Fun Fact…I have not completely forgotten how to run! Which is good, because just recently I threw a fair amount of money at some seriously terrifying race entries! Funny how all motivation and dedication disappears the minute you lose your mind and commit to crazy things!
The last 3 weeks have been busy, to say the least, and running was not even kind of a priority for me. First it was a week in Park City with Columbia, then a week of storytelling followed up by my first winter camping experience, then a week of…I have no idea what, but running rarely happened!
This week I remembered I have a 50 mile race looming in the not-very-far-off distance. I still haven’t wrapped my mind around the actual distance and I am avoiding the elevation chart as if it may jump off the computer screen and punch me in the face – which it probably should do. On top of that the Quad Rock 50 is described as “challenging” and pacers are not allowed. What was I thinking?! My longest distance ever, all alone, with thousands of feet of climbing and descending…I might die.
Or I’ll use those terrifying facts as motivation to get my butt in gear and go run!
There is nothing quite like the first mile time trial of the year to get you moving. On the warm up lap we all commented on the “torrential arctic winds” whipping across the lake. Boom, built in excuse! I really didn’t want to try…but I was there and everyone else was trying so I had to at least give it a shot. The mile started out feeling good and without a watch I was running purely by feel. The winds did a number on the last quarter mile but I still pulled off a 6:57, just 2 seconds shy of my PR! And aside from that last stretch I felt like I could have maintained that pace for at least another mile!
Last Saturday’s run was a painful reality check — Chris and I met up with Sean, a regular speedster, for a group run along the Cherry Creek Trail. It’s a paved trail with a few mini hills. I thought my legs were going to fall off! On paved, easy hills! I was going faster than I usually would (kept a 8:30ish pace for the 6 miles, with stop lights) but still…what the heck happened to my climbing mojo?!
Guess I needed to go spend some time on mountainous hills! And why wait? I headed to Boulder for a Sunday afternoon of playing on the trails leading up to Bear Peak. There was not ego stroking summit but my hamstrings felt the climb so I’m calling it good! I also got a quick lesson on how to navigate an iced over trail when all fancy traction is left in the car. I’m smart like that. And spoiler — I still have all my front teeth and I’m not sitting on an inflatable donut to cushion a broken tailbone!
My legs were feeling the weekend but I was determined to keep my running mojo and wrangle that “45 miles a week feels awesome” mindset so on Tuesday night I drove over to Matthews/Winters for a trail run in the dark. I have run this trail many, many times alone and in the dark with Paula, but talking myself onto the trail was incredibly difficult. I knew the trail, I knew I wouldn’t die, I knew it’d be worth it…but man, getting out of my car was hard! As suspected, 4.5 miles later I was still alive and feeling accomplished, albeit a tad tired and cold!
A semi-fast speed work session, morning loops at Wash Park and random cross training to close out the work week is doing a great job of confirming my running mojo is back…and maybe here to stay! Let’s see if I can pull off a decent back to back this weekend…which should be extra fun in all the snow we’re getting. That is not sarcasm – I’m excited to go play in the snow!