Had a great start to the weekend with a 10 miler on the greenbelt, with Pancake. I had not run the 10 mile loop in something like a year, and Pancake had never done the whole thing with me. We had a blast, despite a fall on my part. I tripped and fell in some very overgrown grass, so I walked away without a scratch, but I was super sore this am after taking the impact with my arms and shoulders. I also realized it is definitely time to start logging some serious miles on the trail if I want to finish Bandera. 7 milers are not going to cut it.
this am was an easy 1 hour road run, then Steve and I watched teresa in the Silicon relays. It is always fun to watch a race and not be in it! we had a blast, except the humid weather this late in the year is a little depressing. I wouldn’t mind having to throw on a sweater. Looks like I’ll get my wish in st george. I spent most the day whipping up a vegetarian curry from the very cool irish cookbook Mike got me in Cork. Mike needed some type of computer gadget, so darn, we had to go to the Domain. I couldn’t resist spending some of my overtime money at Bettysport. there’s got to be some benefit to working all those hours, right?
So, in a few days I am outta here to kick off my running season! I am super psyched. Got 2 awesome hikes picked out, and I am happy mike decided to come along on this trip. Next post will hopefully have some cool photos of the Zion narrows….
Here is a really good write up I found on running a 100 mile run. very inspiring. i found it reading about the different 100 mile runs. it is geared towards a particular race, but I think you could apply it to any of the the “easier” ones. It almost makes it sound-gulp- doable. here is the link. Reading this really helped push me ever a little closer to another 100 miler, aka power walking all night.
In contrast, today at work I got an extra reminder of the lows that life sometimes deals out. Sometimes as a nurse I feel I carry the woes of the world on my shoulders. Today was one of those days spent dealing out a lot of bad news to people without the ability to offer many solutions. I go home at the end of the day, and tend to forget it all, and not really think of any of it other than the occasional fleeting thought (often while running). I often feel inferior to my many friends who are very educated and successful, but days like today remind me I chose a career that gives me a little intimate part in the lives of others…but not as much status as other careers might. I know people who would argue they wouldn’t want to do that…that they don’t like people that much. It is not even so much about being a people person…it is about getting the biggest experience out of life. I get to go to work and really get an experience..then again, sometimes it’s just a job.
Anyhow, getting back to 100 milers, it’s all about the experience right? gotta get as many of those as I can.
On the lighter side of things, some good recent discoveries: I am liking the new Modest Mouse album Mike down loaded . never heard much of them before, but Johnny Marr from the Smiths is now the guitar player, and I am an 80’s junkie. Just finished reading A Thousand Spendid Suns, and it was a great read. Just stared The Devil in the White City, and so far, so good. A good book is always a treat.
Just a silly picture of Pancake…
In other news, here is a picture of the zion canyon narrows. I cannot wait to go there. I wish I had more time, but I will be trying to cram as much of the park as I can into a day and a half. I hear southern Utah is one of the most incredible places in the country. I think it should be a great trip. Mike and I chose zion over las vegas, and I think we will be happy we did. Check out some more pictures, this site is the best one I have found.
Did a nice run alone this am, and really enjoyed it. A little time alone can be very nice. Sometimes in ultras I struggle with the alone time, as my only real issues I’ve had are the mental headgames I play with myself. I tend to get some low points and have had a couple of great struggles with them. I have read about a couple books that help with the mental aspects of running and plan to check them out next time I am at book people.
Mike got home after a month away this weekend, and we’ve been having a nice weekend catching up and re-introducing him to American food….that is if I don’t eat it all first!
Started the weekend with a 5am start time on a 21 miler. Steve was kind enough to agree to my request. Got done by 815, a quick spit shower, and off to work at an AARP health fair….hey, it was all overtime money. I was dying of thirst after the run, since the cold front wasn’t very impressive. I got a latte, smoothie, and an izze soda all to drink at the health fair. I still thought I might faint. Afterwards, I went and got a steak taco…something I never get, but I had a major craving, and all was better. Mike actually arrived on time saturday night and got me an awesome vegetarian cookbook and a Team Munster rugby shirt, who I was told is the team all the locals go to see. Still too hot to wear it for awhile.
Mike was up and about at 6am, so he took Pancake and I to the greenbelt and went to get himself coffee while we ran. It was an awesome day, and I saw lots of friends out there which was really nice. We were so spoiled having water and wildflowers all summer long. Did the 7 mile loop and it left me really looking forward to doing some longer runs out there soon.
