And, on to the taper…

So, I am officially in taper mode.  Well, sort of…I do have three Orange Theory classes this week, and nothing about that says taper.  But, I am dropping my weekly mileage from nearly 50 miles this week to 30 next week.

I had quite the final big week of training: two Orange Theory classes and four days of running equalling 47.3 total miles for the week. The Orange Theory classes were a great workout…well, one more so than the other.  Yay for coach Tom and some uncensored DNCE.  I still can’t wait for publishing to be over so I can get back to coach Robin’s classes too.  And, speaking of Orange Theory….I can’t say enough about how great it has been for my running.  I’m running longer (without walking) and faster, after only four weeks.

Wednesday and Friday, I ran at Edgewood before work and got in 13 miles between the two days.  I actually enjoyed running the trail in the morning and then heading to work more than I thought I would.  And, it was fast (for me)…all of the miles under 13 minutes per mile.

After Friday, I ran my way through the weekend.  First, a course marker check on the north peak of Montara Mountain during the race this weekend.  I’d forgotten how steep that part of the course was…the way up was one thing, but the way down….geez.  Hopefully it helped train me on descending.  Of course, something happened between my watch and strava, so that run never uploaded. And, I was so curious as to how I did in comparison to the other times I’ve run that route.  I was hoping I’d continue to see myself getting faster and get some additional confidence going into my race.  But, alas….the file got eaten somewhere.

Today, Brian and I headed back out to Canada Road/Edgewood – he rode and ran, and I just ran.  I set out with the goal of 16 miles.  Based on the rest of my week, that would get me between the 45 and 50 I was looking for.  I started out heading into Edgewood, and it was a good run, but there were a lot of people and I ran there both Wednesday and Friday, so needed a change.  So, I took a trail leading out of the park and back down to Canada Road, followed that over to Crystal Springs Trail, and down into Huddart.  Yay Huddart.

There were only a handful of people there, but it’s big enough that I never really saw them.    With all of the rain, it was a gorgeous run through the redwoods.


I ran through the remnants of the recent rainstorms – it’s still muddy – probably due to the shade of the redwoods.  But, the rains have done the park well.  In addition to the luscious greens, the wildflowers have begun to bloom, giving off the fresh feeling of a new spring.


I spent about an hour running through Huddart before beginning the journey back toward the car.  Getting back toward the car, I realized I still had some time (and miles) left to do, so planned to make another trip through Edgewood and take the long way back.  I ran into Brian on my way to Edgewood and made a failed attempt to keep up with him up into the park.

Once I was back in the park, I realized I was out of water.  I thought about heading to the main parking lot to refill, or just turning around and heading for the car to retrieve my Gatorade…then I reminded myself that I swept three miles up Diablo without water.  If I could handle that, there was no reason I couldn’t handle Edgewood when it was 30 degrees cooler.  So, I got through my last three miles.  Enjoyed my Gatorade.  Stretched.  Waited for Brian to get un-lost.  And enjoyed the fact that my hat had a new salt stain.


So, where does that leave me?  Hopefully ready to bang out 31 miles at Way Too Cool in two weeks.  I mean, I was able to pull 30 out of somewhere the month before North Face…and, I feel stronger now than I think I ever have, so I can do this, right?  I think so.  This new way of training is different than anything I’ve tried before, and not going to lie, the unproven-ness (is that even a word) scares me.  But, as I’ve said before….doing what I’ve always done will continue to get what I’ve always gotten.  And, I want to do better.  And, hopefully it works, because in all reality, I don’t have time to completely adjust my training in the five weeks between Way Too Cool and Lake Sonoma.

In other news, North Face has opened up.  I was really hoping it would wait until after Lake Sonoma to open so I would (hopefully) have a 50-miler under my belt before I had to make a decision on which race to sign up for.  But, I’m afraid it will sell out if I wait too long, and then I won’t be running any race. The good news, is that I can change my distance, so long as I do it before the race.

Weekend of Running

After my Wednesday debacle, I realized two things. One, I needed to run both days this weekend. Two, I was going to find out how complete double day training worked for me. Ideal?  Maybe…maybe not. I don’t know. I’m going to go with, doing what I’ve always done will get me what I’ve always gotten. Meaning, long days of a lot of slow miles would get me through the race, but probably at the slow pace I’m used to. Maybe trying something new is just what I need.  

So, Saturday….I headed to Walnut Creek for coffee with Lisa and the Coastal Trails awards lunch. It was great to catch up with Lisa over some coffee…I miss seeing her more frequently. The awards lunch was a lot of fun too. Got to hand out medals, coasters, and shirts, to the yearly winners. And enjoy some pizza too. Always a good time. Anyway, on to the running. 

Post-lunch, I headed over to Mt. Diablo to tackle Eagle Peak. A route one of my friends runs loops on, but I had never done. Diablo was also somewhere I hadn’t been since the summer. Once I got around the medical emergency…)hopefully everyone is ok, it didn’t look good. Helicopter and everything.) I got going pretty quickly. Brief stop at the ranger station to make sure I wouldn’t get locked in, and I was off. 

Sort of…good god, I’d forgotten how hard running on Diablo was. It was pretty much a slow uphill slog until about mile five….mile four on my watch since I’d forgotten to turn it on after checking on the parking lot situation. It was pretty though. Totally different world in the green before it all turns brown. 

As tough as it was, before I knew it, I was making my left onto Eagle Peak Trail. And, what an adventure that was….between the times I was sure I was going down, I wasn’t sure I was actually on a trail. I was glad I had put on my long sleeved shirt….I was also pretty sure the bushes were trying to tear off the skin on my arms. It was also steep….steep up and if the report is read was correct, even steeper on the other side on the way down. I rather quickly decided I’d turn around and head back the way I came. A steep descent wasn’t worth the injury and going back the way I came would get me more miles. 

As tough as the way up was, the way down was amazing. I ran nearly all of it…other than the moment I stopped to ask a peace officer which trail to take down. Anytime I started thinking I wanted to walk, I asked myself why I was going to walk…did I NEED to?  Generally, the answer was no. The end result, just under a 14 minute per mile pace overall…faster than I’ve ever been on Diablo.  And, just an overall feeling of strong. Thanks Orange Theory…or this multiple/back to back training thing. Or both. 

Which brings us to today.  Brian wanted to do a brick workout (bike/run…really any triathlon sport combo for those not familiar with the term), so we headed toward Canada Road. I wanted to get in more than just flat, so I had him drop me off at Wunderlich Park.  Cause an exercise Valentine’s Day, nothing fits us better. 

