Burning River 2019

I’ve been putting this post off, in part because I don’t even know where to begin. I’d heard of this race, having long wanted to do ultras, but hadn’t ever really considered it. Then BRF did it last year and I crewed for him and I absolutely fell in love with it. Became obsessed with the idea of doing it. Not just because he had done it–we have a friendly ‘anything you can do I can do faster’ competition–but I just fell in love with the atmosphere of the race, the race logo, the challenge of the race itself. So I set my sights on running it myself this year. I did a few other races put on by Western Reserve Racing at the end of last year, and I know that they run top notch but not always easy trail events. I registered for my 50-mile venture. I had friends offer to crew for me. I started training. Decided to do a 100k in June to boost my confidence for Burning River (I was really worried about the strict 15-hour time cut off). I did a lot of trail miles. And honestly, by the time the event came I was just ready to do it so I could stop thinking about it.

I felt confident going in. My crew was prepared and I was excited for the adventure. I started off a little too fast–but the first mile was on road and adrenaline took over. I eased up when we hit limestone and trail but settled into a nice pace. My goals were (A) finish before the cutoff, (B) beat Sean’s time (14:22…), and (C) beat 14 hours. I was cranking out well ahead of my 14 hour goal for a good many miles, and was thrilled. I take it one mile at a time when I’m out there–easier to just forget what the miles before held and focus on the one I’m in and doing the best I can with it. This strategy served me well at Eagle Up so I’m going to keep working with it. And honestly, I felt amazing. I was in my element. I was so happy and proud and I felt really really good. Until around mile 40. A lot of the last 10 miles was uphill. I was exhausted. I ran out of water with miles until the next stop. I was struggling. There was so much uphill and so little down that I wasn’t able to make up time and my pace was falling…I was relying on the time I’d banked from earlier miles to help me meet my goals. I eventually pulled out my phone and sent a desperate message to Sean–I needed encouragement and to get out of my own damn head. Quitting wasn’t an option, or even a real consideration, but I sure as hell was questioning my life choices. He talked me down, amped me back up, and I eventually got out of the literal woods. However…they had to change the course this year…and in doing so it was lengthened–by over a mile. So I didn’t just have 50 miles (or 50.2 as they usually do…) I had 51.2.

At the mile 45 aid station I was thrilled to see pizza and soda. I was starving. I needed salt. I needed a caffeine jolt. I needed to stop for a damn minute, though I wouldn’t let myself sit down for fear I wouldn’t get up. I was struggling so much at that point and my feet were killing me, I could feel the blisters. I ran into a more experienced ultrarunner friend who has been a great source of encouragement and inspiration on his way back out to finish the back 50 of his 100, and he told me I wasn’t alone, miles 40-50 had been hard on everyone he encountered, including himself. That made me feel a little better. I’d come this far, I sure as shit was going to finish the damn thing. I set back out for the last stretch and met up with some others who were feeling some kind of way about the extended distance. One of them had done the race with the old course and told me that this year was much more difficult, which also made me feel better. I passed a couple of other runners I knew that were starting on their back 50 and seeing them encouraged me. As we continued though, we started to feel every step of the extra distance and I was so. angry. for that last mile. I was literally swearing the whole time. I was so. angry. when I crossed that finish line. Because of the extra distance, my official time was 14:10–unofficially my 50-mile time IS under 14 hours, but there’s no official record of it.

