June 27, 2011

Effort, Renewed

Oh, hi. Is anyone still here?

I've been a lazy, lazy blogger. But, in my defense, aside from one very bizarre thunderstorm last week that resulted in three inches of snow (thundersnow!), it's been so very warm and beautiful here in the mountains that I have wanted to do little but be outside. My house is dirrrrty and I haven't been cooking much, but you know, where I live, when you run across a night warm enough to sit on the front porch after the sun goes down and enjoy a sweet tea vodka and lemonade, it's hard to get as worked up about my routine as I normally would. I just love summer.

I ran the second trail race a couple of weeks ago. Again, the courses (each of these races has two, a long and a short) were re-routed to an area with dry trails (all relative, of course, as I did at one point fully submerge my shoe into mud).  The new course followed a loop that's a nordic ski trail in the winter. Perfect, I thought. It'll be easier - cross country trails can't be that steep. I felt relaxed, strong, and even a little cocky as my friend Cathy and I warmed up at the start. Maybe I'll just keep going after the end of the short course and do the long course. Just for the hell of it.

You can see where this is going, of course.This race was tough. I'd go so far as to call it a motherfucking bitch, even. It was by far one of the hardest runs I've done in a long time. A deceptively mellow start quickly turned into what felt like an unending nightmare of long, steep grades, with downhills that felt no longer than a flight of stairs and offered little chance for recovery. It was only three miles, but it felt like ten. It sucked. My friend Julie, volunteering as a course marshal, was stationed near the end of the course and as I approached her, exhausted, she sweetly shouted out a few words of encouragement. As I passed her all I could manage was a mumbled, "I think I'm gonna throw up."

I didn't puke, though, and I somehow (just barely) finished in the top half of my age group, but I was thoroughly humbled. Since then I've worked harder in my weights classes and made a concerted effort to get out running at least three times a week, which has meant allowing myself to be dragged out on a couple of early morning runs (not my favorite time of day). Last night my husband's band played at a local music festival, and we had a few beers and a late night. All day today I felt lethargic and lazy, and kept finding excuses not to work out (yard work, grocery shopping, plucking my eyebrows). Finally, at 6:30pm, I had a stern little talk with myself and decided I'd just put on my running clothes and go, even if all I did was walk for half an hour. And I did walk for the first few minutes, but then I felt like running. And it was one of the strongest, fastest runs I've had this year. Go figure.

I'll keep going. I feel good. I've got another race this Wednesday, and I'm excited for it. But hey, cut me some slack, because I've got a lot of other things going on:

the weeds ... THE WEEDS!

the dogs and children need walking ...

little lettuce sprouts need tending ...

our state flower needs cultivation ... 

... and this boy's hair must be brought under control.

1 comment:

  1. Are you trying to eff up my training?? Sweet tea vodka and lemonade sounds amazing. I would get stuck on the couch for days with a pitcher of that beside me.

    How did Wed's race go?