I'm a Slacker with a running problem, wait, maybe that's backwards
Author: Fallon @ Slacker Runner
Hi! Welcome to Slacker Runner! I'm Fallon and this is where I share my love of running and sometimes my frustration. I'm on a journey to become a better runner and make healthier choices, but yes pizza is still amazing. So join me as I try to balance running and a desire to watch Netflix. :)
How is it the week of Thanksgiving? Could someone take their foot off the gas pedal, please? I may have a Christmas tree or 2 up, I still feel like time is flying too fast.
Between going back to work last week and still feeling off due to the medication change, I didn’t even attempt any weekday runs. I did lament over the lack of treadmill though. It’s not even the cost- don’t get me wrong, they are expensive- but I have no where to put a treadmill. Short of buying a new outdoor shed for it. And let’s be real, that’s just too extra.
So, weekend running it was. Or planned to be. I headed out for a few miles just like planned. I was slower than molasses but it felt pretty good. I really do feel like my running joy is coming back, I just still have trouble getting out the door.
Sunday turned messy. My tv boxes needed replacing and they said Sunday between 12-4. Then ghosted us. WTH? I was so mad. It ruined my whole day. Yes, I know I should have run in the morning but I didn’t want to. That’s on me. The rest of the day, not so much. Again, I wanted a treadmill. Also I may have done a little too much online shopping while I was waiting for the tv people. Oops.
Speaking of Thanksgiving, who is getting out for a Turkey Trot? I’m volunteering at a local one but hoping to get out for a few miles after that. We don’t eat too early on Thanksgiving but fairly early. And there will be no running after that. Even though turkey is not really my thing, I will likely eat more than I should. And then back to work on Friday.
I need to get my trail legs back under me, I have big plans for some future adventures. Fingers crossed. Also not too fond of my trail shoes right now but what else is new. I swear I never used to have these issues, haha.
Once again, I disappeared longer than planned. Oops.
I actually had last week off of work as a postponed vacation from October. It was only going to be a couple of days but combined with Veteran’s Day, it turned into the whole week. I didn’t really have any plans but sometimes those weeks are needed.
I ran some, I slept some, I ate yummy food and watched some movies. There may or may not be a Christmas Tree up. Maybe 2. I also may have gone full Hallmark channel character and there may be a 7 foot tree in my bedroom. May be.
I had my quarterly strip search with the dermatologist and they took another biopsy. This time higher on my back. And damn did it hurt more than the last ones. I swear it even hurt more than the full on melanoma incisions and those needed stitches. It put running on the backburner the last few days of vacation as I couldn’t figure out a sports bra that didn’t hurt. Boo. Good news is that although it did show cancerous cells, they said the got it all.
I also made the choice to stop 2 of my medications. I’ve been thinking about it for some time now as I honestly think the side effects were outweighing the positives. Whether or not that remains to be true though is still to be seen. So it’s been a detoxing couple weeks.
I was actually running consistent and smart at the beginning of vacation. I was really enjoying my runs. I wish I could say I was continuing that this week but damn I forgot how dark it is now when I get out of work. I’m not adjusted yet even though I usually love this time of year. I have all of my lights ready though.
One of my favorite local races is this weekend. Rescheduled from it’s usual month. I so want to run it. However even I am not stupid enough to jump into a half marathon right now. But I am sad.
I am also still in denial that next week is Thanksgiving though. How is that even possible? I just can’t wrap my head around it.
I didn’t run the 2 weeks before the Marin Endurance Festival, and if I’m being really honest, I barely ran in all of October.
Race week actually started off with a foggy, pain filled head thanks to a sinus infection. Grr. Plus the last few weeks of work have left me feeling fried. Which is also why I ghosted on the blog for 2 weeks. Maybe one good thing about getting older is that I finally admit these things to myself. Well, sometimes.
I had my bib mailed to me as I knew making the pickup window was likely nil. I swear the word “half” written on it just kept taunting me. I knew I needed to downgrade but pride is a stubborn thing. Even when I woke on race morning with an asshat stomach, I still wasn’t completely sold on dropping down.
However, sanity prevailed and I located the solutions table on race morning and dropped to the 10k. Which then left me to kill time as the 10k started 45 minutes after the half marathon. Lucky the start/ finish area was freaking awesome – McNear’s Beach with palm trees and shoreline views. It was also freaking cold and I was wishing I packed more than just my long sleeve. I attempted a real warm up but my stomach fought back so I just took another Pepto and walked a little. Finally it was go time.
Right up a hill. I know I’m out of shape but I don’t usually walk that quickly in a race, ha! I alternated between running and walking as we headed out of the park towards the city with shoreline views . We turned around near 1.5 miles and headed back the way came. Again… uphill. Miles 1-2 : 12:21, 13:15
The 5k mark was pretty much the top of that hill and it felt way harder than it should have been. Boo. The road narrowed and started snaking around the hillside as we ran towards China Camp State Park. I was also melting. Rookie mistake- long sleeves was a major miscalculation. I have zero complaint about the views along the way. Mile 3: 13:40
I was starting to get confused though. Mile 3 was the last mile marker I saw that made sense for the 10k. I started seeing runners up on the hill on the trail and off the road. Some of them were wearing 10k bibs which confused me. The course description said only the last .4 miles were trail. But no runners were coming back my way, save one lone female runner around 1/2 mile later. Huh?