Anyway, I don’t think I’d been to Wunderlich since the summer, so had forgotten how hilly it was. You’d think the route I made on Strava last night would have clued me in. Haha. 

It was basically a six mile slog uphill to skyline and then some. But, after about three miles, I started to feel pretty good. At five, the terrain started to roll and I was able to run more than hike, which was great. 

And, once I turned around….amazing. Down, down, down, I went. Again, I ran almost the entire way…stopping only to calculate mileage to the end and determine which trail to take, or to carefully move around downed trees. No matter how good I felt, nothing is worth injury. 

I continued down the trails…some back where I’d come from, some brand new. So much fun. At one point, I looked at my watch and saw I was running an 8:50 mile. I never run that fast….especially on a trail. But, holy crap….I never run that fast, especially on a trail. And I’m 11.5 miles through a 13 mile run. Thanks, Orange Theory…and let’s enjoy this til the end. Or until I run into an entitled horseback rider….


You can’t run towards a horse and there’s four up ahead of you….

Seriously?!  If your horse can’t handle sharing a FIRE ROAD with people, perhaps it doesn’t belong out there. Luckily, I was in a good mood and all of my snarky comments stayed in my head. I’m all about sharing the trails, but really, to tell someone to stop running?  

So, I doubled back and headed down a neighboring trail.  All the while this lady tried to make friendly chit chat. Nope, sorry….not sorry…I have a trail half marathon PR to break and you’ve already interfered enough. 

In the end, 13.1 in 3:04. Faster than I’ve run a half on a trail by 30 minutes or so. Wow, that felt good. 

After this weekend’s runs, I feel cautiously optimistic about Way Too Cool. The stress of getting there not withheld. Lake Sonoma is another story. Hopefully one with a happy ending, but I think I’ll feel better about that one once I get through the 50k and see how I do. Hopefully I’m on to something with the new training plan and Orange Theory. I think, for the first time, I just might be trained properly…or at least trained to the best of my ability. 

Until next time…. 

Malibu Canyon Adventure

I’m always excited for a weekend adventure – especially if that involves a new place with new trails.  Enter a 30 hour trip to Malibu Canyon.  
The drive to Malibu was pretty uneventful (other than an accident that resulted in an extra hour and a half or so).  Especially once I hit the 5.  I talked to my parents….joked with a friend about how I needed an uneventful fifteen mile sweep after last weekend’s craziness….sang along to bad 80’s and 90’s pop….all the things you typically do on a solo road trip.  
Thanks to the traffic, I got to the hotel at least an hour and a half later than I planned.  But never fear, it was in plenty of time to watch the poor desk guy deal with two girls under the influence of something trying to figure out if they’d checked out of their room or not.  And how to use the wireless….and something about her ‘friend’ from ‘last night’.  Good times.  Can I just have my key?  After dealing with the girls and a broken computer, I finally had my key.  Then I was pretty sure I was asleep in moments.  
The next day started with an early Starbucks run and a joke about me even sleeping at the hotel.  Thankfully the hotel, Starbucks, and the park were all pretty close, so it wasn’t that early – at least when you consider last Saturday I started running at 5.  We got our caffeine and headed out to the park.  As we were unloading and setting up, I noticed that the finish line was a mine-field of potholes.  All big enough to see, right?  
Or not….at some point once the runners were off, but before I was supposed to start sweeping, I was walking over to the finish line.  I avoided all of the holes in the dirt.  Only to find the one in the grass…I love hearing my ankle pop.  Almost as much as I love grabbing ahold of the ropes holding up the finish line arch before stumbling into the arch.  Really?  Right now?  I tried walking it out and it was just sore, not really swollen.  Nothing an ankle brace can’t fix.  Perhaps I should have wished for an uneventful weekend….
And now for the course.  I love getting to see new trails in new places – especially places I wouldn’t necessarily go to on my own.  I had seen photos and heard it was hilly, so I strapped on my super cool ankle braces and was off.  Luckily, I wasn’t feeling too sore from last weekend’s debacle of a race or from my tumble and stumble at the finish line.  
The first few miles were pretty gentle – some rolling hills and some flat.  A lot of course markings and thanks to someone’s ‘help’, a bunch of them were gathered in piles at one of the trail heads….
Just after the two mile mark, I came across a creek.  And, even with the drought, this one was flowing and probably would have come to mid-calf had I jumped right in (like I do with Redwood Creek).  Somehow, I managed to navigate through on the rocks without falling in and was able to keep my shoes dry for the most part (save for my right toes….ooops).  
Shortly after the creek, I hit the first aid station and then began a climb that I thought would never end.  Beautiful views and a nice trail, but nearly seven miles of climbing with no reprieve was a tall order.  
And then I was told by a mountain biker that I was at the top.  So, of course I stopped to take a photo and captured the below photo.  Looking back, I think the ones on the way up were better.  
The next few miles brought place that I could definitely jog between ribbons and observe some cool rock formations.  
Despite being told I was at the top, I came upon this monstrosity pretty quickly.  I was pretty sure it was straight out of The Hills Have Eyes, if you’ve seen it.  If you haven’t, don’t….At first, I didn’t even think it was a trail….then I saw the pink flags lining the way up it.  Really?  That’s a trail.  Well, ok.  I’m up for an adventure.  And the way up actually wasn’t too bad.  The way down….let’s just say I’m just glad I didn’t crash and burn.  
Surviving the land of The Hills Have Eyes, I came up on the second aid station.  They were just as glad to see me as I was to see them.  After getting high-fives from the volunteers and the ranger, I refueled and headed off on what was pretty much the last climb before a nice descent back to the finish.  
After what really was a nice gentle descent, the last section I hit was pretty flat.  Not sure if this was a good thing or not – right around mile 13 my foot (and the rest of my body), started to make it known that they were done with this running thing.  haha…almost legs, almost.  
Near the 10k turn around, I passed through the MASH site.  It was pretty cool, despite not having watched too much MASH.  I don’t think I really watched any of it until after Alan Alda was on ER and I’m pretty sure those were reruns.  Anyway, I digress.  I paused for a bit to get some photos before the volunteer asked me if I was planning to get in before dark.  Right.  Dark.  Yeah, I should probably keep moving.  
After departing the MASH site, it was a quick jaunt back to the start/finish.  A quick load of the van and I was off on the long journey home.  
Once I got out of LA, I was ready for some food.  Enter my second Carl’s Jr. fix of the weekend.  I’d also warmed up enough to want an Oreo milkshake.  Yum.  While I waited for the drive-thru, I decided to check out my foot again.  It had been out of the brace for about an hour and felt pretty stiff.  Probably because in the time it had been resting it decided to start swelling.  Awesome…well, at least it wasn’t my driving leg.  
I stopped for gas in Kettleman City.  At that point, my feet had been shoeless for several hours and the thought of having to put them back on was worse than the thought of being barefoot (or in my case, bare-socked) at a gas station – especially with my now swollen left ankle.  So, I channeled my inner Britney Spears (circa 2004) and pumped gas sans shoes.  But, I did have socks on and I didn’t go in the bathroom.  Haha…

The rest of the trip passed uneventfully and I made pretty good time getting home.  Home, showered, beered, and in bed by 12:30.
Until next time….over and out.

