mileage 10/21 – 10/27

Another week that felt pretty easy because almost half of my miles were done on Saturday… but it was midterms week, so it’s ok. Going to try to 60 this week!

Sunday: 4
Monday: off (study day for the two exams the next day)
Tuesday: 4
Wednesday: 5.6 and 6.1, back to back (11.7)
Thursday: off
Friday: 9-10, not sure since it was just an exploring-trails kind of run
Saturday: 23! Great run, longest I’ve done since the 50M in September.

Total: about 53
Hours: 7.9

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ahh, nothing like a good long run (subtitle: leaves are evil)

My roommate and I got out to the best nearby park early (for college kids, 9:30) this morning, intending to do 26 on the trails out there. We were both a little eh for the first bit of the run – me moreso than her, since she’d taken yesterday off and had fresh legs, plus my hip was starting to bug me/feel weak – but it was an absolutely gorgeous fall day with nice cold refreshing air and views through all the trees and little valleys now that the leaves had fallen.

Ah – the leaves.
Any trail runner will tell you that while leaves are on the trees, they’re great. They make fall running what it is (along with the weather, of course). But once they’re on the ground, they’re vicious little devils, doing their best to hide every little – or big – rock and root that we poor runners are susceptible to tripping on.
My poor ankles. While I somehow didn’t fall, my roommate fell three times. The downhills with six inches of leaves filling the mountain bike ruts were particularly perilous; we did a fair amount of awkward jogging down those in order to minimize tripping and rolling ankles and whatnot. (My poor, poor ankles.)

But anyway. Leaves aside, it was a really good run. We ended up only doing about 23, since (a) I was worried I’d have to cut it short because of my dumb hip, and (b) we didn’t want to do the same 13.1-mile loop twice. Instead, we did a nice 18-mile loop that I hadn’t run since the 50M in September, which would give me the option of stopping there while she went on. But by that point, I was in the phase of the run where you can just kind of Keep Going For Hours And Hours Until Things Start To Break Down. (My hips were symmetrically sore/weak, so I just ignored them.) It had taken me a while to get there – I wasn’t even really warmed up or motivated until about two hours in. But whatever. After a brief (but too long) stop at the car to drop off some stuff, we creakily ventured back out onto the trail and added on the last 5 miles on a nice loop… where I got lost the other night! It was less scary in daylight. Actually quite nice.

Oh, and my hamstrings/glutes were REALLY sore. But that was it. Weird, right? You don’t usually come out of a run going “Ahh, my butt hurts so much!” But that was me today.  Plus my ankles, which I need to strengthen.

Alas, no pictures, but just picture a very leaf-covered trail winding up and down and through equally leaf-covered hills and barren trees, with a couple beautiful blue lakes thrown in for splashes (second pun! oh yeah!) of color.

And now I shall eat ALL the chili (the recipe in Eat & Run is freaking amazing).

peace love and LSD running!
bec

mileage 10/14 – 10/20

Whew. I’m exhausted and drained.
A fairly easy week in terms of mileage… mixed with a hellish workload for classes. Ugh – midterms. And of course this week has been chock-full of wonderful fall weather that I have to miss for the most part.

Sunday – 11 (to the dexter cider mill!)
Monday – off
Tuesday – 7
Wednesday – off
Thursday – 7 (new trails!)
Friday – 13 (new trails near my house!)
Saturday – 7.5ish (a little tired from yesterday’s run)
Sunday – 4ish

Total: about 45-47
Total time: 7:08

A good running week… not running every day, but all my runs were good and I felt fairly strong. This taking-days-off-and-running-farther thing is nice… but I need to get back to running farther and taking fewer days off. Once midterms are over… sigh. Colorado is calling.

peace love and running as an escape from studying!
bec


View of the river across the street from the trails I ran today.


A rainy but still pretty shot of the bridle trails I ran twice this week. So many gorgeous colors – shifting from a forest full of magical golds, yellows, and ambers to deep oranges and rich reds… mmm, I love me some fall colors!

mileage/overview 10/7 – 10/13

I really should be better about posting mileage, so… here!

