I have been trying to run a Vacation Races race since before the pandemic. I think I have deferred either voluntarily or due to COVID for 3-4 different races. Oops.
In 2021, Kate and I were supposed to run Lake Powell in October but well, life. We decided to defer to Yosemite Half as it looked amazing and gave us until May 2022. Sounded perfect! Kate trained and I well… yeah.
Anyways, May came faster than I thought it would. Suddenly it was time to race. I drove up to Yosemite with my mom and Kate and her boyfriend flew in from Texas. We met up for a carb heavy dinner on Friday before the race and bemoaned the fact that we needed a 3AM wake up call to meet the shuttles. Ouch. The race was a point to point race starting up the mountain in the forest and running down to Bass Lake.
The shuttle to the race went perfect even if I closed my eyes on the winding, back roads. I get car sick too easy for that. It dropped us off at the start in the cold, dark woods. The announcers were trying to keep everyone’s spirits up and there were plenty of porta-potties. Hehe. This race did something very smart- they started the slower runners and walkers first. I’ve always wondered why races don’t do that. I was planning on running with Kate and while we weren’t their exact target pace, we jumped in with the runners/walkers and started at 5:45.
The first few miles are on a nice dirt road winding through the forest. I was in runners heaven. Kate however was not. Things were not going her way and just before mile 3 and the first aid station, she told me she was dropping. I was sad and after double checking that she was good, I continued on my way. Miles 1-3 took around 50ish minutes.
I knew I was in no shape to run this race so I figured I would just run what I could and walk what I couldn’t. Except I forgot to take into account my love of forests and the downhill miles coming up. For the next 7 miles, I was throwing down miles in the low 12’s and high 11’s. This was not going to end well. The only mile that was slower at the point was the one I had to lose my top layer and replace my bib. That took effort, ha! I was loving the downhill and all the views but knew I was probably going to pay for this fun.
And I did, the blow up started around mile 10 and continued on to the finish of the race. These miles flattened out a bit and as we got closer to the lake, the humidity upped itself a notch too. I was toast. I pretty much walked in these miles. The last 3 miles took around 45 minutes.
I crossed the finish line 3:04:53. Who knew I was going to be so close to under 3?
Also who knew I was going to be happy about that considering my PR is an hour faster than that. But considering where I am fitness wise right now, that number is something I am good with. And yes, I know the downhill was a huge help but it gives me hope. Plus I got to see Kate this weekend and finally run a Vacation Race. It will not be my last.
Despite the shuttle driver getting horribly lost twice on the back from Bass Lake. Ha!
Apparently I ghosted the blog. And I still need to finish my post about Cathedral Rock in Sedona. Actually, by the time I get that post up I am going to need to tell you about Yosemite too. Oops.
So let’s see….
April was both longer and shorter than I feel it should have been.
I ran but barely. Started out ok in the beginning but a migraine rolled in halfway through and overstayed it’s welcome. Not everyday reached full migraine but after 16+ days of headaches, I was really over it.
One of my runs let me know that it was way past time that I retired my Altra Rivera’s. Oops. Not too worry, I’ve had a new pair stashed in the closet for a couple months. They rolled out a new version and I may have panic bought an pair of the older version when they went on sale. What if I don’t like the updates??
Oh and my hair is falling out. Seriously. It started in March and had been full bore ever since. I’ve gone to my GP and my dermatologist in regards to it. I also chopped most of it off. I couldn’t put it in ponytail anymore without massive loss and I told myself that at least shorter hair falling out looks less dramatic in the sink or shower. Lies we tell ourselves. And here I thought I was pretty relaxed when it came to hair but I was very wrong.
Work has also turned super stressful so I crack jokes that it’s causing my hair to fall out.
The farthest run I did in April was 5 miles. Kind of worrying as May starts with 2 big races. Then once the headaches increased, running either didn’t happen or became a walk just trying to get the time on my feet.
So yeah, April was interesting. Onward and upward, right?
I finally made it out for a run after work last week. I had a bag of clothes at work for months so I really had no idea what was in the bag. Luckily it wasn’t too bad and I kind of matched. And hey, I found the 3/4 zip I had been missing.😂
I can’t even remember the last time I ran after work so I wasn’t sure how much time I had before it got dark. And because I planned poorly or didn’t plan it, I didn’t have any of my lights or reflective gear. Stupid.
All that aside, I still managed to fit in just under 3 miles before it got too dark. It felt kind of awesome.
Wish I could say the rest of the week was similar but nope. I was packing for a trip on Saturday and while I had planned to do my long run before leaving, I just felt too stressed. You know the feeling? When you think you’ve packed too much and also not enough at the same time? Yeah, I decided spending the day getting ready was more important.
Then, Sunday it was time to drive! I’m going to have so much to talk about 🤣
I live in a part of California where the weather is pretty consistent, at least appearance wise. Sunny with a few clouds. All day, most every day. I’m not talking temp, I am talking merely appearance. Temperature wise we can swing 50 degrees in just 8 hours and that’s considered normal, haha. Anyways, I am trying to explain why I was so excited for it to hail on a recent run. Hail!!!
I headed out for a run on a Saturday, thinking I would get in my long run instead of waiting until Sunday. The weather just seemed to speak long run. Mid 50’s and slightly overcast? My long run may have only been 5 miles but I still wanted to take advantage of the weather while I could. My only hesitancy was how dead tired I still felt from work the day before. That Friday had been one of the most exhausting days I can remember. So to compromise I headed to the lake path as it’s easy to shorten the run there. Plus the dirt path is always nice to run on.
I was in the middle of lap 2 when it started to sprinkle. Or so I thought. It seemed odd that I could hear the sprinkles so well. It wasn’t until I noticed something bouncing off my hat that I paid more attention. Hail!!! I may have stopped and filmed some video I was so excited. It was also kind of funny how quickly the full park and path emptied once the weather got a little wet. Not me, I was loving it so I just kept going. I finished my long run and was feeling better than I had when I started. That is something rare.
Sunday’s run was pretty decent too but the weather was back to same old blue skies. The 3.5 miles were solid though and I did manage to up my running time in my run/ walk intervals. How I used to run 2 hour half marathons is completely beyond me at this moment.
So let’s see. After enjoying a Monday off work (but running!) due to the holiday, it was back to work for the rest of the week. I remember the week being crazy busy and crazy cold. Again no running after work. But I did get the news that my latest biopsy was all clear so yay!
The weekend was productive though.
Saturday saw a nice 3 mile run. Actually, do I still call it a run if I am still doing run/walk intervals? Anyways, I really enjoyed this run. The weather was good, I was feeling good and having fun. Can all runs be like this? Well, maybe faster but like this?
Sunday dawned and the weather was my favorite kind for running so I knew an afternoon run would be perfect. My training plan called for a 5 mile run and I was still riding the previous days’ running high. But no. I decided to revisit a route I haven’t done in a long time and was enjoying the extra bits of nature that it had in it. Then, the world got wobbly. Just under 2 miles in and my blood sugar dropped. I was cursing myself for not carrying any fuel while slowing to a crawl. 1/2 mile later, I remembered there was a pack of fruit snacks shoved in my handheld. At least I hoped there was. Score!! Even with those, I never really felt right after that but I kept moving forward. The beauty of a looped route, right? So I did complete my 5 miles but there was very little running in that run.
Double digits- it was a double digit week! That might have been my first all year, actually. Small victories.