Is it Friday yet? And now it is because I didn’t finish this when I started it. Oops. But yay!
I’ve been having some back issues and I was hoping they would clear up with the new bed. Yeah, that hasn’t happened yet. I realize it hasn’t even been 2 weeks but still. I think the movie theater chairs really pissed it off. Monday saw the yoga app being used and more stretching on Tuesday. Sitting on tennis balls, foam rolling, you name it. Grrr.
This week has been odd. I feel run over but not exhausted. I don’t even know how that makes sense. It’s been odd adjusting to my boss being gone and as a result, I’ve been a little absent this week. Ok, if I’m honest- the last month. I am going to get back to a normal schedule- I miss you guys!
We now get to wear jeans on Fridays and I think I am the only one going wah. I have to wear pants? But I don’t like pants. 😛 It’s ok, I can deal with it once a week. 😀
With San Jose in 2 weeks, I would really like to pull off a 10 miler this weekend. Fingers crossed!!!
Last post I shared that I was lucky enough to be offered the chance to be an Ambassador for the SLO Marathon again. Which is freakin’ awesome and I am looking forward to not only the race but all the awesome runners I get to see again. As with most ambassadorships, it comes with some challenges along the way. The first one was dropped last week- to share our resolutions/ goals for the 2016 race. Hmmm, there’s that word again.
I’ve spent some time thinking about it for the last week. How do I share a goal but stay true to my year of being goal free? Well, I am still goal free. That said, I feel like I have unfinished business with the SLO half. Let’s recap.
In 2014 I was looking forward to running a race that I had been trying to run for years but never made it happen. It was also my first ambassadorship so I was super stoked on that. I was excited on race morning but mentally I just wasn’t there. It wasn’t my fitness level, it wasn’t the hills; it was all in my head. Mentally, I blew up around mile 8. I finished the race in 2:10:32 which wasn’t bad but I felt like my legs had more in them, I just couldn’t stop the mind games. Not sure if you can tell by my smirk/smile but I was very irritated with myself post race.
I swear I was trying to smile not smirk
2015 rolled around and I was able to train with a custom McMillan training plan. The race fell in the middle of all my stomach issues so I knew breaking 2:00 was unlikely but I felt strong and ready to go. Even though I had felt sick prior to race start, I felt great for the first 5 miles. I was beginning to entertain thoughts of a new PR. Then I went down, hard. As clumsy as I am on a daily basis, I had never fallen while running before. There’s a first time for everything right? Thanks to some helpful runners I was back on my feet quickly and running on. Maybe it was a delayed reaction from the fall or just my stupid stomach but mile 7 started with my stomach cramping in a very bad way. I pretty much walked the entire mile taking deep, slow breathes. Mile 8 saw another first for me- a port a potty stop. Despite all that, I was still mentally on point. I had reassessed that a PR wasn’t going to happen but even with all that drama I knew I could still beat the previous year’s time. But my stomach fought back and miles 11-13 were all survival mode. I was also cursing that there are no porta-potties at mile 12. Cuz who needs one with only 1 mile left?! I crossed the finish line in 2:15:06 and I was damn proud of that. It may not have been the time I was hoping for but for everything that day threw at me, I stayed strong and positive the entire race.
Half smile/ half grimace
So while I have no plans of setting a goal for SLO 2016, I do see it as a redemption race. Both years I felt like I had more to give and I would like to see that happen this year. I love the course- hills and all- and I can’t wait to see what I can do this year. 🙂
What about you? Do you have a race that haunts you?
Tonight’s run was brief and a little melancholic. The day that evening runners like me dread is near. Sunday- the end of daylight savings time. Waah! I am not one to run in the dark, I don’t like it. I like seeing where I am going and you never know what may be lurking in the shadows. 😃 My rule of thumb is that if it is too dark to see with my sunglasses on, then it’s dark for me to run outside. So with that in mind, I headed to the lake path tonight for a little “see you later” run. My last run outside after work this year. It was slow and short and reminiscent of a favorite children’s book.
Goodnight dry lake bed.
Goodnight nice stretching equipment.
Goodnight interesting shaped tree branch.
Goodnight random goats- happy eating.
Goodnight lake cat- (please be here in a few months)
Lights are on, it’s time to go.
Goodnight lake, see you next year.