My BFF Kelly, her husband and their kids were there to surprise me, along with my crew chief Abbie and our friend Naomi. I feel bad that I was so grumpy at first. I was just in miserable pain and annoyed that I was so close to the time I wanted but couldn’t make it happen with the extra distance. Within a few minutes I had calmed down and was just happy to be done. My feet were a mess–the podiatry students wouldn’t even pop my blisters, just bandaged me up to make walking slightly more comfortable (it was not…I hobbled like a mofo). I got my Wendy’s fix (Asiago Chicken sandwich, large fries with chocolate frosty for dipping, and vanilla Diet Coke). I took a super awkward bath (couldn’t stand in the shower) to get cleaned up the best I could and crashed into bed. The next morning Abbie and I went to the 100-mile finish line party for breakfast burritos and beer. I talked to my more experienced ultrarunner friend (having finished the 100-miles) and got some advice about the races I’m looking at for next year. I told him I wasn’t sure if I would be back to BR next year or not…I might need a year off to recover from it, but that I would definitely be back at some point. He smiled and told me to give it a few days, I’d probably change my mind. He was right…by Monday morning I was already talking about next year and looking forward to it. This was by far the hardest thing I’ve done up to this point in my life…and I loved it. There is something about this event that has just enamored me. This is *my* race. I want to go back. Not sure what event I’ll do next year–not the 100. I don’t want it to be my first, that much I know–but kind of waiting to see what they do with the course. I might be talked into the back 50 (starting in the evening and running overnight to the 100 mile finish line) if the course stays the same, but I don’t know yet. I also need to see what other races I want to do and see how the training lines up and plays out. But the one thing I know is that I want to go back and do it again.

Me at the finish. (Clock time represents the 100-mile time–they started over an hour before us.)

Eagle Up Ultra Race Recap (finally, I know)

This race…it was amazing. My original plan, back in the day, was to go for 50 miles. Doing what BRF did last year–50 here, 50 at Burning River. By the time my coach and I were laying plans though, I had 100k in my mind. Twice as far as I’ve ever run in my life (and the 50k I did was about 5 years ago…). For a long time I said 50 miles was my goal, then I gradually started to leak that I was going for 100k.

Set out on Friday to claim a campsite–needed a home base for our tent on Saturday–and to check into the hotel. Stopped for some delicious treats from Oakmont bakery (that ended up fueling me through the whole weekend, money very well spent). Stopped at packet pickup, set up the tent, grabbed a drink and some dinner, and got our stuff together at the hotel.

Went to bed. Got up stupid early to get ready and get to the grounds with our stuff. Met up with friends, took some pictures, used the bathroom–all that good pre-race stuff. I was sooo happy when we finally got started. I knew that I would not run the whole thing, but I wanted to run as much as I could manage, and I did run the first 2 laps without stopping. Gradually started working some walking in after that–especially since I then started stopping by the tent and aid station between laps.

Me before starting Eagle Up Ultra…

I’m super focused when I’m in a race type setting. Even though I didn’t have real time goals I was shooting for, I still wanted to do the best I could and not dawdle at the aid stations or stop for too long. The longer you are running, the more imperative it is to keep moving–stopping for too long makes it harder to continue on as your body wants to give into the rest. So I did my best to just keep moving. Once I hit my half way point I started to take a few more pictures on course to check in with people on Instagram.

Me smiling for the camera…
Me questioning all of the choices that have brought me to this moment…

BRF Sean happened to be at the aid station with our friends when I was stopped before my 50 mile lap. We joked for a minute, toasted (his beer and my jello shot) and then I dashed off saying “I have to crush your 50-mile time now”, which I did, by more than an hour. (I know, I know, he had a hernia‚Ķ) Continued kicking ass and taking names. Said goodbye to the friends that had come to help out and “crew” for us (running back and forth to the tent to save us trips and stops). Before you know it, I was on my last out and back. I walked almost all of that. I was on my way in and I ran into Sean again and got a big hug–he couldn’t wait any longer he said, he needed to keep moving. Then I dug deep and ran into the finish. Almost shoved a guy out of my way because he wouldn’t move.

Me at the finish with my medal…

I far far exceeded my own expectations for this event. My goal was primarily to finish–I don’t believe in having real hard and fast time goals for your first stab at a distance. I had loosely set 20 hours as my B goal, and 18 hours as my C goal, though, to give myself something to shoot for, and I ended up finishing the 100k in just over 17 hours. (17:00:17 to be exact). I found out a couple of weeks after the fact that this earned me 2nd place in my age group–which floored me. Guess I’m kinda okay at this ultrarunning thing.

Swag…

Eagle Up Ultra is a truly awesome event. It’s very well organized and well-run. Aid station is amazing. The RD is an ultrarunner himself so he totally gets it. It’s a very friendly event and great for first timers and experienced runners alike. Highly recommend.