Sunday – 12
Monday – 11
Tues/Weds – off (climbing)
Thursday – 13-14ish (the Lost In The Woods run)
Friday – off
Saturday – 14

total: about 50 (not 100% sure about the trail distances, but it’s close enough)
total hours: 7:57

So not a heavy week, but a decent start back up. Now have some pictures!

This was yesterday’s (rainy, cold) run. I was planning on/hoping to do at least 18, but I think I only did about 14-15 because I just wasn’t dressed for the weather and staying out for another hour or so wouldn’t have been fun.

cider at the end of a run is the best  :)
Cider at the end of the run is the best.


Oven-roasted potatoes: olive oil, sage, thyme, salt, pepper, rosemary… pop ’em in at 425 for about 40 minutes (stirring halfway through). Delicious.


Sauteed veggies, always a classic.

 

angelo!
naptime  🙂

Like I said, a good afternoon so far!

peace love and running!
bec

lost in the woods

I decided to drive out to a nice park this afternoon to get some good trailrunning in rather than chugging along the same old dirt roads. They’re nice, don’t get me wrong, but the trails were calling to me. I headed out later than I’d planned but didn’t think much of it. It was a perfect fall day – blue sky, leaves all crisp reds and rich golds, cornfields turning to amber waves of grain… all that. I got to the park around 5:15 and immediately hopped onto the trail I was planning to do, a 13 mile loop that I do fairly frequently. No big deal.

I spent about half of the first forty minutes of my run thinking that I knew where I was, while the other half was spent more along the lines of, “I feel like I’ve run here before… maybe… but where am I?” The trail I was on eventually did hook back up with the main trail, and from there on out, it was smooth sailing. I was feeling good and rested from my two days off of running, even powering up hills I’d usually half-ass. Just a good run.

Then it started getting dark. I felt confident that I’d get back to the parking lot in time – the sky would be a little dusky, yes, and the trails would be darker from tree coverage – but nothing unduly troubling. Just a pleasant evening run through the woods, still flying along the trail decently well.

But then it was dark. Actually dark. And I still had at least three miles to go – maybe more, I wasn’t entirely sure. It was getting fairly difficult to make out rocks and roots on the trail; somehow, I managed not to trip and faceplant into a puddle. But I was still moving along, albeit a little slower since I couldn’t really see, and finally I reached an intersection I recognized… to my dismay. I was farther from the trailhead than I’d thought… or so I thought. I had no idea how much longer it was. Using the dim blue light from my watch, I squinted at the map and picked the route that looked the shortest. I was pretty sure I’d run it just a few days ago, and by that point, I just wanted to get back to the parking lot. I turned away from the map and headed back on the trail.

As you may have guessed, the trail I thought I was taking was not, in fact, the trail I was thinking of. I’d never set foot on this trail before; I had no idea what turns to expect, how hilly it was, or where it came out. As it turned out, it was pretty hilly, with lots of steep descents into mini-valleys where there was even less light than atop the hills. It seemed like an endless trail of blind twists and turns, hills and switchbacks, and I didn’t have the sun to tell which direction I was headed. I was still running – fear is a great motivator – just hoping that eventually, soon, I’d see a clearing in the trees ahead, hear a motor roar, catch a glimpse of (non-murderer) people… but no. It seemed that with every turn, the trail just led me down yet another valley. It was steadily getting darker and darker and I was getting steadily more worried (I won’t say scared, just… very aware of now Not Great my situation was). I started singing to myself: The Kinks’ Sunday Afternoon, fun’s Some Nights, and a song of my own creation that went something along the (tuneless) lines of, “I’m just runnin’ through the woods on a Thursday night, la la la, just runnin’ along this trail, hoping I’m not lost…”

Then… a map! Finally! I looked at it – I was on the right track after all! I wasn’t going to curl up in a ball and slowly freeze to death or get eaten by rabid coyotes or wandering zombies*! The parking lot was close! I double- and triple-checked the map, then took off, making tracks for the parking lot, my car, and civilization.

That trail also seemed endless. I kept hoping the parking lot would be over the next hill, but it wasn’t. I started singing again – ZZ Top’s Just Got Paid riff, over and over. I rounded another turn, feeling less worried but still not great, when I realized… I knew where I was! And it was close to the parking lot!

