Hiking-Trails · Run! · Slacker

8 Days

2020 was not what any of us had expected. Instead of training and running my third marathon, I was a lazy layabout for most of the year when not at work. Oops.

So when my Santa Rosa medal and swag arrived in the mail in early December I was a little stumped. Oh yeah, I was supposed to run that. Huh. What do I do now? There was no way I could run or walk 26.2 miles in one day. Was I supposed to bury it a drawer? Save it for next year? Hmmmm.

Yes, hmmm. I couldn’t do 26 miles in a day but could I do it in a week? 7 days?

I know running that in a week is nothing like running a marathon in reality but also truth moment- I logged 33 miles in November. All of November. And November was a good month for me in 2020. 26.2 miles in a week was asking quite a lot of my body actually. But I was on PTO for a week so why not try it?

I even made a teeny tiny Google sheet to track my miles and times.

I notched just under 4 miles on Monday with that numb foot mess of my Hot Chocolate 5K. Great start to the plan right?

Tuesday, I dragged the old spin bike out of the back shed and down to the garage. Dropped it on my foot and managed a 20 minute ride after cleaning the hell out of the bike. Spiders, eek! But also, a ride doesn’t count.

Wednesday saw me turning in 4 miles that were actually ok. I read a something on Twitter that actually reframed my thought process a bit and it really helped. Shocking, I know.

Thursday, I hit up the lake path for the first time in months and ran 4 laps. That added another 4.62 miles to my total. Yes, I was being that precise. Everything helped. I was also ensuring to keep plenty of walking in my miles. I mean, let’s be real- both of my real marathons contained a lot of walking and I am not a complete idiot. I know how out of shape I am.

Which was made apparent Friday, when I was feeling pretty crappy and never made it out for my run. Crap.

Saturday saw a spendy trip to REI with my brother as well as hike up Three Bridges. Good god, I cannot keep up with him. Another 3.62 miles added on. And steep ones at that.

Sunday, I headed out for 4 and then 5. But then thought, well, I do need to run a 10K for the Holiday Running Festival so why not? It’s been a long time since I went for a run and then decided to add on miles. It was a good feeling. 10K done and around 6.5 miles added.

But, that was day 7 and I hadn’t hit 26.2 miles. Crap. Whatever, it’s 2020, who needs rules?

Monday was my last day of PTO and out I went for my last push. 3.45 miles that I pretty much crawled as yes, I was feeling it in my legs and I was tired. 26.45 miles in 8 consecutive days.

I know most people wouldn’t count it, hell a lot runners run 26 miles on their weekend runs- but this was a lot for me, right now. Both physically and mentally. I feel like I did something to earn that medal though.

I also may have found something I was missing out there during those miles. Haven’t felt that in a long, long while, so yes, I will hold this medal proudly.

Run! · Slacker

Rambling On -PTO

Happy Thursday!

I think it’s Thursday. I took another week of PTO and my days are a little blurry. Never thought I would be one for taking a week off 2 months in a row but hey 2020. The beginning of the year was so crazy and I just kept canceling all the time I had requested off. For a person who loves organized chaos and being busy at work, I hit burnout back in July. November’s PTO was all about escaping. This one is more of the sleep all you can, watch whatever crappy TV you want, and maybe don’t put on pants for a week-ish. Running crops aren’t real pants, right?

Speaking of TV, anyone watch The Wilds? I am torn on how I feel about it. And no, it was not like Lost.

I have watched a ridiculous amount of cheesy Christmas movies. Probably too many. But the one I watched the other night was the first time I ever wanted to reach through the TV and smack one of the characters. And I haven’t watched one since.

I decided I needed to work on my cross training so I made a trek to the back shed. Hey, look a fancy spin bike! Or what used to be. Then it had to be carried down the hill and into the garage. Yeah, that was fun- that sucker is heavy! I spent like an hour scrubbing it down- you know, spiders- and even went on a short ride. Now it hurts to sit down. Ouch! Luckily the thing is much smaller than I remember so now I just have to figure out how to get it into the house. Also, there is no onboard computer so not knowing how far I’ve ridden is annoying.

Any tips for sore backs? I have a half wheel but right now that is too much for me. I have been trying other things but nothing seems to be working.

Also, any suggestions for good trail shoes? Neither of mine are working for me right now. Nope. Oh, and speaking of trails- forgot to mention- had a little adventure in our own backyard a week ago-

So, tell me something- what’s new?

Run! · Slacker

Catching Up

The week after my little escape was the week of Thanksgiving.

Even with the holiday week being busy catching up and being tired from the trip, I still managed to get out for 3 runs that week. It doesn’t sound like much but considering my track record for 2020, it’s pretty damn good.

Not to say it was all rosy. The more I ran, the more I noticed that my backside hurt. I knew I had a very large bruise but now I felt pain in my hips and lower back. Maybe I landed harder than I thought? So I took a few days off. Like I really need an excuse to be lazy. Plus work was a little cuckoo so I was usually beat by the end of the day.

Actually, I know part of my problem is ripping off the band-aid. That first night run every year carries nerves. Which is silly I know. I have good routes. Or I did, that is part of my issue now. I don’t run from work when it’s dark out for a couple of reasons. I used to drive to another office and run from there- I had a nice street to run on. Except now that office is my office and the street has a lot of construction right now. More than a few sidewalks are tore up and blocked off. On both sides of the street. Grrr.

