Pirate’s Cove!

I returned to the trails in the headlands today, for the first time since since the North Face marathon, I think.  Knowing that I need to get faster for the 50 mile, especially on hills, I chose one of the most challenging parts of the marathon course – pirate’s cove in the Tennessee Valley.  It’s pretty much seven-ish miles of straight up followed by straight down, straight up, straight down (you get the idea), and some scary stairs mixed in.  These are the stairs I slipped down during the race, hence, scary stairs.

I ran pretty slowly, and walked a lot of the hills.  However, it was the strongest I’ve felt on this course in the three times I’ve been on it.  So, hopefully a great start to building a foundation, because I need to learn to run that hill well.  Really well, since I’ll hit the back half of it at mile 40 or something crazy like that. I’m not really going to look too much at training until after Nepal, but hilly runs will help with that training too.  Here’s to practice making perfect….or just the ability to finish and have fun.

In other news, the hike we have planned for tomorrow is in an elk preserve – that should be interesting :). I also have hiking pants….finally. And they fit. Haha. And they’re not black. I’m also trying out bag number three. This one is a way better pack – better ventilation, pockets, fits better, etc.  also, it’s bright blue and not black. Apparently I won’t be the goth chick on the mountain.  Haha.

Until next time….

North Face 50….it’s happening

So, we realized that the North Face Challenge had opened up, and despite everything we have put and need to put into Nepal, the 50 miler is happening in December.  I’m actually really excited about it.  And, I can’t blame it on the wine this time….haha. I celebrated by eating half of a container of gelato. Not a bad idea for someone who slept in….did a little bit of work…and slept some more.  Do nothing all day….sign up for a 50 mile race….consume a container of ice cream.  Haha.

In all seriousness, this is going to take a killer training plan. I’m envisioning a lot of early mornings in the headlands. At least I live close enough that I can train on the crazy hills. I’m pretty sure I’m not currently running fast enough to finish in the allotted time. But, I know I can get there. It’s gonna be an adventure :).

In other news, I think I’m really bad at doing nothing. I’ve been sick or coughing or something and have had no voice all week, so I decided I was just going to rest all day.  So, of course, I was up at 8:30….when was the last time that happened?  After a bit of NyQuil, I was able to get some more sleep.  Then, after dealing with a work issue, I was really restless. Couldn’t I go run or something. No.  I forced myself to rest a little longer, but then got up and started cleaning. Haha…even when I’m sick, I can’t do nothing.

We’re planning a longer hike for tomorrow…maybe a picnic.  I’m excited for that too (see, really bad at sitting still). Hopefully the NyQuil endured haze in which I spent most of today works and I’m close to 100% tomorrow. I have real hiking pants to try for the first time….and I really like my bag. Despite the whole everything is black theme I have going. I’ve decided not to list the gear in the individual posts, but will post a list at the end of my trip, after I post all the trip blogs. While it won’t matter to most, based on how much I’m relying on blogs from previous travelers, if someone googles and finds my blog, I want to be helpful :).

Other than that, it’s been a week of watching the Olympics and nursing the hot, sexy, smoker voice back to normal. Until next time….

Everest, et. al

Apparently, I’m not as good at updating this thing as I thought or hoped I might be.  I was shooting for once a week, but it’s been more like once a month.  Or in the case of January, not at all.  Oh well, things happen.

I thought January would calm down, since the holidays were over, but that wasn’t the case.  There was getting sick, dinners with friends, getting back in shape (I re-joined bootcamp), and the end of the fiscal year at work.  Early February brought Brian’s birthday and the super bowl, as well as a trip back to NY for my aunt’s funeral.  It was my dad’s sister, and she was too young – 69.  She was always the fun, eccentric, artistic one, and I have great memories of her from when I was little.  Many of them involve standing on a chair telling a story.  I’m pretty sure that happened a lot when I was six.  Many of the stories I heard about her over the weekend from family and friends made me wish I had more memories of her from adulthood.  Seeing a lot of family that I haven’t seen in awhile was nice – I met one cousin’s two little girls, met new second cousins, and learned that one of my cousins is an ultra runner.  While it was great to see the rest of the family, but would have been much better under different circumstances.

At the end of January, we picked our seats for Nepal and Everest.  So on 1/26, we were 90 days from take-off.  I don’t think I could be more excited.  We’ve been hiking every weekend to break in our stuff and get back in shape for the trip.  I’m treating this like a race – nothing new on race day, nothing new for the trip.

Two weeks ago, we did a seven mile hike in the headlands and tried out our packs, poles, water bottles, as well as ourselves (those hills were no joke ;)).  I should have tried out some gatorade powder or something in my water.  I ended up fighting low blood sugar all day.  Not fun.

The pack (Kelty Women’s 40 Liter pack) felt great, hardly knew it was there.  I did struggle all day to get the water bottle in and out of the holder on the bag, luckily, I would have time to practice.  Or so I thought.  Last week, I noticed a hole in the water bottle holder, so it had to be exchanged.  Good bye blue bag, hello black bag.  Which is fine – other than all of my outer layers are black.  Apparently I’ll be the goth girl on the mountain.

Poles were a great help once I got used to them.  Helpful going up hill, fantastic going downhill.  Excellent way to feel a little more stable.

Today, despite the rain, we decided to hike and headed up to Mt. Tam.  We were planning on a short hike, since it was raining and a little chilly.  But, we were excited to try out some more of our gear.  I had my new pack (still Kelty, but now black), it would definitely need some adjustments to fit me.

So, I pulled out the heaviest of the three base layers I had – Smartwool’s Women’s Mid 250 hoodie, and a pair of Exofficio underwear – tag line, ’17 countries in 20 some days…one pair of underwear’….(let’s hope it doesn’t come to that)….I also grabbed the shell of my component jacket – Marmot Women’s Cosset Component Jacket, as well as the rain/snow pants – also Marmot…I think the PreCip pant, but I can’t remember.

The good news is that the gear was fabulous.  I was actually a little warm, despite having only a base layer and an outer shell.  I also stayed dry.  All good things with the mountain coming up in just over two months.  We had a great hike….found a salamander, trekked through a waterfall (thank god our boots are fabulous), and got to experience nature in a way that it hasn’t been in a long time.

Overall, a good weekend – rested up Saturday, got some cleaning done, and then hiked today.  Now the Olympics are on for the rest of the night.  Until next time….