Do you dread the end of daylight savings as much as I do?
Have any running routes you have to miss according to the seasons?
A few weeks back I came across a challenge on Instagram called #PixonPeaks. Hike/run the specific peaks on the list, post it on Instagram and get a shirt. Ok, it’s a little more than that but it peaked my interest. And we runners like our shirts right?
Truthfully, I’ve been missing trails. I love trail running/ hiking but it’s been a long time. Summer heat kind of kills it and I like sleeping in. Plus, you know, rattlesnakes. Throw in a crazy schedule, training for a “goal” race and trails get ignored. Stress has been getting to me in a major way and I just wanted to get lost. I like to power hike up the mountains and then manage the fine line between running and falling down hill. It’s impossible to over think and stress about life when you are throwing yourself down a hill. 😜 Lots of fun and a great way to de-stress.
Sane runners taper 7 days before a goal half marathon but I never claimed to be normal. One of my mom’s tennis players is in a Geo class and they have to hike 10-15 miles a month outside of class so we picked her up along the way. The plan was to hike up to the top and run down, nice and easy. It should have been around 4 miles. I had never hiked Reservoir Canyon before but always wanted to. I am not sure why I thought it was going to be a walk in the park. I had heard that there was a swing along with a teepee and nice stone seating are at the top. How hard could that be? Plus I kept seeing pictures of some pink metal thing on Instagram and I wanted to find it.
The trail started off through a wooded area and crossed a river bed. Granted we’re in the middle of a crazy drought so there was no running water. But the bridge was cool. 😄 The trees were probably as close as we are going to get to fall, so that was nice. We only gained 200 ft in the first mile so how hard could it be? I should have checked the trail sites. The trail narrowed and started climbing. There were 2 sections that were so eroded that there was no trail- you had to jump to the next section. It was awesome. And we gained 1100+ ft in the next mile and change.
Luckily, the swing and the teepee were a nice distraction part way up. How the hell did they get all that metal up there? I was starting to wonder if I was even going to make it to the top. Indulging in a little swing time was pretty awesome.
But we weren’t at the top yet! I started power hiking to the top pausing for picture breaks along the way. 1/4 of a mile from the top I thought I heard my name being yelled. I paused, heard nothing. Started up again and there it was. I texted my mom and S to see if they were ok. No response. Well crap. So I turned around and jogged down to find them. Turns out they just wanted to make sure I was ok. They could have texted- grrr. And back up I went. The dirt was super loose and rocks and roots were all over the path. I made it to the top! Then made a wrong turn and headed down a utility path that appeared instead of the actual trail. Oops. Turn around. I eventually met up with my mom and S at the seating area. My Garmin only registered 2.25 miles up so I was feeling pretty good.
I still couldn’t find the pink thing. S spotted it off in the distance so we decided to go for it. It only looked about a 1/4 of a mile away and mostly flat. All lies. Little rollers all the way out, and I mean way. It was closer to 3/4 of a mile away. Oops- but we made it!.
We hung out a bit before heading back down. I was looking forward to opening up my pace on the way down. I love flying down a mountain. Remember those rocks and roots I mentioned? After I almost tumbled off the path for the fourth time in less than 1/2 a mile, I knew running wasn’t going to happen. Plus my head hurt each time I landed hard and let’s face it, everything was a hard landing. Guess I hit my head harder than I thought. I made it back to the swing and hung out there waiting for my mom and S. My legs were literally vibrating on their own. If I stopped moving – they started shaking. Truth- this trail kicked my ass and kept kicking. It was awesome. 😝
With the doubling back, making the wrong turn and adding the pink structure I was a little past the 4 mile mark. By the time we got back to the car, my Garmin registered 7 miles. Oops. And I was hungry, I hadn’t eaten breakfast. But it was awesome. Have I said that already? Supposedly there’s a waterfall somewhere but I never saw it. Something to look for next time!
Peak 1- Done! ✅
I was looking to get lost metaphorically not literally but it’s all good. Even if I foam rolled and cried on Monday. 😅
Do you get lost on trails? On purpose or not?
Do you like running down mountains? I love it and always think of that horse scene from Snowy River.
Ever done something you shouldn’t do close to race day?
Seriously, how is September half over?!! Actually, I might be ok with that if it wasn’t for the heat.
