It’s the last Friday of the year. Hell, it’s the last Friday of the decade!!
Well, depends on who you ask. Anyways, my point is, how????? I am both in denial about it being the end of 2019 but ready for 2020. Makes no sense.
I think I may have reached my quota of Christmas movies this year. I think I watched a record too many. Even though I did squeeze in my last favorite one on Christmas Eve.
It poured here on Christmas Day… yay!!! I gave up long ago on a white Christmas so now I just hope for cloudy and cold. Not Sunny.
I tell myself every year that my December miles will improve. Then I barely run 20 miles. I don’t know if it’s the cold or the dark or the fact that I’m usually sick but my mileage in December is just sad. It’s not like I have a race anytime soon…. oh, yeah, 2 weeks.
Oh and have you seen the Flannel collection from Brooks??? Needs. Ok, want. Serious want.
I mean they would look great with my new pizza socks, right?
Race dawned early, chilly and wet. I made my way out to Montana de Oro and arrived with plenty of time to pick up my bib, use the port a potty and chill in my car. My car was parked about 30 feet from the finish and 15 from the bathrooms, ha!
There were 5 distances running that day and we all started at the same time. The RD gave a few directions- which color flag to follow and where not to go. He called out all the distances and we all raised our hands each time- I was suddenly thankful I had done the smart choice and dropped to the 13K. Valencia Peak is rough on a good day and this was not my day.
The race started and we were off- uphill. Ha! The first mile weaves along the bluff which gave us great stormy waves to watch. It also brought the first rain and crazy wind. My hood flew off and never stayed on again. I was run/walking the flats as I knew the proximity to the ocean and the rainy, cloudy day were just an invitation to my asthma. My plan was to run/ walk the flats, power hike the climbs and run the downhills. This plan did work in the respect that I did not have even the slightest of a wheeze but it also resulted in a time I would not have predicted. And I was aiming pretty low.
The first real climbs started in mile 2 but also gave me some good downhills. I couldn’t run the downhills as fast as I would have liked as I learned real quick that black mud has similar properties as black ice- hit a patch and you will go for a ride. I managed to stay upright but a runner behind me on one of the uphills was not so lucky. I heard a thud and crumpling plastic and turned to see a woman down. She popped up and said she was fine and we continued up.
I was slowing way down as the climb got steeper and wetter. The wind was picking up and it tore my hat completely off my head. It was also wasn’t to bright of me to try to catch it as there were drops on either side of me. My right foot was starting to hurt as I was realizing that my trail shoes and I do not get along.
I was sliding and slipping but still climbing. I may have been taking a few breaks to catch my breath too. People, I legit turned in a 34 minute mile for mile 5. Yes that was the last mile to the summit but how in the hell? I mean that mile was by far the sketchiest mile and a mile I find hard even in peak shape and good weather but how on earth did it take me 34 minutes????
Once at the top, I grabbed my rubberbands- you know proof I was there, even if I did take a wrong turn at the end and go the hardest way to the summit- and headed back down. Time to run free!!!
Except not really. Every time I hit a rock with my right foot, pain radiated. I may have started cursing. Out loud. A Lot. So, if you were out in MDO on Saturday and heard someone dropping f-bombs along the trail for a couple of miles- yep, that was me.
I finally hobbled my way towards the finish, over 2 hours after I started. Seriously, at one point, my mother sent me a text asking if I had fallen off a cliff. Well, I came close, ha!
So yeah 13K in 2:22:36. Y’all I finished dead last.
Which honestly I am fine with but it does confuse me. There were at least 4 people behind me when I left the summit- and I swear their bibs were the same color as mine. Either they didn’t finish or they were running one of the longer distances. I am just confused.
Even last, I still had a blast. Even if I was cursing for 4ish miles of that. Now, I am going to go start a bonfire for those shoes and ice my foot. I have big plans for 2020.
While my fueling game is stronger than it ever was (Thanks Gatorade Endurance), my actual endurance is up for debate.
I had big plans for getting back on track post October chaos, but I swear the universe laughed and said hold my beer. November was more of the same plus some extra crazy which saw me changing my running MO. Actually still a work in progress, my week day running has been completely derailed. The farthest I’ve run in 2 months is 10k. And it wasn’t a walk in the park.