I had dinner with Meredith on friday night, and after talking about Western states some, I think I am leaning towards doing Rocky raccoon in Feb. I just cannot get over that $295 price tag, and there is something to be said about all the support I would get at rocky. Plus, there is so much out there I want to do, it’s hard to justify putting all my eggs in one western states basket. Another huge benefit, is I would be using all my other races as training. More to come…
One decision looming over my head is do I put an application in for western States this year or not? Now, I know deciding to do a run isn’t that big of a deal….but I cannot seem to make a decision. I’ve wanted to do it FOREVER, even before I ever ran an ultra, which I am still pretty new at. I first read about it in runner’s world, longer ago than I can remember, and I have always been intrigued. I qualified 3 times now, and everytime have chickened out sending in an entry. I regretted it last year when names were drawn, and went about requalifying at rocky raccoon. so, now I have a qualifier, but it is not good for long. So why wouldn’t I do it? Several reasons: fear of not finishing. those cut offs can get tight on such a hard course. I like to suceed at things..I ain’t spending all that money NOT to finish unless I am dying. and, that is another factor. $295 just to enter….YIKES!!!! I could buy a plane ticket for that. Another factor is it is just not fun for me to drag Mike on a “vacation” to watch my torture and abuse myself. I wouldn’t want to go out alone with no support, so I would probably have to enlist him. Also, that is a lot of training. can’t fake your way through the mountains when you live in texas. As it is, I am working 12 hour days, and that would be a big sacrifice of free time. also, part of me says, we have a 100 miler right here in texas. I can suffer all night here for a lot less money…and less training. so why would I do it? well, it looks beautiful. this picture is from squaw Valley, the one part of the course I’ve been to. Also, I don’t want to look back and regret never doing it. we only get one chance in this world, right? Regret is never a good thing. also, BECAUSE I CAN!! I am healthy, I have nothing holding me back. I really have very few obligations, and who knows if that will last forever. finally, I have a little unfinished business with 100 milers. Yeah, I finished one, but I know I can do better. I learned from my mistakes, and I want to correct them. And, I don’t think I want to do it over and over again, so if I do one more, better do it up right.
It’s really easy to look at all the cool pictures on the Western States website, and watch those movies about it and say, “I want to do that!” It’s a whole different story when I am sweating like a hog, dragging my ass though 20 miles in August in texas. 100 miles doesn’t sound too attractive then. So, what do you say WS veterans? Is it worth it? ( no comments from meredith….I know your answer!! hehe)
My original weekend plans were a greenbelt run Saturday and 22 miles on Sunday with Steve. Kelley threw out the idea to do a 5K Saturday, and I don’t usually do them, but the more I thought about it, it sounded kinda fun. It would mean skipping the greenbelt, and doing townlake instead, but I could still get in some miles that way, and so could Pancake. Teresa was nice enough to pick us up bright and early, and we did the 7 mile town lake loop. then she dropped us off at the Paramount theater, where we met up with Kelley and Kitty for the Run for the Arts 5K, to benefit the paramount theater. We had a blast! I don’t know if I’ve ever sweated that much, since I got a hot latte after the town lake loop and drank it in the sun. Not the smartest move. Pancake was only mildly terrified until the run started, and then she seemed to have fun. Yummy Izze sodas at the end. Total miles for the day only 10, but we had soooo much fun.
After sweating my entire body fluid volume out 2 times over, I had some concerns about 22 today. I looked up the forecast and saw a front is supposed to come in next weekend, with lows dipping into the 60s….heaven! I shared this info with Steve, and once I planted the seed, he decided we’d do 22 next weekend. We ended up running for a couple hours this am, getting in 14 or so. Kinda felt like a wimp, but I was drenched in sweat. I think I lost my body’s entire fluid volume for the 3rd time over this weekend. I have my fingers crossed that front materializes, and I get that moment of “ohhhh, now I realize how much I suffered all summer! This feels much better.”
…amongst the living that is. I got super sick over the holiday weekend. Went to bed Friday with tons of great running plans, plans for chores, and plans to shop. 2 hours after falling asleep, with no warning I woke up with the worst sore throat I’ve ever had and a fever. this picture is pretty old, but it is how I spent the weekend: in jammies, in bed, and miserable. it wasn’t just a cold…I got too weak to even walk a couple houses down the street to take pancake out. I lost 5 pounds. I couldn’t swallow, I drooled. It SUCKED. Good news is I am pretty much 100% normal now. Also, my friends were awesome, calling me and offering to bring me food. It made me realize if something REALLY bad ever happened, my friends would definitely be there. it also made me sooooo thankful for my health, as this was really just a big inconvenience, unlike some folks who live with illness all the time. I was too sick to even consider running, which seriously never happens to me. I always manage to drag myself out for a few miles, but not this time. today was my first day back running, and it felt great. jello legs at first, but now I feel strong again. The only gross side effect is I’ve literally been sweating continuously since Tuesday. I guess my body is getting rid of whatever microbe that caused this whole thing. Today I was actually happy to be at work, and someone commented I was back to my usual, mean self. Whoo-hoo. I am looking forward to giving this weekend a go, and I’ve got a lot of plans. Anyhow, thanks again to all my friends. I was really touched at how nice everyone was, when let’s face it, this wasn’t the end of the world…no one likes being sick though.
“Running is great therapy and it is free. If we all walked and ran with our dogs it would be a different world.”
-Cesar Milan, The Dog Whisperer