October wasn’t the greatest month and while I am not exactly sad to see it pass, I don’t think I am ready for the end of the year which coincidentally is the end of the decade. Again, how?!
Speaking of October- I broke my rule of never wearing a tutu again. We were crayons at work and I wore a tutu. I mean it’s my own fault- I said the only way to wear leggings was if we covered our backsides with a tutu. I regretted it right after I said it.
In the summer I paused my relationship with Hulu. I meant to cancel it but they had the pause feature and I fell for it. Then forgot and it un-paused on Monday. I was irritated then proceeded to binge watch Looking for Alaska. Which led to crying. It’s not like I didn’t know- I’ve read the book! And threw it across the break room at work a few years ago. Really glad no one walked in at that moment.
I really need some time in the dirt. I may have to get over my never run trails alone thing. However that could also be bad due to my tendency to get lost. Mentally and physically.
I’ve become obsessed with a puzzle app in my down time. Maybe I was stressed or still am but I find it soothing. Which is odd because I’ve always hated real puzzles.
It’s Friday!! Let’s celebrate. Is it sad that I want to celebrate by napping? Which all local teachers apparently agreed with- there is no school on this day. The day after Halloween. I see what they did there.😂
I had big plans for October. 1 road half and 2 hard trail half’s. The last one was supposed to be my victory dance for the year. Ok, maybe less victory and more proof of will power but still.
Then October knocked me back a few pegs. I feel like I lost 5 years of fitness in the last 4 weeks. Is that possible? I feel like it is now. This bout with asthma is kicking me hard. It’s been years since it’s been this rough and I still can’t figure out what triggered it. I ran 5 miles last week- 5. (Also consider this Week 43) How is that going to get me to a 50K? It won’t.
And for once I’ve been smart about things. I dropped to the 10K for both the road race and Space Rock. And that last trail half that was supposed to be a party? That was supposed to happen a few days ago- Sunday. I didn’t even try. I knew I wasn’t in the head space or shape for 13ish miles of hard effort climbing. And they had no shorter distances. Attempting it likly would have set me back months in the long run.
I’ve run numerous races sick, some feverish and possibly out of it. Why? Because Goonies never say die? That’s stupid. I may be getting to an age I don’t want to admit anymore but maybe I am finally learning a few things. Maybe.
So when the road hits a fork, you have choices. I could bury my head in the sand and just be a lazy bum until next year. I mean, cold weather is coming right?
Nope. I am still aiming for a 50K in the early months of 2020. So in keeping with that theme, I have a new plan for the next 7 weeks culminating with a local-ish 25k in December. This should give me time to make up some of the ground I lost in the last few weeks. Also this race is a known entity– I know where the killer climb is and where the other mountain is. And the cruel turn-around. And I will be training on these trails. If I say it decisively, it will happen, right?
I may have finally figured out how to fuel my body, now I just need it to breather properly.
This weather is giving me whiplash. One day it’s 90 something then it’s 60ish with 20+mph winds. I actually like the lower temps but the fire winds could leave anytime. Soon would be better.
I had the beginning of the week off of work. I was so looking forward to a few days of rest and getting all those backed up errands done. Somehow, I never napped and the errands still need to be done. Like cleaning my car and an oil change. Oops. The time just seemed to fly by and then I was back to work on Wednesday.
Monday- 36ish minutes on the bike I was going to run in the early afternoon since I had the day off. However I ended up taking my dad back to the doctor. By the time I got home, I was feeling super lazy but I made myself ride the bike while watching Ridiculousness. That was what my brain could handle.
Tuesday- 3 mile struggle bus run I don’t know if it was because it was over 90 again, or if it was lingering asthma issues but this run was rough. I had originally planned on running more but just couldn’t.
Wednesday- 30 minutes on the bike Wasn’t feeling a run but didn’t want to be lazy.
Thursday- 3.1 miles Dude. This run was so easy, breezy. The temp had dropped, my heart rate stayed low and it wasn’t a struggle to legit run easy. It was such a chill run I was kind of in shock. Even the crazy wind wasn’t a downside. Why can’t all runs be like this?
Friday- Nope Open to close is going to be the name of the game for a while at work. I don’t see much in the running front on any Friday in the future.
Saturday- Nap I worked in the morning but I really did intend to run in the afternoon. I did but instead I napped for 2 hours. Oops.
Sunday- 6.3 miles Miserable miles. I had plans of running 7-8 miles but hopped on the struggle bus from the get go. It was warmer than I thought it would be, my asthma was flaring, I was crawling. It was all I could do to finish the 6.3. I even parked it on a bunch 5ish miles in because I was so done. Grrrrrr.
12ish miles for the week. And Sunday’s miserable run was followed up by a massive asthma flare on Sunday night so that was fun. But hey 5/7 days isn’t bad! At least for me.
I am not exaggerating when I say if I hadn’t dropped to the 10K, I would have DNF’ed the half and likely have needed help off the course.
I first heard of Space Rock last year and thought it looked awesome but likely too far away. A little Googling and I learned it was only 3 hours south! But I had an insane October already last year with 2 halves at opposite ends of the state and a 2+ week work trip. So I passed. Instagram adds got me this year and I signed up.