I made another song at this point, a little more tuneful than the last: “I know where I aaa-am! I know where I aaa-am! I’m not lost in the woods anymore! Huzzah!” (Yes, I did shout “huzzah.” It’s a great word for jubilant moments, you should try it sometime.) I bounded up the last hill and there it was, the Promised Land – the parking lot! And there were people! “CIVILIZATION AT LAST!” I cried as I sprinted down the grassy hill, past some confused and amused mountain bikers, and to my lovely, lovely car with its lovely, lovely lights and water and music and my cell phone. I, of course, blasted Alice in Chains on the way back (awesome post-run music, especially Check My Brain on Black Gives Way To Blue). A hot shower, some chili and pumpkin corn bread, and some cuddling with my cat made everything right again.

So! Lessons learned:

1. Always check what time the sun is setting and plan accordingly. This means…
2. ALWAYS bring a flashlight/headlamp if you’re not sure! Better to be running with at least a dim bobbing circle of light than alone in the dark, tripping over things and stumble-falling down surprisingly steep hills.
3. Alice in Chains for post-run music.

*I often find myself worrying about zombies when I’m out running in a desolated, woodsy area. You should too.

peace love and maps and flashlights,
bec

PS. I’m applying for an internship with the Pikes Peak Marathon – how sweet is that? They posted it on Twitter, so glad I decided to check my feed when I did! It’d be exactly what I want to do for a company: the PR/social media/marketing side of things. So… don’t apply, because I want it  🙂

PPS. It’s 10/11/12, guys! Hee hee.

climbing n things

Hello once more.

So I took Tuesday off because my friend from Colorado was visiting, and we climbed and talked until the wee hours of the morning. Then I took Wednesday off to nap and eat Chipotle (GUAC) and climb again, because I was having a blehhhh day and really didn’t feel like running the 13-18 I’d planned on. With my 100 planned for the end of May and only a 50k in December on the schedule, then a 50 in Virginia with my roommate in… February, I think, there’s not a whole lot of immediate pressure to ramp up the training. I don’t want to get burned out on running… plus it’s unseasonably cold. 30 degrees in the beginning of October? Come on, weather, play fair. (Ha ha – a weather pun.)

So climbing is fun. I’m laughably bad at it – I’ve sent 5.9 and V1+. If you know nothing about climbing, pretend that I’m amazing. If you know anything at all about climbing, feel free to giggle. Despite the fact that I’m Not Great, it’s still super fun and extremely satisfying when you finally send something… even if it *is* an easy rating. I’ve only actually gone four or five times, I think, but I want to start going a lot more for cross-training/core work, especially once the true winter hits and all is nasty and frigid outside.

Off to class, then back to Silver Lake for 13 or 18! It’s nice and sunny, but a bit breezy and chilly… but it’ll be good.  🙂

peace love and running!
bec

no UM100, but climbing!

As I predicted, UM100 was filled, no exceptions. That’s ok, though, because I found a couple other strong possibilities… right now, my top choice is tied between the Bryce Canyon 100 in Utah (May 31) as a dream 100, and the more realistic Indiana Trail 100 (only because it’s closer). BC100 is an out-and-back course, one time, at 8-9k ft along gorgeous subalpine trails in canyons and other gorgeousness. The Indiana one is six loops in Indiana. Obviously, Bryce Canyon would be infinitely cooler, and because classes will be over by then, I could make it a 1-2 week trip of running and nature! Hooray! I’ll have plenty of time to train my ass off, so hopefully I’ll be able to actually run/powerhike (rather than slog/trudge/limp/etc.) most of the way. The cutoff is the standard 30 hours, which I think will be fine. Let the 100-miler training officially BEGIN!

…tomorrow. I’m taking today off since I ran yesterday and Mondays are usually my off days, plus I’m going to a dinner for a friend’s birthday, then CLIMBING for the first time in ages with my good friend who is visiting from Colorado. So yay climbing! And yay 100-milers! Yay fall!

peace love and running,
bec

PS. My blog has had quite a busy day – I can only assume it’s from the article. Cool! Thanks to everyone who stopped by  🙂