I love heat, I really do. I mean I use a space heater every day at work- every day. My favorite part of winter is bundling up in cozy sweats with a big fluffy blanket. But I am done. The heat kicked my ass this year. I never adjusted to it like I used to. It never felt comfortable. Normally I love 100* temps. Grrrr. Maybe it’s because I work in a town that rarely gets above 70. Or maybe because home town can have a 30-50 degree change throughout the day? Maybe I am getting old? Who knows. Monday it rained and it was awesome. When I started Tuesday’s run I was actually cold! It was awesome! I thought the temps were finally changing. I was starting to look forward to the 12 miler I need to run this weekend. Then came the news. The temps this weekend are projected to be a cool 100*. Waah.
Ok, deep breath, moving on. 😃
I like starting the week with my easy run, so that was the plan for Tuesday. I headed to the river path for an easy 4. The cooler air must have confused my Garmin because it said I had an elevation gain of over 550 feet for a 4 mile run. Yeah, um no. It’s more like 150. Luckily everything else seemed normal, I run this route often enough to know each mile point. Which is good since this turned out to be a run to remember. 😁
I started out with my usual walking warm up, but started running earlier. It was breezy and I was kind of chilled but it felt awesome. I laughed to myself that running more hadn’t really helped my first mile split but I was feeling good so who cared. I just kept trucking along and feeling good. No need for any walk breaks. Somehow my phone ended up on random and the song choices were amusing me. A song came on that I’d never heard before, I’m not even sure how it ended up on my phone. It was a little melancholy but I really liked it. I’ve been super stressed lately (and not hiding it well here on the blog) and something about it calmed me down and kept me running.
I did have to stop for a moment around 2.5 miles in. My stomach cramped pretty badly which wasn’t surprising considering I’d been eating Starbursts and cinnamon bears for 2 days. An older woman with a huge dog was heading my way and with my track record with dogs, I just decided to stay put until they passed by. No need to anger the dog right? Instead I scared the crap out of it. The dog jumped about a foot in the air when it saw me standing on the side of the path. What would it have done if I had run by?
That pause combined with the eerily timed song earlier had made me think. My fastest mile had been completed on this route in August 2014. I clocked in at 8:05. I suddenly wanted to beat that. Why? I don’t know, but I wanted to try. So I did. As soon as my watch buzzed for mile 3, I opened it up.
I knew I had a busy intersection in the middle of the mile so I my initial pace registered in the 8:20’s. It was feeling pretty good though. My goal was to pick it up just after the intersection. There was a line of cars so I skidded to a stop and paused my watch. The first car actually saw me so I was actually still sliding when they waved me on. In like a second I had slid, paused, un-paused and ran on. Half a mile left, time to fly. Except halfway down the path a dad was walking up with his toddler and a stroller. Between all of them they took up the whole path. I debated blasting through but the toddler was wobbling all over the path. Mowing down a toddler was not on the agenda. Another sudden stop and a pause to the Garmin. Didn’t people know I was attempting something here?!
Un-pause and run on. It was hard getting back into gear. My legs and lungs were protesting now. I ignored them and pushed on. I hit the end of the concrete path and headed for the dirt river trail. I almost ate rocks for dinner as I lost traction rounding the corner of the trail head. I got my act together and pushed on; I knew I was close. That was the longest 3/10 of a mile ever. But I did it!
7:48:9?! Holy crap! Would I have done better or worse if I hadn’t had to pause twice? I don’t know but it’s still awesome. 😃 I slowed to a walk but I didn’t feel like I needed to stop. I was breathing super loudly and probably sounded creepy since I was kind of hidden in the bushes on the trail. I walked for 1/10 of a mile before running it out for a total of 4.5 miles. I felt pretty good.
So, while I may never ever do it again, I can say I got pretty damn close to my fastest mile ever back in high school. I really only had PE my freshman year of school but I was always stuck doing that Presidential Fitness test. I was so horrible at those. 😉 I’ve been thinking a lot about speed and my next half marathon so it was kind of cool to pull this off. I also think the cooler weather helped. The news just announced the predicted for Sunday has risen to 102 so hopefully the high from this run will get me out of bed early enough to avoid the heat.
Are you enjoying fall yet? Or still dealing with summer temps?’