Coyote Ridge – Take Two

It’s my one-year anniversary with Coastal Trails….sort of.  This weekend is the Coyote Ridge race – the first race I did with Coastal last year (read all about it here!).  It was so much fun, I never left.  This year, I spent Saturday marking a good chunk of the course and Sunday working the race and sweeping the course.

Since I’m pretending I’m going to train for the North Face 50, I wanted to get a run in prior to marking.  I made sure to check on sweeping for Sunday before deciding on the additional mileage – I didn’t need a forty plus mile work out over two days….well, I do, but unfortunately I’m not ready for that.  Glad I checked, since the plan was for me to sweep the nearly 15-mile pink loop.  That meant a four mile pre-run, rather than a fourteen mile pre-run.

I got to Tennessee Valley in plenty of time to get in a four miler, but you never know, so I took off up Marincello as quickly as I could.  My trip up Marincello was pretty good…it had been a long time since I’d been up it, so it was like reuniting with an old friend.  I did notice there were random colored ribbons tied to wooden stakes throughout the trail….trail maintenance of some sort, I think.  Nothing I could do about it, but something that I thought could cause confusion, so I took a picture and made a mental note to let Wendell know when I met him a few hours later.

Before I knew it, I was at the top.  Sort of.  I planned to do Marincello – Miwok – Old Springs, coincidentally the yellow loop for the race tomorrow.  And, the top of Marincello, is the top of that hill, but there’s still a little more up before you hit the airport surveillance thing-a-ma-bob and head down to Miwok to Old Springs.  Since I was at the top, I was definitely in the fog or rain or whatever had started.  Luckily, I only tried to fall twice on the way down.  Thankfully, I decided I was going to be the cool girl on the trail with two ankle braces, so I didn’t hurt anything.

Once I hit Miwok, I jogged down until I got to the nastily steep part….and it was wet….lucky me.  After almost slipping a second time, I decided to gently walk down the hill.  Ugh…when did I become so chicken on these hills.

I’m a big fan of Old Springs, so once I hit that trail, I was definitely up for a jog.  It felt great….a little scary, but great.  Again, why am I so chicken….ugh.  I jogged down Old Springs and then wanted to get in four miles, so did a little bit on Rhubarb trail until I hit my four and then walked back to slimer.  At that point, the rain had started (or the fog descended into the valley….never can tell here), so I moved him into the main parking lot (rain starts and everyone takes off, haha – my day had just begun) to wait for Wendell and Lynnard.  As I was hiding from the elements, I made the decision to completely change into my long sleeved shirt – I was wet, sweaty, and cold.  Not a good recipe for marking in the rain.  I decided to risk the heat later on.

Wendell arrived and showed me what I’d be doing….not only marking from Tennessee Valley to Point Bonita, but also taking a second trip to the airport surveillance thing-a-ma-bob and Old Springs to mark the yellow only portion of the course.  And then back up the crazy descent.  What a good time I was in for…..well, I definitely needed the miles.  I let him know about the random markings due to the construction and I was off.

Heading up Marincello a second time was nearly as painless as the first.  For some reason, it’s the one hill in the headlands I can walk up like I own it.  Every time.  It was also nice to be headed uphill in the cold, wet weather that had developed.  It was pretty windy at the top, so I was worried about my pink ‘go straight’ sign and my yellow ‘go right’ signs.  By the time I had finished placing the yellow, the pink one had blown away…, I tied it to the tree branches instead.  A little sooner than I wanted it, but at least it would be there for the runners.

Off I was to mark the yellow, knowing both the trip down and the trip up would be an adventure.  Down because, well, I’m afraid of everything and it was wet.  And up because, well, it’s steep.  I only briefly questioned myself….not sure why…I know these trails and I’ve been up there tons of times.  Around the airport thing I went (different than I went before!), and down to Old Springs.  And then back up…..on my way up, I ran into a couple hiking that asked me if I was taking all the signs down.  Nope…putting them up.  The race is tomorrow.

Getting back to Marincello, I realized that my yellow ‘right’ and yellow ‘straight’ signs had blown over.  So, I had to be creative and find bushes to tie them to.  Not ideal, but at least they’d be there for the runners.  Once that I was done, I buried the yellow ribbons in my bag and headed off to mark the pink to Point Bonita.

Then, the rain stopped…and once it did…the beauty of the headlands came out….nothing like fall in the bay area.

Overall, the pink loop was uneventful…..I mean, it passed through the place on SCA where I busted my good ankle a few weeks ago and the place where I ran out of ribbon while marking Golden Gate, of course, not to be outdone by the turn I missed when I ran Coyote Ridge last year…..but, all that considered, pretty uneventful.  I blew up the turn I missed last year….hopefully no one misses it this year, headed up the road towards Point Bonita, passed the place I ran out of ribbons this summer, and spotted Slimer in the distance.  I made it.  Haha…..11.5 miles later, 15.5 on the day, and I was heading home.  Ready for a shower and some food…..But, I did capture this photo before I headed out….the beauty of a golden gate sunset is second to none…

Since I’ve been dealing with one injury after another (and then my foot turning blue), I’ve been good and followed Dr. Hal’s orders over the past few weeks and run on the flat, predictable trails of Woodside.  I’ve been home for about an hour and a half and I’m definitely feeling the hills from today.  Oh, the cramping that’s threatening.  I hate being out of shape….ugh.  I feel like I ran 30 miles, not 15.  And to think I actually felt fine after 17 miles of flat…..

Sunday brought an early morning – we were up and at Muir Beach before the sun.  Thank God for headlamps, haha.  The day started with me trying, and failing, to open the gate to the parking lot.  Luckily, Brian was with me and knew how to open it…or was strong enough to open it…or something like that.

