It has been a while since I’ve had an opportunity to sit down and write. Several reasons for this, the biggest one being word press no longer works on my home computer and well, I do not like typing on my phone. So that limits me to publishing from my work computer or a university one however, my favorite time and place to write is at home, over the weekend when it is quiet. I have a game plan for that now though, so hopefully I will soon be back on track.
The other reason I’ve been slacking is I have been crazy busy. Work, school and now I have a second job on the weekends to help pay for school and some home repairs… Oh yeah and training. I am beginning to think I should rename this blog “Student, 2jobs and ultra training… next post September 18th, 50 mile race report. That is, if I survive…” It has been an adjustment and I consider the mental aspect to be great mental training for the ultra. Always look for the positive!
I have had some fun though. March 6th I ran my first trail half marathon and had my ass handed to me. Seriously. Then I dropped it on the trail and it was handed back to me. This happened several times. I have run road marathons that were easier to me than this half was in spots and road halfs much faster. It was truly an eye opening experience. One that screamed:
“YOU HAVE A LOT OF WORK TO DO!”
I love being outside and in the woods, but I don’t have a lot of trail experience and this is why I entered. The race was fun, in a strange, painful way. The weather was absolutely perfect- sunny mid 40’s at start. The parts where you could open up a little an actually run were lovely. The other parts were equally lovely, yet in a different way, one I am learning about. Flying down the trail, dodging roots and rocks I admit was fun, but also so challenging! I recognized the benefits of the 5 min repeats in my training plan (Thank you Krissy Moehl- Running Your First Ultra!!). Those were a huge mental help to know I wasn’t dying. I made a lot of mistakes during this race and hopefully learned from them. I now know my weak areas, for example hips and ankles, and will begin work there as well. My hips and ankles by the end of the race were DONE. Honestly, I have never wanted something to be over so badly in my life. I questioned my sanity regarding the 50 mile, along with just my general sanity, several times during the race and on the 2 hour ride home. Not my best moment in trail running. No worries though, as I said I made mistakes. The biggest of which was I ran it like a road race (hangs head in shame). I knew before going in it wasn’t, I have read all about how trails are different and what to expect, I have even run shorter trail race distances and sort of knew better. However, something switched in my brain and off I went. Part way through I even asked myself “What are you doing?!? This is a trail not a road race…blah blah blah”. It didn’t seem to matter and the ass handing began. I’ve spent last week and so far this week recovering, running slow easy stuff. Next time I will really know better and run smarter!
All of that being said, I am happy and proud of my effort and results. I ran 2:23:54 which put me 118/355 overall, 25/148 gender, and 5/27 for my age group. A solid trail start with lots of room to grow and improve!
This past Saturday I showed up to meet friends and run long before job 2. My run partner MK is adjusting my SI and asks: “Are your pants on inside out?”. “Dear G-d, is this what I have been reduced to?!?” I say laughing as I look down. Yes, my Nike capris were indeed inside out. In my defense, I had gotten up early and ran some before meeting them so as to get my miles in before I had to work. Also, my capris are solid black so in the early AM it is truly anyone’s guess as to the state of thin black fabric inside or out. The Nike swoosh was backwards, but again, early morning, dark and not awake… Luckily, my shirt covered the tag and key pocket that would give me away to the general public once the sun came out.
So that is what has been going on in my world. It is hectic, but I’m making it and getting my runs done no matter what the state of my mind, schedule or attire.
Now for some photos from the Quivering Quads trail race which is put on by Fleet Feet St. Louis. They did an amazing job!! Be sure to scroll to the last photo. It is the race medal, which is absolutely beautiful.