Which leaves me only one runnable night route. And I am not a fan of that predictability. I admit I probably don’t think about running solo all that often (yes, I have pepper spray) but dark o’clock winter does make me a little nervous.

And then there’s morning running but then worrying about mountain lions and my beast of a driveway become a thing. Dude, I need a treadmill. Honestly, it’s not even the price of a treadmill that is holding me back. It’s that I have zero space to put it. Zero. I can’t even find space in the garage. Also, that would be fun- a 30 degree morning run in winter and 110 degree run in summer. Yay, for California weather.

Maybe I just need to whine it out before I rip off the band aid. Maybe.

Hiking-Trails · Run! · Slacker

Escape Day 2- Rim Trail

I woke sore and a little tired the morning after Bright Angel. Ok, my calves were screaming a little.

I headed back to the Grand Canyon later in the day, I had some fool idea about taking it chill on the Rim Trail and then watching the sunset at the Grand Canyon. Now, if you’ve ever been to the South Rim or pay attention to anything related to a compass or sunsets/ sunrises you might think this doesn’t make sense. Because it doesn’t. The sun does not set over the Grand Canyon, at least not from this rim. Which I realized I knew but forgot? Told you I needed a vacation.

Back to the trail- the Rim Trail is not a “trail”, it’s a paved path that runs the length of the South Rim. A one way trip on the path from point to point is around 13 miles. Even paved, I didn’t have that in me. I started at Bright Angel and headed East towards the Mather Point.

The path takes you along the Rim and is fairly accessible to everyone. That also means it was more crowded than Bright Angel the day before. My buff was up over my face most of the time. That didn’t detract from the views at all. Again, I think I took a few hundred pictures.

The path took us through The Trail of Time too, a exhibit about how the Grand Canyon formed over millions of years with rock examples. My former wanna-be geologist self was geeking out over the rock displays.

The various lookout points were the most popular so I didn’t spend a lot of time there. I was surprised at how many parents let their kids run wild. Most of the path is not secured by a fence or guard rail of some sort. It wouldn’t take much to slip or fall. But then I am also clumsy so I generally think of worst case scenarios.

Seriously?!?

And of course, there were the rule breakers- the ones who jump fences and go down rocks all to get a good selfie. The number of people backing up to edges was ridiculous.

The Rim Trail is advertised as little to no elevation change. And had I not done Bright Angel the day before I might have agreed. But the 600 ish feet we gained and lost in the 6ish miles we went did not feel easy. Ha!

I kind of feel like the Grand Canyon is the Disneyland of trails. Plenty of trash cans, recycle bins, bathrooms and water stations. I have never seen so many rangers out working the trail before either.

But for the love of Pete, pick up your damn masks people!

Run! · Slacker

Escape Day 1- Bright Angel

Ever feel like you need to run away?

That’s kind of how I have been feeling for a while now. I had PTO to use, so I packed up the car, made a fairly last minute reservation and ran away. Ok… I drove away. And yes, I packed plenty of hand sanitizer, masks and clorox wipes.

I headed for Arizona. And some dirt.

On Wednesday morning, I was up early and prepared for an adventure. I headed to the Grand Canyon. And the Bright Angel trail.

As soon as I knew I was heading to the Grand Canyon, I checked out a couple of posts over at Running to Travel-very helpful. I also poured over the NPS site for the Grand Canyon. I didn’t have a lot of time and I knew I was super out of shape so I knew I couldn’t be too crazy.

Ice, ice

I got there early but not too early as I knew November could mean ice on the trail. I loaded my pack, laced up my shoes and hit the trail. Even with my research, I fell within less than 1/4 mile. I hit ice and slipped but pulled out out before falling. Only to fully fall less than 4 feet later. I landed on my butt and kind of slid across the trail. I was more startled than hurt and bounced up fairly quickly. I then continued my trek.

The Bright Angel trail continues for miles down the side of the canyon- down to the River rest house and back would be arround 15 miles. Luckily, I am not that stupid and I turned around at the 3 mile rest house. There was also an option to turn around at the 1.5 mile rest house but I wanted to push further than that. As much as I love a good downhill on a trail, this had some steep moments and my left knee was none too pleased. Someone help me with trail shoes, please?

I laughed at the sign at the 3 mile rest house- Going down is optional but going up is mandatory. And it was time to go up.

My mom was also with me and she was starting to have some issues. She occasionally has hip issues and it was acting up in a very bad way. In some ways the climb back up was easier to me than going down as there was less ice to worry about. Also for some reason, my body likes a good trail climb. My brain turns off and my legs take over and they just go.

Which sounds ok until I realize I have way outpaced my injured mother. Oops. And that’s not to say I was moving speedily up the mountain side- the Canyon is a beast. Which I knew going in but I don’t think I fully realized it.

Even as I was huffing and puffing my way up the trail, the amazing-ness of the view was too much to ignore. I think I took a few hundred pictures. No joke. I am having a hard time choosing which ones to post here.

There were other hikers out so I masked up anytime another person was near. I was kind of surprised at the some of the things people were wearing on the trail though. I saw sandals, jeans, Vans and even a woman carrying her purse. It made me wonder how far they were going- how did they not slip on the ice?? Was I really that out of shape or were they going to have serious regrets later?

Dude, the Bright Angel trail is hard. After 6ish miles and lots of elevation loss/ gain -I was whipped. Yes, I am out of shape, but still. How was I going to a do a few more days of slightly adventurous things?