Oooh…it only took three days, four attempts and a whole freaking case of blue Powerade but I finally snagged a mountain summit in Mexico! It wasn’t the one I had planned. Heck, it wasn’t even on our agenda until we started eyeballing the mountains that were kinda sorta “on the way” back to Mexico City. I did a little weather forecasting [ahem, Googling] while Jeremy napped for a hot minute after his Pico de Orizaba summit. A few Google’s later it was decided, La Malinche it was! Or Volcan Malintzin or Matlalueye…which ever name you prefer.
Whoa. I almost forgot all about this post! I’ve been writing a “currently” post every two months for nearly two years. This is the first one I didn’t have planned out in my heads weeks in advance. Not kidding. Usually I’ll be dealing with some random part of my life and think “oh, that’s definitely a ‘currently’ thing”. This time? None of that. None. Maybe it’s because I’ve been busy but really, I think it’s because I’ve been so focused on what’s happening in the exact moment I’m floating in that I literally have not taken the time to reflect. Maybe that’s a good thing, but I kind of miss looking back on the recent crazy of my life…so here goes!
The day after our three failed attempts on Iztaccihuatl we headed further east to Pico de Orizaba, the highest peak in Mexico [and 3rd highest in North America], topping out at 18,491. This beauty was originally the only mountain I planned to summit while in Mexico. I had whittled down my packing list to make room for glacier gear, borrowed ice climbing weaponry and had high hopes for an epic sunrise summit.
None of that happened.
Some mountain adventures lend themselves to long, elaborate stories. Others…well, others are such an in-the-moment experience that I cannot wrangle the right words to truly explain what happened. My week in the mountains of Central Mexico is the latter. Just during the two days we frolicked along the trails leading up to Iztaccihuatl we survived three thundery snowstorms, wandered way off trail twice + literally danced down the mountainside courtesy of some “energy pills”. There aren’t words to describe that…so, instead I’ll share photos + two video mashups of our time on Iztaccihuatl. You can decide if we had any fun!
I’ve been in Mexico for…two weeks? In that nugget of time it feels like I’ve seen a tiny bit of everything Mexico has to offer, so far. I say “so far” because I still have a full month of wandering left to do. My Spanish isn’t getting much better but I am getting more confident in using it. There’s no way around it — I stick out like a sore thumb here so the locals are quick to humor my attempts at communicating with them!
I was standing on the corner of a busy street in a foreign city. It was my first time venturing out into Monterrey, Mexico on my own and I wasn’t sure of where I was going, what people were saying or how the hell to cross this street where it looked like everyone was playing human frogger. On the inside I knew I would survive to find the park I was looking for but on the outside everything about me screamed “confused tourist”. I could feel myself trying to be invisible with my crossed legs, fidgety fingers + averted eyes. I knew I couldn’t blend in + I was yet to dig up to confidence to own my foreigner status so I instinctively opted for invisible.
As I pinned my Pittsburgh Half Marathon bib on my Runner’s Roost singlet on Saturday night as I was tossing together my race day essentials I had a tingle of remorse. I was supposed to be proudly rocking a Pittsburgh Marathon bib that flaunted my name while stashing road race snacks in my SPIBelt. Instead, I had backed down to the half marathon at the race expo. I kept telling myself it was the right choice…I was grossly under-trained for a full marathon + I had big plans that a race day injury would really kick in the face. Plus, I knew running 13 miles with Lynne would be more fun than running 26 miles alone. I refused to feel guilty for playing it smart!
While I really could not careless about the Green Bay Packers or the Wisconsin Badgers I have always been a pretty proud Wisconsin-ite. I love me some deep fried cheese curds + shake my head at California’s claim to happy cows. I’m from that broken mitten next to Michigan + I’m proud of it. However, I have exactly zero intentions to ever return to Wisconsin [or any Midwestern state, for that matter] for anything more than a visit. Just, no. The Midwest has its beautiful bits + pieces but the overall weather, culture and terrain just isn’t my jam.
Okay. We’re about to let the #realtalk roll. Phew. Tomorrow afternoon I’m head to Pittsburgh for a few days of harassing Lynne…and partaking in the Pittsburgh Marathon races. Initially I had high hopes for a crazy successful marathon. When I signed up I imagined a strong training cycle with speed work, confident miles, a PR + possibly a BQ. I was optimistic, and a little delusional. And then…reality happened.
More than once [all the times?] I opted for rocky trail runs over speedy road runs every. single. time. This lead to a fair bit of “oh crap” moments as the marathon date approached. Today I officially took a step back. My bib has officially been moved from the Pittsburgh Marathon to the Pittsburgh Half Marathon.
All good adventures have a healthy dose of “first time ever” and “happens every time”, right?! Yup, I think that’s a fact. If not a fact, then a solid correlation based upon last weekend’s events. On a bit of a whim a few weeks ago I snagged a bed at one of the 10th Mountain Division Huts, subsequently signing myself up for an “Epic Girls’ Weekend”. Going into this I knew one person — Jenn, a bubbly ultra runner I hadn’t seen in just over a year. Turns out I had a lot in common with the other ladies than I thought possible + our weekend of epic’ness did not disappoint.