I helped unload and then set up and worked registration – there were a decent amount of people registering day of, which kept us busy.  Lots of questions about bag checks and parking too.  

After a short stint at the start/finish helping with registration, I headed out to the Point Bonita aid station – of course it would be the one I never made it to…haha.  I got there, and wow….the view was amazing.  It pretty much put the views from Saturday to shame….the city behind the bridge, as the sun came up.  Always gorgeous….always breathtaking….no matter how many times I see it, or from what vantage point.  I mean, really, the picture doesn’t even do it justice.

We were the second aid station and runners were only hitting us once, so my time at the aid station was pretty short lived and passed quickly.  The runners were all in good spirits and many stopped to say hello and let us know how their run was going.  I spent a few minutes talking to one guy about the Umstead 100, a race he had run before and I hope to run someday.  A couple of them had questions about the course, and it was nice to being familiar with the trails and able to answer them.

Once we had wrapped at the aid station, I packed it up in the Xterra and headed out to sweep – the journey of nearly 12 miles begins with a single step.  Haha….I thought the first section would be new to me, as it was the part I missed the year before when I got lost and I don’t really run much on that side of Tennessee Valley.  But, I realized two things….first, I have been on those trails and second, I picked the right part of the course to lose (give me a walk up Miwok any day).  Oh the hills….it goes up and up forever….past the battery….and then up some more.  I vaguely remember running down the same trail during my first 50k….I think going down was just as brutal, with the added threat of falling and busting myself.  To keep the hike entertaining, I stopped to take a photo of a couple with their dog and to smile at a group of hikers who were impressed with how quickly I was hiking up the hill.

Going down the other side of the trail was pretty steep, but really nothing I should have had a problem with – if I wasn’t so afraid of the trails.  Stupid injuries.  But, I survived the descent and made it back to the Miwok junction, right where I found the course when I ran the race last year.  I’m pretty sure there was a moment where I threw my arms over my head, and exclaimed, ‘it’s the course!’.  I’m pretty sure anyone that saw me would have thought I was crazy.

This year I saw two rental mountain bikers looking at an upside-down map (oh Blazing Saddles…).  I stopped and asked where they were headed.  They were trying to find Tennessee Valley Road…at least it was something I could help them find.  And there were two other bikers that came up on us and offered to play tour guide.  I love the nice people I meet on the trails.

After that, I made my way up the steep part of Miwok for the second or third time that weekend.  At that point, I’d lost count.  I paused to cheer on some of the 50k runners who were on their way down.  Somewhere between there and Point Bonita, probably along Coastal, I ran into another rental mountain biker looking for directions….what was with them on Sunday?  But, I’ve been a tourist plenty of times and am happy to try to help.

I came up on the sharp left, the one I missed last year, and was happy to see that my gerry-rigged ‘wrong way’ sign held up.  Because of the wind on Saturday, and the importance of the sign, I created a tripod for it as opposed to the two we usually use.  Unfortunately, I found out later that one of the runners had missed it.  I grabbed all that stuff, headed up the hill, and on to the road.    

After being on the road for a bit, I wasn’t sure I’d ever been so thankful to see our car….well, I feel like I say that ever time I get tired and just want to be done.  But, regardless, I was thrilled to see our car – I was done!  I sent Brian a text to let him know I was on my way and took off.  I should have paused to take off my super cool ankle braces, but I just wanted to get back.  Ouch….bad decision.  As much as the braces had saved my ankles for the past twelve miles, my ankles were done with the braces.  But, I really just wanted to get back down to the finish….I knew I was late and they probably needed help, and selfishly, I was hoping there was a dry race shirt I could put on.  If I had thought I was cold before, I was definitely cold now.

After briefly following someone who felt the need to drive down to Muir Beach at 5 MPH (thankfully they pulled over quickly), I got back to the start/finish to find it mostly cleaned up.  And, yay there were extra shirts.  Hooray for a dry shirt….went a long way with feeling warm in the wind at Muir Beach.  We finished loading up pretty quickly….joked about my ability to load a tent without breaking my leg….and my text about running out of ribbons (just kidding this time ;)).

Ok….after two days on the trails, I am exhausted.  Until next time….

Escape from San Francisco

This past weekend, Brian and I escaped from San Francisco (and Fleet Week) to Susanville, home of Lassen National Forest and the famed Bizz Johnson Trail.  I was heading up to work the Coastal Trails races on Saturday and Sunday, and Brian was going to help on Saturday and run the 50k on Sunday.  Our Anniversary was Monday, so an adventure, a race, and some trails seemed like the perfect thing for us to do.

In an attempt to miss traffic, we headed out early Friday afternoon.  After sitting in traffic getting out of the city and enjoying some delicious fast food at Carl’s Junior, we made it to Red Bluff – pretty much the last large town before heading into Lassen.

The first part of the park/Rt. 36 was a trip through volcanic rock.  It was pretty cool and the sun was just starting to set, which resulted in some picturesque views.  I was able to catch the below just as the sun was setting……the photo doesn’t really do the view justice.

The winding roads took us through several little towns and villages that seemed to be ghost towns now, but I’m sure were booming railroad towns years ago.  Then the sun set and it seemed like the deer took that as their cue to come out and play….or try to get hit by cars….or both.  Too many close calls.  And, as Brian said – no one wins if we hit a deer….it dies and we have another busted up car.  Luckily, we made it into town safely.  
I had booked us at the only hotel available in town….Budget Frontier Inn, or something like that.  Based on the name, I had some idea as to what I was in for, and I had fun taunting Brian with ideas around what it might be on the last leg of our trip.  When we got there, I was definitely not disappointed.  The outside looked as I imagined and on my attempt to check in, I found the door to the lobby locked and pressed the doorbell multiple times before someone came to let me in.  Luckily, someone did eventually come and let me check in.  
On the walk to our room, we noticed at least one door that looked like someone had tried to kick it in…luckily, ours was in tact…or so we thought (we did find out later that side paneling left something to be desired).  We did have a door to an adjoining room that didn’t lock…awesome.  Luckily, during our years of traveling to cheerleading competitions and staying in sketchy hotels, my mother taught me well.  I just took the table and pushed it against the door – at least it would slow them down.   
Amongst other things, we also didn’t have a remote….where is there a TV without a remote?  Brian tried to find it and then I took a shot at it.  No dice….but I did find this guy.  Any ideas on what it is?  Creepy Sponge Bob?  Sponge Bob on drugs?  