Then the last 3-4 weeks went to hell in a hand basket and I wasn’t sure I was going to even start the race. However I knew that if I did, I was not in the mental shape for a tough trail half nor was I feeling physically up to it so I messaged the race and dropped to the 10K.
I headed down towards Santa Clarita on Friday wondering if the race was even going to happen due to large fire about 20ish miles away. Somehow the air over Vasquez Rocks seemed clear. I picked up my race stuff and checked into a hotel.
The race swag was awesome- the coolest tye dyed shirt and cutest canvas bag.
Race morning dawned clear and early. Parking was fairly convenient in a dirt lot. Then I walked the mile in to the start. The race started about 30 minutes late due to one of the bus shuttles breaking down. Just gave me time to use the port a potty.
Did I mention I was running this race in new trail shoes and a new watch?? 😂 We lined up and we were off.
Mile 1- 11:58 I was wheezing 1/4 mile in. Wait, what? It wasn’t cold and it wasn’t humid. The only thing I can figure was that I breathed in a bunch of dirt. I’ve run numerous trail races but I’ve never seen as much dirt in the air as I did here. I now understood the people I saw with Buffs over their face at the start- they knew. Other than that, we had a decent downhill and then we on to the single track. And the first person to fall in front of me hit the dirt. He rolled well and was up and running before I could finish my question if he was ok.
Mile 2-15:17 There was some climb here and I still couldn’t breathe properly but the main slow down was the out and back. We were running super narrow single track and it was and out and up then down and back. Those going up slammed to a stop numerous times to let the runners coming down through. We were doing the best we could but we kept bottle necking. And the second person took a tumble.
Mile 3-4- 14:58, 15:12 I still couldn’t breathe. I loved the downhill and I loved the scenery of the canyons as we were running. We came out of the canyon and started the climb that would break me. Oh, did I mention we ran through the darkest tunnel ever??
Mile 5- 18:06 I have never stopped during a race before, and I have run some doozy trail races. I stopped a few times going up this climb because I could not breathe and I felt like my heart was going to pound out of my chest. My only consolation was that I was not the only one struggling. Everyone around me was hiking and I wasn’t the only one coughing.
Mile 6- 17:20 Are we ever going to stop climbing?!! The woman next to let a few f-bombs fly when we reached a false summit. I agree. I ran all the downhills and struggle bus’ed the climbs and stopped a few more times. Passed an adorable orange haired boy doing the 5K and he cheered me on. So cute! Then we were down near the rocks again and I was walking to the finish. I maybe jogged 20 yards at the end?
Slowest 10k ever! I crossed the line wheezing and tired.
But the medal made me smile and the hot coffee being served made me want to jump for joy.
I would do this race again for sure, just maybe a little healthier and with my face covered in the beginning. Plus for all the roadblocks this race organization hit, they did a remarkable job adapting on the fly. Like water- their original water provider couldn’t get to the race due to the fire but they had plenty of bottles on hand at the finish and the 2 aid stations on the course seemed well stocked. Also, other my lungs, my body handled all the ups and downs well, I was only a little sore in my calves the next day. Oh and somehow in my struggle up the hill in mile 4, I landed in the top 10 in Strava segments. Yeah right!
Seriously, what day is it? I was wrong most days last week. The drama of Sunday continued on into the week. Roll with it right?
My dad had more health drama, I was supposed to be running a half marathon on the weekend. I tried to cancel, he insisted I go. It was a lot of back and forth. I also drove around the county numerous times. I knew a couple vacation days were coming at the end of the week, so I just tried to hold on. I was feeling a little fried.
Oh, and I got a new watch!
Monday- Rest or Stress I dropped my dad off at the hospital in the early morning and made my way to work. I had running gear for an after work run but then things changed and I ending up leaving work early because they said I had to pickup my dad at 2:30. Get there and they wanted another hour. I was regretting leaving my running gear at work. I could have run laps around the hospital. I napped in the car.
Tuesday- Nothing Or just something I did that I can’t remember.
Wednesday – 3ish miles After so many days off, I had a feeling this was going to be rough. It honestly felt pretty good. In fact I probably would have run more but every now and again, the end section of the street where I park my car gets super full. Like cars idling in odd spots and people talking to each other in and out of cars. And I mean like 10 cars. It’s always odd so I bounced.
Thursday- Nothing I had planned on running and was hoping to break in my new watch but again life. My dad had gone back to the ER on Wednesday night and then he wasn’t answering his phone that afternoon. So I went straight to check on him after work.
Friday- Road trip! After much back and forth with both of my parents, I headed down towards Santa Clarita for my Saturday race. By this time I had already messaged the race and dropped from the 13.1 to the 10K. I had canceled my hotel in the beginning of the week so I was also booking a hotel en route. Oh, and Northern Los Angeles was on fire.
I picked up my bib and did a little wandering around Vasquez Rocks.
Saturday- Space Rock Trail Race Recap to come.
Sunday-Recovery And coughing and wheezing.
So, 9 ish miles for the week. This is not how you approach running a 50K. Not even if you are training glacially slow.