just to see how everything felt. I once again ditched the run/walk app and decided to do my own thing. I headed for an old long run route that I haven’t seen in a long time. There weren’t any cows this time but I kept running! The wind was cuckoo again and I definitely felt like it was a long run but it felt pretty good. The only real issue with the run was the halfway point when I really needed a bathroom. The first set I tried at the nearest park had no stall doors. Ummm, no. So much for fixing that in the remodel. The second was gross and horrible but I really had to go! The way running lowers your standards. Ha! But, 9 miles done.

2 runs, both of them decent. Time to look on the bright side, right?

Bad Math

I did pretty damn decent with my training plan the first 4-5 weeks. Well, by my standards.

Weeks 6-9? Well, those were another story.

Disclaimer: I received an entry into CDA Half Marathon to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I was fine with how out of shape I am. I know it. I do. But even though I know this and I work with numbers everyday, all day, I was working bad math. It finally dawned on me during my failed long run last Sunday.

I set out for 8 miles on Sunday. Did I go early in the morning to avoid the very warm, i.e 90 degrees, May weather? No, of course not. I headed out around 2PM. Will I never learn??

It was so warm that my “run” soon turned into a walk. At first I thought that was fine. I mean, let’s be real, CDA is in 2-3 weeks, there was already going to be a lot of walking. And I would still be faster than I was at Napa in 2020. Except my brain suddenly learned how to do math again and I realized I wouldn’t be faster than Napa.

Sh**.

I finished Napa in 2:58:21. A pace of 13:28. A pace that included 3 or 4 bathroom stops as well as a lot of walking. But that pace also means there was a lot more running in there than I remember. I can’t maintain that pace by walking alone. I don’t even know if I can maintain that pace with running- I maybe haven’t been real with myself on how much I have been walking. Also the race has a measly 500 feet of elevation gain so I can’t even count on a boost from hills.

So do I try to work on my walking pace over the next few weeks or should I add in more running? Or just accept that my first live race in over a year will also be my personal worst? There are worse things I know but it’s still getting under my skin.

So, that’s where my running is these days.

Dilemma

A week and a half ago, I did 18 ish miles in Yosemite. This past Sunday I did 5 at a new to me trail- Riconada- in my area. Both days my feet let me know that my new trail shoes were not winning any points. Boo. Which puts me in a predicament. I need shoes! And it’s not for lacking of trying.

My first few years running trails, I had perfect shoes. First Mizuno Wave Hayate followed by a move into Under Armor Horizon HTT. Loved both of them with no issues but neither shoe is made anymore. Not only that, neither shoe company makes any trail shoes anymore. WTH? Which has started a 2ish years of trying all the trail shoes. Let’s recap-

First up- Brooks Cascadia. Anytime I say their name, I hiss a little and call them devil shoes. Pretty sure I broke my foot in the them during Spooner’s Cove back in Dec 2019. 2020 and my lack of running gave my foot time to heal and nope- I never went to the doctor. Did get rid of the shoes. Full disclosure- the rep at the store talked me into buying mens and they ended up being too big. I might like the woman’s version but can’t bring myself to order them.

Both my first trail shoes were pretty minimal and the Cascadia was a beast of a shoe so maybe that was my problem???

Next- Altra Lone Peak. Felt good up until 5 miles… and only on flat. My feet slid around like crazy when running downhill and I needed more cushion. I tend to run downhill like a 5 year old without brakes so I need my feel to feel secure. As for the cushion, I mean I am carrying 50ish more pounds than I used to so that may make sense.

3- Merrell SkyFire. Ok, ok, not bad. Nice blend of running shoe meets hiker. Ok, we may have something here. Until I ate trail going down the Grand Canyon. Son of a!

4- Topo Ultraventure. Kind of like a cross between the Skyfire and the Lone Peak. Traction was amazing, cushion felt good. Until my first 8-9 mile trail in them and I think I broke my big toe. Ok, dropping a bottle on it that night was probably what did it fully in but it was already severely bruised from that day. Returned.

5- Nike Terra Kiger– Nope. Never made it out of the house. Went back in the back and back to the Running Warehouse. For a person who wants snug shoes- this was a form fitting brick.

6- Altra Timp– Tried a size 9, felt way too small. There went that idea. Exchanged for a 9.5 (my usual size). Holy fire of arch pain Batman. Returned.

7. Brooks Caldera- good lord, that’s a cushiony shoe! It also made me about 2 inches taller and that it just too much shoe for me. Back to the store without running in them.

At what point does the Running Warehouse fire me as a customer? And before you @ me about buying from a local running store, the Warehouse is my local running store. Shout out to local businesses going big. But the storefront still hasn’t really reopened since COVID.

8- Merrell MQM Flex 2 I liked the SkyFire but wanted more traction so I searched the Merrell site for a possible other option. They started out good. I’ve put more miles on them then any of the other shoes. But I didn’t really test them until Yosemite. The path was basic so I didn’t really need to worry about traction but my feet were so damn sore, I almost tore them off. My bad toe even reared its head again. Then in Riconada, I slipped 4 or 5 times on the rockier parts of the trail. Which is most of our local trails. WTH again!

So now I don’t know what to do. What else is there to try? I know there is Hoka, but that seems like it will be way too much shoe for me. I’ve looked at Saucony but nothing jumps out at me as the answer. I have dreams of running a 50K but I can’t even begin to contemplate that if I can’t last more than a few miles or a couple of hours in a pair of shoes.

So seriously, if anyone has any tips- throw them my way!

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