But, despite the neighbors busting into their room at two am and waking us up with the noise, it ended up being fine.  We survived our three nights there and it wasn’t nearly as bad as the place in Rohnert Park a few years ago.  I mean, it didn’t smell like smoke to the point that we couldn’t stay there and there weren’t drug dealers waiting for rooms when we left.

Saturday morning started bright and early with check-in for the Express Half Marathon.  Even earlier for us since we didn’t really know where we were and needed to get coffee/tea before getting where we needed to be (the awesome hotel also didn’t have a coffee maker….what hotel doesn’t have a coffee maker??).  We had to be at the train depot at 6:15….so naturally we left the hotel at 5:15.  We were five minutes away….from both the depot and the Starbucks.  Only us…..

But, we got our coffee and tea and made it to the depot in plenty of time.  Again, narrowly missing some deer, but I digress….We worked check-in for awhile before Brian headed off to an aid station and I headed off to the finish line.

It was pretty cool to be near and see signs for a trail I’d read so much about.  When you run marathons for nearly ten years, it’s impossible to not hear about the Bizz Johnson trail.  Yes, I am a runner geek…deal with it :).  

I learned how to pull results – and managed to do so all day without causing any craziness on the computer….haha.  So, I spent the race pulling results, posting them, and reading out age group winners.  Since the only thing worse than the sound of my own voice is the sound of my own voice on a megaphone, I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy making announcements…..However, it was actually a lot of fun.  People are usually excited when they win awards, more so when they aren’t expecting it.  It took me back to getting my third place finish from this race in the mail.  Totally unexpected, but so fun.

Once the Express Half had finished (and I’d had my fill of BBQ), I headed back up to the depot to run check-in for the rest of the day.  I was surprised at how many people showed up to check in a day early – definitely helped with things the next morning.  There was also some sort of chili baking competition….and festival…and I don’t know what else going on in the parking lot.  What I do know is that there was a very loud band (playing good music, but still very loud…probably because they were right outside the door), and people really don’t know how to close a door.  The amount of times we shut the door to keep the noise down (and what little AC there was inside), people just kept coming in and leaving it open….come on, were you raised in a barn?!

Saturday night was pretty low key.  We tried to find an Italian restaurant, and thought we had, but unfortunately, it was closed.  So we ended up at some random pizza factory or something.  And recognized just about everyone in the restaurant.  We’d either checked them in for the race the next day or saw them at the race that morning.  I remember one lady saying, ‘hi, expo people’….haha.  Food wasn’t the best – the Round Table pizza from the night before was better, but, oh well.  Win some, lose some.  And really, I was ready for bed.

Sunday morning started off similar to Saturday, but with a later trip to Starbucks – thank god.  haha.  We started with check-in, until Brian departed for his race, then he headed out and I stayed at the depot to continue check-in for the shorter distances, until those were ready to start.

Once the races had started, I packed up everything from check-in and the depot and headed to the finish line.  First, I was glad I had the x-terra – not that my car was ever an option, but that’s a whole different story.  Second, I was glad I had loaded the Coastal van so many times….loading the x-terra was like a mini loading of the van….haha.  But, I got it all to fit.  We bid farewell to the lady at the depot, and we were off.

I spent most of my time at the finish line on Sunday like I spent Saturday….pulling results and announcing age group awards.  Again, it was a lot of fun….people were in disbelief that they had placed, so it was fun being able to make their day.  Brian had a great race – PR in his 50k and first in his age group.  It was fun to announce his name and give him his first place medal.

I also got to take Brian on a trip in the Coastal van….always a good time.  Thankfully, he’s good with directions and was able to prevent me getting us lost.  We did pass a car that had just hit a deer….really glad that wasn’t me.  We picked up all the aid station stuff at one main gathering place – I thought I was being slick and got the tables in…thinking we wouldn’t have to unload them again.  Of course, I forgot about the timing mats.  Not that slick….apparently I haven’t loaded the van enough times…haha.  Once that was done, we headed back to the finish line, broke down, loaded up, and were off…until the next race.

We celebrated Brian’s good run with some more Round Table pizza (what else do you eat in Susanville?), some wine, and an early bedtime.  We were really excited to sleep in the next morning, but disappointed our time away had come to an end.  Such a great weekend getaway…..

Overall thoughts – great trip, great race – highly recommend.  I’d pick a different hotel though…or as Brian said, maybe next time we can see if we can find a worse hotel to stay at…haha….

Until then, over and out….

Grizzly Peak Half

Another weekend, another race with Coastal Trails.  It was early, but I was excited for the race – whether I’m volunteering or running, Coastal always puts on a good race.  My knee still wasn’t where I wanted it to be and life, well, life continues to be assessed one day at a time. Based on that, it was safe to say I wasn’t in the physical or mental shape to complete a 50k.  But, I forced myself to get up and go to the race….I always have fun and I didn’t really care what distance I did, it was all about getting out there.

