Tag: out of shape

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?

Giant Race SAn Francisco- Recap

Disclaimer: I received an entry into Giant Race- San Francisco 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!

Labor Day weekend was the San Francisco Giant Race. I was signed up for the Lou Seal Challenge- the 10K and the 5K. Had the race happened IRL, I would have been running both of those on the same day. Had the race happened IRL, I think my motivation to train might not have taken such a huge hit this year. But it did and I knew I did not have the fitness to “race” both on the same day.

One of the benefits of virtual racing is the flexibility. Can’t run them both on the same day? Then I will run them on back to back days. Well, at least that was the plan. Also, I appreciate the virtual races right now as they actually motivate me to get my butt out the door and move.

Race weekend was Labor Day Weekend and it was predicted to be a scorcher. Actually my town did break local records and hit 117 and 115 on Saturday and Sunday. So, I ran for the ocean. See what I did there?? Hehe. 🤣

I made it to the beach early for me and thankfully it wasn’t crowded. The downside was that it was high tide so that did put me closer to people that I had wanted. It also meant that the sand wasn’t as hard packed as I usually like. Oops, but still doable.

Ok, total honesty- I am really out of shape like I recently restarted Couch to 5K out of shape- so I knew there was no way this was going to be “raced”. So I told myself I had to run the 10k from start to finish without any stops- no breaks to catch my breath, no breaks to make my time look better- so in other words like a real race.

I started from the Dog beach and ran towards the pier. I was using Couch to 5K for the first 30 minutes and then just an interval timer for the rest. A 10K in week one? Why not?

On my way back

I was slow which was fine, I somehow kept my heart rate the lowest it’s ever been for a 10K. So, yay?! This was also the longest I’ve run in months. I was slowing a lot by mile 5. I was also feeling like a blister was forming which has never happened on a beach run before. I walked the majority of mile 6, never paused, never stopped, just kept putting one foot in front of the other.

And then, finally, I was done. 1:29:32.

Whew, that felt like a workout. I then cooled off with nature’s ice bath.

However I was left with giant blisters. Those were one deterrent to me finishing my 5K, the biggest one arrived in the form of smoke from the fires. We haven’t seen the sun in a week. Until it the AQI drops under 100, I will not be attempting the 5K. Boo. However races can wait, the important thing is that we get these fires under control and out, this is kind of insane.

I will be running that 5K, I will. Makes me glad I have a little time before the medals arrive.

If virtual races are what gets me out of my chair, bring them on.

Giant Race- San Jose

Disclaimer: I received an entry into Giant Race- San Jose 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 so pumped to run this race this year.

Then came COVID and with it a complete lack of motivation to run or work out on my part. Which hasn’t been helpful for me at all. But that’s not the point.

I had orginally registerd for the 5 mile but come race day, I knew I was not there. Which is sad but true. So I dropped to the 5k. I would like to think I would have done the same if the race had still taken placed as planned but we all know I don’t make the best choices.

Race day round the home town

On race day of June 6, I laced up, geared up and headed out. The advantage to a virtual race is that you can pick a good route- i.e one with a downhill finish. And if you count my warm up and cool down, I did do 5 miles.

Ok, back to the “race”. I decided to attempt to run it at a race effort. Yeah, downhill didn’t help.

11:49, 12:32, 12:12 for splits and 38:00 flat for the 5k.

Slower then my very first 5K back in 2010 and I felt like I worked much harder. However seeing it on the tiny watch screen was a little depressing.

Sacramento’s gear

I am looking forward to receiving my race swag in the mail soon though. Based on what I got with the Sacramento race, I know I will actually wear this race shirts again.

That said I was glad I made myself make the effort. And this marks race 2 of the Giant’s series for me- I “ran” Sacramento in April. We’ll see what happens in September with San Francisco.

16- Maintain

This weeks snack obsession- Cheetos. The crunchy ones.

I have mentioned I am a stress eater, right?

Actually last week was a little better. I think. A little calmer at work, a few less carbs. Anyone else eating an impressive amount of banana bread?? Runner was better and my sleep was…well, can’t win ’em all.

I can’ remember anything particular about Monday so let’s just move on to Tuesday. I headed out for a few miles after work. Still running my neighborhood but I park at another work office not far from my house. Anything to avoid my damn driveway. I kept the run short and sweet- 2 miles– it was almost 80 and everyone and their brother was out. I’ve been running variations of this route for almost 10 years; I think I saw more people on Tuesday than I had in those 10 years combined.

Wednesday was another warm day so I didn’t even try to run. Knew the weather was changing soon.

This is odd

Yep, a 20 degree temp drop on Thursday meant empty roads. I headed out for an easy-ish 5k after work. Easy-ish- I am so out of shape. And even though I am skipping my driveway, I am still running more hills than in the last year or so. This run saw a few hundred elevation gain/loss. Beginning to realize running more places over the past few years actually made me lazier. Oops.

Friday was stress and I just wanted to go home and hide. So I did. I resorted to one of my comfort movies and watched Battleship for the umpteenth time.

Saturday, I ventured out for a few essentials. Then I headed out for a few miles in the early afternoon. 5 miles. Longest run since Napa Valley. Ouch. The middle miles were fairly steady but I was dragging by mile 5. The only upside is that I didn’t allow myself to stop- no breaks. It’s been a while since I did that. Ok, I did stop once for a moment but that was because I had to make a route choice when I was essentially chasing another runner. That kind of doesn’t work right now.

Sunday, I woke with a knot in the hamstring area of my left leg. Odd, never felt anything there before. I was debating if running would help or hurt when my choice was made for me. I ended up being called into work and was there until dinner. I did finally prove that I could make it to my desk phone from the other side of the building before it went to voicemail. The difference between heels and running shoes- ha!

10ish miles and 3 runs for the week. Still small but a marked improvement over previous weeks.

How was your week?

15- Anxiety

I don’t have all the answers.
We’re making it up as we go.
I can’t shake the feeling that I’ve forgotten something vitally important.
I feel like I am letting everyone down.
I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I can’t shut my brain up these past few weeks. I can barely sleep Sunday and Monday nights. I need to run more than I am, not just because I am out of shape but my brain needs the cutoff. That’s one plus to being so out of running fitness, all my brain power goes to trying not break on the run.

I told myself to run everyday after work last week, but I didn’t. On Thursday I swapped the run with venturing off for groceries after work. My hope was that Thursday evening would be better than Saturday morning. It wasn’t bad but it was errily quiet too.

As an extra boost of motivation, I signed up for a few virtual races one night while staring at the tv. One of those races was the Giants Race- Sacramento 5K. Why not?

I headed out for my virtual race on Saturday afternoon. It was nice and sunny, and I figured why not? Even for a virtual race, I went way too fast out of the gate and flamed out hard by the end. I knew I was out of shape and this just kind of proved it ha! It took me 36 minutes to run a 5k! My PR is like 10 minutes faster, ha! Once I added in the warm up, I was just under for 4 miles for the day. Oh and I broke the cardinal rule of “race” day- wore something new. Oh the chafe!

I meant to run on Sunday. It was cold and cloudy and kind of perfect. But that also made it perfect to laze around under a blanket and watch tv. Can you guess which one won?

So this week, I have a new goal… try to get my head on straight. Everything else will fall in line right?

How was your week?