We hit the 10K turnaround and on the way back were sort of directed off the road and up a trail. Have I mentioned I love dirt??? I was tired and barely running but I managed to pass up all the 10k runners who had been in sight for the last part of the race and drop them. And also keep them behind me. It’s the little things.😂 Miles 4-5 : 13:05, 14:18
As much as I love trails, I was learning that my shoes were very wrong for rocky dirt and was extra glad I had dropped from the half.
There was also a scary moment as we came across a runner being medically evacuated from the course on the trail section. How the paramedics got the stretcher up there I have no idea. Good news was that the runner was not on the stretcher but walking, albeit with a firefighter on each side and very, very wobbly- down the trail. Hopefully it wasn’t anything too serious.
Then it was more dirt trail with a very misplaced mile 12 sign down to the road and into the back of the beach park. I walked some more but managed to actually run across the finish line which is more than I can say for either of my last races. Mile 6: 14:27
Finish – 1:24:33
This is my slowest non-full trail 10k ever. That said, it’s my fastest 10 in years.
I really liked this course. Logistics were a bit of an issue both course wise and parking – my car was 2 miles away😂😂. Still, this is a course I would recommend. I feel like a better in shape me should try the half some future year.
First up in my race schedule was Spacerock Trail race. Also I didn’t plan on ghosting the blog this long but life or work ran me over. Oops.
I had Friday off work and Spacerock takes place in Agua Dulce which is around 3ish hours away, so I headed down there for packet pickup. I stayed at the same hotel I did in 2019 and it will likely be my last time there, haha.
I love this race so much for the scenery. If you watch a lot of sci-fi, you’ve likely seen Vazquez Rocks in the background of some shot. I also love this race for the course and the swag. I love this course but it does not love me. I knew I was going to be slower than 2019 but I naively thought I was in better trail shape than 2019 even if I am in worse overall shape. Not sure how that works.
The race started at 7:45 so I was in the parking lot around 7. I bypassed the shuttles and used the walk to the start as my warm up. The race started right on time this year.
Miles 1-3 are a nice downhill to uphill and then back. I knew this would be my strongest section and tried to run it smartly. I ran the downhills and power hiked the ups.
We pass under the highway via a tunnel or as the race calls it black hole. Once on the other side, we hit the most single track portion of the 10k course as we climbed a hill only to turn around. There were moments I came to a complete stop on the way up in order to let the runners coming back down have the right of way. There were times the trail was barely wide enough for people to cross paths. Which was more evident on my return down when at one point the crowd went left and I went right to pass and the trail gave way beneath my right foot. I gave a little shriek and the women to my right jumped out to grab me. We laughed about it and then I was off back the way we came.
I felt like I ran this section very smart and felt very flow-like in my downhill running. Race pics show something else, though. 🤣 Miles 1-3: 12:53, 17:59, 16:02
Then around mile 3.7ish, I hit the dreaded middle hill. The same hill that killed me the last time. Sadly, it defeated me again. According to Strava, it’s 400 plus elevation gain at a 7% grade. It kicks my ass. I had to stop and rest a few times on my way up. Even once I finally summited this one, there were hills. Rolling hills which I usually love but at this point I was trash. I was playing leap frog with some other runners and most of us were over the hills. It was a topic that of discussion. Then when I climbed what I thought was the last hill before the finish and saw the real last hill ahead I may have shouted out “for f&$*’s sake”. I can only blame my faulty memory, ha. Miles 4-6: 19:46, 20:36, 20:55
There was a little more than 1/2 mile left but I was toast. What should have been runnable to me was not. I just kept putting one foot in front of the other until I crossed the finish line. Finish 1:48:04.
Can I sit down now?
In all seriousness, I love this race. And will keep running it until I defeat that hill.
I may be barely running but my race schedule says something different. I have 3 races in the next 5 weeks. 3! 5 weeks! Two of them are half marathons! All 3 have trail! 2 have pretty good climbs but all 3 have dirt! I love dirt!
First up is a 10K down in Agua Dulce that I love but it will kick my butt. It’s hard. Third up is a half marathon down in the desert… at night. I’ve been looking forward to it for years but I am trying to not get too excited as I may have puppy care problems. I have a back up plan for that though, I will be bummed but it’s life, right?
However, let’s talk about race#2! I’m heading north for the Marin Endurance Festival on Halloween weekend. There is so much going on that weekend. Saturday is the triathlon and duathlon events. I almost want to find a bike! But let’s be real, I wasn’t good at riding a bike when I was a kid, I really wouldn’t be now. I am disaster prone enough on my own.
Sunday is for the running. A half, a 10k and a 5k. All the fun kicks off at McNear’s Beach. The race website says there are 7 miles road and 6ish trail. So my big question now- what kind of shoes do I wear? Seriously, I am not joking- trail or road? I need to recon this trail.
What are your future race plans?
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