I managed to get to the start with minimal issues. I’m pretty sure the gps was confused with all of the highway over passes, but I made it.  I parked and checked in with no problem.  I picked up my 50k bib and changed it to the 30k.  While I hadn’t been specifically told not to run, I figured 30+ miles on a knee that was MRI’d last night wasn’t the best decision. It was colder than I had anticipated, so I took my shirt and bib and hunkered down in the car for a bit.  Got my shoes and ankle brace on, and all of my stuff out – gloves, headphones, phone, etc. and packed up my pack.  Didn’t grab any food….that would have been far too easy.
I decided to swing by the bathroom and then come back to my car, grab my stuff, and head out for the run.  I had twenty minutes….should be fine, right.  The line did move quickly, and I was back at my car with about three minutes to spare. However, either my gps clock was off or the race started early….I was maybe thirty seconds from the start and I heard Wendell’s telltale count down ending at ‘1’.  The race had begun!  Luckily, I was close and not too far behind. I also knew with the knee injury, I’d be walking a lot.
I had come out to preview the course twice, but I really didn’t recognize the first few miles.  I think I was still settling in from being late and mentally preparing myself to run. It was a lot of gentile up, if I recall correctly….but, I made it to the golf course before I knew it and was able to grab some electrolyte drink.  Of course I was feeling like my sugar was low on the day I forgot to bring gu.  But, the electrolytes did the trick and I was off….I jogged a lot more than I thought I would, down Selby, to Redwood, to Tower… quickly I had learned the names of new trails and gotten used to the rolling hills. I jogged most of redwood and walked up tower pretty easily.  I was in a groove and feeling alright. Knee was a little sore, so I had 95% decided I would stop at the half – probably a good idea to stick to that distance until my knee and life are resolved.
I got to the top of tower and turned down grizzly peak….at some point, I started passing people. I never pass anyone….but it was fun to be with other runners – say hello, or good morning, or nice job.  I was also surprised that I knew where I was going, after only a few trips to these trails. After grizzly peak, it was more rolling hills and a really steep, rocky descent.  There were so many times I was sure I was going to tumble to the bottom, but I made it. I had a guy pass me and say, ‘these stones suck’, why yes they do, my friend. Then there was a guy coming up the hill towards me…all I could think was, please let this man be looking for the quickest way back – don’t tell me I have to climb up this too. No such luck…..the closer I got to the bottom, the more people that were coming up.
Just before I got to the bottom, I had a guy tell me I was at the bottom – thank god….my knee did not enjoy that. I stopped at the aid station to grab some more electrolytes and was off up the hill, and down the hill, and up, and down.  Lots of rolling….it almost felt like I couldn’t settle in and I thought I preferred the somewhat more predictable, longer hills of the headlands, but looking at Strava later, I ran pretty well, so, I’ll take them.
The rollers ended on the fire road I ran with Ksenya and Arielle last weekend, so I felt good about that and was able to run most of it. Walk the uphill, jog down, became my mantra. The views were amazing and it was a nice ride for the most part. Close to the aid station I came up on another runner who had fallen.  A lot of people had stopped to check on her and help her up….trail running is such a community. It seemed like she was more starteled than hurt, and I was happy for her when I saw her blow by the finish line later to start her second lap.
I got back to the aid station and grabbed a hammer gel – yay, they had vanilla!  I didn’t eat all of it, but I definitely felt like I had ingested a bunch of frosting…..perhaps the caffeine in gu mellows that piece out. Haha. Either way, I began making my way up the steep stone hill….I was glad for two thing – one, the other runners I was with and two, the fact that I didn’t have to climb up this again. And I guess three, this was the last big climb in the race.
I got to the top, and from that point, it was pretty much down hill to the finish – maybe four miles or so…..a bit of rolling, but then, I decided if i was doing the half, this course was mine.  From there, I was able to run down most of grizzly peak, other than jumping out of the way of some horses, until I got to the golf course aid station.  Stopped to grab some more electrolytes and off I went. Past the golf course, past the bench I had lunch on last weekend, across a street…..passed a guy, back into the woods. At that point, it had to be about a mile back I and I went for it….one of my fastest trail miles to date….other than that moment where I thought I would bite it. Haha. Only funny because I didnt.  Around the corner, and to the finish.
I got my medal and found someone to change my distance from the 30k to the half, chatted with some of the other finishers, and grabbed a recovery beer while I waited for the sausages that had just started grilling.  While I waited, I met a guy who’d done this as his first half (doozy course for the first time) and was waiting for his wife to finish hers.  It seemed as though he has caught the bug and will do more races in the future.
I enjoyed the sun and got my sausage – it was delicious.  Great time, great race, kudos Coastal Trails, Wendell, and volunteers, for such a great race.
Until next time!

Montara Mountain Race Report

I know I promised a new year’s update, and at some point it’s coming….really.  But, in the interim, a race report from my most recent trail adventure.

Awhile ago, I decided to get back into volunteering at races, something I’d really missed since AIDS Marathon closed and I’d gone back to school.  After helping out at the Steep Ravine race a few weeks ago, I received a coupon for a race entry and decided the Montara Mountain 50k would be a perfect training ground for my 50 miler at the end of March.

What I didn’t count on was life getting in the way, a lagging injury, and a cough I couldn’t shake. My knee had been healing since my 50 miler during the 24 hour race on New Years, and I’d come down with something at the start of February, and to say that life has been crazy lately would be a huge understatement. Based on all of that, I had already decided to scale my planned 100 in March down to a 50, if anything at all. But, I’d already singed up for the race – might as well get myself out there and see what I could do. After all, the physical therapist told me I should try some longer distances.

I arrived at the race about 30 minutes prior to the start, plenty of time to get ready to get out there….much of the reason I love these races so much, so low key and easy. I got my bib and shirt, and then of course realized that I’d left my ankle brace in the car. Of course I did….luckily, it was just a short walk back to grab it and I was good to go. I made a short attempt at hitting the bathroom, but alas, the line was too long. Oh well, I knew I’d be passing through that area in a few short miles.

The race started out with a climb up the North Peak.  Much of the course was new to me, but I had run a piece of this section a few weeks prior to get a feel for it, but had to stop when it started pouring. The first four or so miles were an uphill climb to the peak.  It was tough…even with the headlands, that are anything but flat, being my main training ground.  Not only was it tough from an athletic standpoint, it was a single track with lots of people….traffic jam!  Luckily, everyone was in good spirits and very courteous to one another.

I knew I’d be walking all of the uphill and potentially some of the downhill.  My longest run since the 50 mile had been 11 miles….really, all bets were off. I started the race with one of my coworkers and we walked the uphill to the peak where we picked up our rubber bands to prove we were there. We walked part of it with a couple who told us about a friend of theirs running across the country a marathon at a time – I can’t imagine. We ran most of the way down, which was good for me.  Legs felt pretty good….knees were a little sore with the downhill and the rest of me was feeling it, but nothing out of the question. However, I had realized I’d probably be settling for the half that day.

I came through the finish line/aid station area feeling pretty good….said hello to one of the guys I’d volunteered with who was working the aid station, grabbed some electrolytes and was on my way.

The second hill wasn’t too bad, maybe a mile or so up and a mile or so down.  But, by that point, things were hurting, I was definitely not in the same shape I was at the end of December.  As I began the third climb, I was glad I had decided to tackle only 13.1 that day. It had also gotten warm, so I stopped at some point to pull off the long sleeved shirt and attach it to my pack, careful to rope it in so it didn’t meet the same fate as my shirt last weekend and slip out.

Climbing the third and final hill, I realized I really needed some sugar.  I ate a gu and continued making my way up, up,up….feeling muscles hurting that I’d forgotten I had for the past month or so. By the time I got to the top, I was definitely feeling it and walked most of the way down.  I jogged across a bridge and around a corner, and there it was….the finish!  The volunteer directing runners noticed my bib and tried to direct me to the 50k course.  As sad as it made me, I thanked him and told him I was just going to do the half that day.