We finally said goodbye to lingering summer warmth and rain came for the first time since April. And hasn’t stopped. Don’t get me wrong, we need the rain as we are in a constant state of drought, but too much too fast brings along a new set of chaos.
Saturday is currently showing an 80% chance of rain.
25K is 15ish miles. 2ish giant climbs. The first one the hardest and the shale rock is tough on a good day… what will it be when wet?
That’s more than double the longest I’ve run in months. In less than optimal circumstances.
There is a 13K I could drop to but my pride stings at that. I set a half cocked goal for a 50K this year and if I dropped I wouldn’t even be completing half of that goal. But would pushing myself to finish the 25K just hurt my odds of training for a 50K in the first half of 2020? And training healthy at that??? The greatest fuel (did I mention I love it?) in the world won’t help me if I hurt myself.
So, decision time. Smart or stupid? How may Blackberry gels should I pack?
For more on Gatorade Endurance go HERE and learn on to Fuel Your Journey.
I still haven’t figured out the weekly running thing. I didn’t realize how much one change in another area of life was going to affect my weekday running.
I did get on the bike on Tuesday but I only managed 4.2ish miles before I was running to the bathroom. I blamed it on my GI condition being an asshat but turns out it could have been food poisoning. I pick up lunch for my coworkers once a month and Tuesday we chose Panda. And on that Tuesday, half of us got sick. We’re on Panda strike now.
Oh and for extra fun, my dog treed a possum on Wednesday evening. In the cold and pouring rain. Picture me in my pajamas in the rain trying to catch a crazed dog and attempt to keep the possum up the tree. Sorry neighbors.
Thursday brought Thanksgiving and rain. No complaints by me, I gave up on snowy holidays long ago and just ask for clouds and rain now. Success! Except I was volunteering at a new local Turkey Trot and it was so cold! However that did not effect the turnout- it was a smash! It was also a fundraiser for the local homeless shelter so double win! Oh and the cutest Turkey Trot-er ever!
Then it was family time. With both parents having fun hospital trips in the last couple months, no one was feeling the effort of cooking a turkey dinner. And let’s be real, any attempts on my part would have ended up with my mother cooking it. So we flopped with the usual Christmas dinner and had Beef Stroganoff. Which meant I needed the stretchy pants. I don’t like turkey so I usually eat very little with traditional Thanksgiving fare.
Saturday brought some damn cold rain. I layered up to run outside but changed my mind when I took the dog out on a leash to go to the bathroom. I de-layered and headed to the gym instead. That one I pay for monthly but never use. It wasn’t horrible and I finished 4ish slow miles. Anyone else run 1-2 minutes slower on the treadmill?
Sunday was still raining but about 10-15 degrees warmer. I was probably overdressed for my 5 mile run but whatever. Parts of this run felt pretty good and part was a struggle thanks to the moisture in the air. Oh well.
9ish miles for the week. Not marvelous but better than last week!
It’s been a while since I rambled and boy are lots of thoughts bouncing around my head.
The rain is making me cranky and fussy. Well, maybe that’s just me. The last time I was this stressed by the weather was 2 years when constant rain took out my route to work. Maybe that’s a hidden stress- constant worry that the highway is going to get shutdown for 2 months again. Well, that and that it’s effecting my running. Running in the rain is one thing but I don’t trust the drivers around here on sunny, clear days. I mean we iced over a few weeks ago and there were 15 accidents in a 2 mile stretch of freeway in an hour.
Sometimes I feel like it’s 2 steps forward and 15 back. Work, running, health, etc. I have a feeling I know what my weak spot is but can’t seem to make myself do anything about it. Which then again is the problem. Grrrr.
But in good news, I got my tax return. Paid back the room re-do, yay. I also paid off my bed. Could someone explain to me why those things cost so damn much?!?!
Oh, did I mention added some more races to the calendar? I used to race just for the hell of it, I miss that. The last few years I was focused on getting faster but did nothing but get slower and slower. I miss those naïve days of racing and want to get back to just having fun and running ALL the races.
Did I ever mention that I am part of Orange Mud’s ambassador team – The Dirt Unit?? I’ve the company for years and own 4 different packs, the handheld and multiple transition towels. Serious love. And if the damn rain ever stops, the trails might open and I can get back out on them.
I feel like there is more to say but I’ll stop there for now.