I finished the race and enjoyed some time just hanging out at the finish line. It was a nice change to be there for the beginning of the grilling and the good beer rather than roll in at 4….haha. I asked the volunteers about changing my race distance and Wendell took down my bib number and asked about my 24 hour race based on the t-shirt I was wearing.  Asked if I had received my coaster, which I had, along with my third place award…fun package to get in the mail.

Happy with my efforts, I enjoyed a grilled sausage and a beer while chatting with some other runners.  Not a bad way to spend a Saturday morning.

As usual, Wendell and Coastal Trails put on a wonderful event – looking forward to next time!  Until then, over and out.

New Year’s One Day – Race Report

So, I was writing this in my head as I made multiple laps around Crissy Field – of course, now that I sit down to write it, I can’t really remember what I wanted to say…

Let’s start with the race itself and how I got there.  After the stomach issues at North Face, I needed to find another race to get in 50 miles prior to the Umstead 100 in March.  Googling local races, I found out that coastal trails had a twenty four hour race from New Year’s Eve to New Year’s Day – laps around Crissy field….not my idea thought on how to spend New Year’s, but it seemed easy enough.

The race was set up like your typical ultra….show up, get your bib and t-shirt, run the race.  This was a little different, since it consisted of one mile laps, there was a kind of camp set-up….start/finish, aid station, and tents….a bunch of the people brought tents for resting/hanging out.  There were others who brought chairs and coolers, and were set up for an all day group event. I set my bags down and made the decision to leave my pack with them, why carry it if I would literally pass by it every lap.

We ran in some serious wind for the first three hours….it wasn’t too bad on the stretch by the street, but the stretch by the bay was brutal.  However, the other runners were nice, sharing stories of races past and advice.  I decided to pick up my shuffle around lap three…I had twelve hours of serial podcasts that would keep me busy….unfortunately, they didn’t download for some reason.  So, I had a two hour loop of music that I hadnt listened to in ages…a close second, I guess.

Sometime around lap three or four, I heard someone calling my name.  I looked up to see my friend, Zena, from bootcamp.  She was there to do a few laps with her friend doing the six hour.  It was great to see her at the start for a couple of laps, and then out on the course at one point.

I easily made my way through the first fifteen or so miles, felt good and made sure to stop and eat every five miles or so.  The course had two paths by the aid station, and the veer right to the aid station was called ‘pit’.  I thought that was cool.  I had a good plan going thanks to some strategically placed cone markers….run parts of the pavement stretch (though, this stopped at mile 15 due to the tough terrain), run the first curve to the first cone marker, walk to the next cone, then run the next two….repeat to the aid station.

I stopped at some point to find out why my toe was hurting…turns out there was no reason for it, but I did find a blister on a different toe to wrap. Hopefully I dont lose a toenail in the near future.  By the time I hit 25, I was ready for some fresh clothes….I had dressed warmly for the morning chill, but was now sweaty and not warming up.

By the time I hit mile 30, I was far more sore than I wanted to be for only being at 30 miles.  I was also bored and getting tired of laps.  It was pretty bleak until about mile 35, where I think the Advil kicked in. However, my friend Joseph came down to say hello and do a couple of laps with me.  It was great to catch up and have some company to pass the time.  He also said something about the messages people had sent via email.  I hadn’t gotten any, so I assumed I didn’t have any yet.  He said that he had sent one…and that people on Facebook had mentioned they were sending them too.  I was surprised no one from the race had mentioned where to find them, but after stopping and asking, I was directed to a filing box holding messages.  And I had a bunch – very thankful for all of the hellos from friends and family.  A friend and some nice messages, great way to get through some tough miles.

Once I hit 35, I started to feel pretty good again.  Still sore, but I was able to take up my running plan again on the trail pieces of the course.  Loved getting the sudden burst of energy….it really made miles 35 to about 42 pretty bearable.  I checked my messages again and had a bunch more…many thanks – those made my run :).  I talked to the guy about the 100 miler I had planned and he asked why I wasn’t doing coastal’s….haha…maybe next year.  It might be fun to volunteer at this year though or get in another 50.  Somewhere in there the aid station had pizza…nothing like walking a mile and munching on a slice of cheese and pepperoni.  haha…

At 42, I was pretty much done…I hit 12 hours right around that point, despite having been shooting to get the full 50 in 12.  Stupid miles 30-35 or whatever they were.  I had been ahead of pace until then, but good learnings for next time.  Hopefully that will still be ok for the 100 miler.  I was also getting cold, despite having on one of my everest wool tops and hood.  It was warm when I was walking, but the clothes underneath not so much after sweating.  I told myself I needed to get to 50 before I stopped again….it would be a great reward in a couple of laps….clean clothes, bathroom stop, aid station break.

A lot of people seemed to disappear at this point…either to tents or cars or where ever to rest.  But, I was going to get my 50.  I ran into a guy dressed in flame print shorts and a shirt, who told me he was facing his feet forward, because one day, they would all be pointing towards the sky….well, that was one way to look at it.  haha.  I did various parts of 47-49 with a guy visiting from Dallas, specifically for the New Year’s race.  He had accepted the fact that he was going to walk the rest of the night, and had changed into hiking boots.  My right knee had been pretty sore since about 45, so hiking boots seemed like they would have been a good call at that point.  I was thankful for the company, as I was also really bored….give me the hills in the headlands any day…..  

I finally got to my last lap, and I had originally planned on changing some, eating some, maybe having some soup, maybe a rest in the car, and coming back out for some more laps.  But, I think on some level, I knew I was done.  I bid farewell to the pavement that was destroying my shins, to the slight hill on the first curve, the deep sand right before the first curve, and the sharp turn to the timing mat.  I stopped to snap a photo of my garmin once it hit 50….on the back straight-away that had been insanely windy during the early part of the race.

I crossed the lap mat post-50 miles and hobbled over to the aid station, desperate for some soup.  Somehow, I managed to hit it just as they ran out and they were making more.  Ugh…how do you run out of soup?  I wanted to stop and get any additional messages that had been sent, but I was so cold and sore and desperate for a few minutes of warmth and dry clothes, so I hobbled over to my stuff, grabbed it, and began a treacherous walk through the grass to my car.  In reality, it was probably 100 feet, but it was grass and not flat, and wow did my knee hurt.  I did notice multiple people sleeping in their cars as I passed by….I apologize for the headlamp I probably flashed directly at them….

Once I got in the car, I realized how cold I was and how sore my knee really was.  I wasnt sure what was worse, trying to stop shaking or having to push the seat in my car back and pull my leg in with hands because my knee wouldnt bend.  Once I got a better look at it, I realized it was swollen, and there was a weird swelling just above my knee on the side of my quad.  Gross….did I break my leg and miss it?  #ultrarunnerproblems.  At that point, I realized two things: one, I really didnt feel good and two, I was done for the night.  I opened the car door to get some air….to think a few minutes ago all I wanted was some heat.  Once I felt a little better, I pulled off my timing chip, put my headlamp back on and hobbled over to camp.  I asked the race director if I should give it to him and he pointed me in the direction of the check-in tent.  He asked if I was done, and I told him I got to the 50 I wanted and my knee was shot, he congratulated me on the 50 and wished me a happy new year.

I hobbled over to the check-in tent where she took my chip and gave me a medal.  It would have been fun to make it to midnight, to share champagne with my fellow 24 hour runners, and to walk through the night with the people I’d me throughout the day.  However, there is something to say for  knowing when it’s time to be done.

After turning everything in, I hobbled back over to the car where I proceeded to wait until I stopped shaking and was able to drive home.  Luckily, traffic was minimal and I got home pretty quickly.  It took me at least ten minutes to gather the strength to get out of my car….of course in that time, I found the slug that hitched a ride to the car on my bag.  Awesome.

Somehow, I got up the stairs to my apartment – perhaps the adrenaline was still flowing.  Once Brian greeted me at the door with some wine and I sat down at the kitchen table, trying to get up was a different story.  Literally hanging on to walls to get to the stairs and then using the railing to climb up the stairs…..I have no idea how I managed to shower and get back downstairs without falling and breaking something.  Super thankful for grubhub and their ability to let me order Sparky’s on my phone and have it delivered to my house.

After a brief New Year’s celebration and my Sparky’s dinner, I was ready to call it a night.  Another race in the books.  50 mile distance achieved.  Kudos to Wendell and Coastal Trails for putting on another great race.  And, what did I learn?  There are a lot of long runs in my future….double days are one thing, but I really need to work on staying stronger longer….pushing that wall out from now mile 30.  And, while this race was an experience, the ultras in the headlands were much more fun….so I see more of those in my future too :).

so, thats it for now….over and out for now.  hopefully a new years/2015 entry coming soon :).

Coyote Ridge 50k(ish) Race Report

So it was a day of the three times I thought about quitting and the one time I didnt…

The first was just before the .9 mile mark, coming through pirate’s cove the wrong way (well, according to me…it’s just different than how I usually do it).  I rolled my ankle, and it was pretty sore.  I spent sometime walking it out, and just decided to get to the aid station in Tennessee Valley, and reassess.  I got there, and it was actually feeling ok.  So, I continued up Marincello, and out towards the Bonita Cove turn around.  Such beautiful views along the way.

The second time was around mile 10, and I was feeling pretty good…I was actually ahead of the pace I wanted, legs felt good, and I was running down a gentle slope towards bunker road.  I got to the road, and didnt see any pink ribbons.  I looked down the road, across the road, and still didnt see anything.  The course had been really well marked, so I couldnt believe that there wouldnt be ribbons here….come to think of it, I couldnt remember the last time I saw a ribbon.  I knew where I was…..I just didnt know where the course went.  And of course it was the one area I didnt know very well.  But, I did know that the trail across the street would meet up with Miwok, which would take me to Old Springs, which is how I was supposed to get back to Tennessee Valley.  I confirmed with a cyclist, and was on my way…kind of like choose your own adventure, except it was choose your own course.  And really, who doesnt love an unnecessary climb up a hill over a mile long….

I got back down to Tennessee Valley and let them know what happened – I didnt really care about the distance, let’s be honest, it’s not like I was in it to win it or I had cut enough of the mileage to impact how I would finish.  But, I was concerned that there was some sort of check-in at the Point Bonita aid station, and they’d send out the emergency crews to find me if I didnt check in.  Of course, they had no idea if anyone was checking…just that they were not checking.  But I could ask when I got back to Muir Beach.

Then came the hot, slow, hike up Fox Trail…really slow.  Ugh…but, at that point, after rolling an ankle and getting lost, I was really just trying to get mileage in.  Hopefully I can work on the pace for the next two months and still be ok for North Face.

After Fox Trail came the long, steep, descent into Muir Beach…..pretty terrifying for some reason.  I’m not sure if I’ve always been afraid of that descent, or if this is a new development.  It got better towards the end, and I was able to run out to the bridge and across it, over to the aid station.  I asked the volunteer who was helping me about checking in at the aid station I missed….she didnt know either, but said I could work with the race director to figure out the distance when I was done.  I told her I wasnt as worried about that (my watch would give me the distance), I was more worried about being reported missing.

Then, began the long climb up and out of Muir Beach, and the reverse trek through Pirate’s Cove….and it was so hot…ugh.  There were three of us, and we all kept stopping and taking breaks.  But, one foot in front of the other does the trick, and I was on my way down into Tennessee Valley again.  The last time I thought about quitting would have been somewhere in Pirate’s Cove, when I realized that was technically another turn-around point.

But, I decided the miles were more important, and after a sandwich and a ton of liquids, began making my way up Marincello, around some random airport thing, and down a steep descent to Old Springs trail.  I felt pretty good on Old Springs and decided to jog….until I tripped down a step, and rolled my ankle again…..ok, maybe no jogging.  And then a second trip up Fox Trail….just as tough since I was tired, but it was far cooler and there was a bit of a breeze.  The trip back down into Muir beach seemed less treacherous the second time around, and I feel like I was able to run more of it.  Before I knew it, I was down and dodging people as I crossed the bridge to the finish line…..the time I didnt quit….

I had some water and animal crackers at the finish line, followed by a beer (amazing…), and hung out with the people there for a bit, before walking the mile and a half back to the car.  I opted for that instead of the shuttle since I lost some distance when I messed up the course.

And, now I’m enjoying a really bad horror movie and my favorite owl beer while my body contemplates exactly what I did to it today.  Though, I was able to enjoy some dinner, so I think I did better with the hydration since the roof of my mouth doesnt feel like sandpaper.  Other than that, I’ll be reevaluating the rest of my training plan….maybe look to spend an equal amount of time getting better at what I’m already good at and trying to get better at the stuff I’m not….and do some more long runs….