Recovering

I’d forgotten what it was like to race distance. I spent last year chasing speed and racing a lot, I was often sore, but it would fade pretty quickly. So far during this training cycle, my recovery has been quick. Not this week.

Normally I’m tired and sore by the end of my long runs on Saturdays, but I’m good to go on Sundays with very little residual soreness. Well I definitely raced on Saturday, because I felt it on Sunday morning. Still, I ran.

Monday morning–oof! Between racing Saturday’s marathon, running on Sunday, and 5+ hours of travel after Sunday’s event…I was way more sore than I expected to be. Walking was a challenge. I took the elevator at work because 4 flights of stairs was just not an option. Anytime I had to get up from my desk–ouch! It was the most satisfying thing–I knew that I had not just run, but actually pushed myself and raced.

I felt a lot better on Tuesday, but I skipped my kettlebell class for yoga at home because I was still a little sore, and had a lot I needed to catch up on from the weekend. Tried to run a few easy miles on Wednesday and that was extremely slow going. I didn’t force it, though. My body needs to move, but this week is a cutback and meant for recovery. Did the stairs at the Cathedral with a friend last night, and back on schedule for class tonight, and runs this weekend. We’ll see how they go.

It’s really interesting to me how training for ultra distances has impacted me. I struggled with cutback weeks last year. They literally made me crazy. But the high volume has eased that. I love it, and I feel good, but my body is happy for the break when I get it. I don’t feel like I’m going to crawl out of my skin. It’s become easier for me to ease up on my training, or substitute something more gentle (or at least different). I’m listening to my body more instead of constantly trying to push, and I feel like it’s paying off.

Happy weekend, friends. More soon.

Training Recap–week 12

Last week was a mixed bag–the transition to spring hits me hard every year. I don’t know why–things don’t come back to life that quickly, and temperature changes don’t actually cause sickness–but somehow I end up fighting something off every year at this time. This week was no exception, but I still had a really solid week of training.

Monday–Rest Day–Did a Yoga for Distance Runners show that I have saved on the DVR. Definitely going to incorporate this more often.

Tuesday–Kettlebell Day–cancelled. I was really really run down by the time I got through work. Figured I’d rather rest and be okay to run (hopefully) on Wednesday than power through and force myself out of a run.

Wednesday–5 mile progression run. Had a friendly challenge going within our training team to see who could come closest to our paces for our speed workout. This was a really good thing for me. I felt great and would’ve pushed too hard out the gate if I hadn’t had this challenge to reign me in. Nailed the first two paces within 2 seconds. Went all out on the last one because I was feeling good and it felt good to push that hard near the end of a workout, still came in within 10 seconds of goal pace.

Thursday–6 miles easy. Had a great run through the city with my friend Lara. We push each other appropriately, and generally speaking always have good runs together. Thursday night runs have been much better lately, and I’m pretty sure the fact I usually have company is part of the reason.

Friday–Kettlebell Day–cancelled again. Allergies were going haywire all day at work and I just felt lousy. Again…I’d rather be able to run tomorrow than force through a workout tonight.

Saturday–24 miles easy. Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? I was having a bad morning. A really bad morning. Comedy of errors trying to get to the run, coupled with a complete emotional breakdown. Everything just kind of compounded. Normally I don’t mind a few miles by myself, though I try to get them in before the group run so I can finish with my friends. Today I was thankful I didn’t run a single mile alone, I could not have handled having that much time to think without distraction. I pushed pace on poor Lara and Abbie during our first 4 miles because I was so upset it was hard to hold back. But I got some much needed therapy and I finished my longest run in over a year. Watch was dying (just one of the many things that went wrong that morning…) so I stopped pausing it at stop lights, no idea what my real paces were, but I got through it and felt pretty okay. Ran up Forbes again, near the same mileage that I will hit it during Pittsburgh, so that makes me feel good about my odds on race day. And we’re running the Birmingham Bridge–my nemesis–on a regular basis so I’m becoming somewhat desensitized to it. Also did this whole run on macadamia nut butters from F-Bomb, first time I’ve used all fat on a run and I felt really good. Took a packet every 10 miles (roughly every 2ish hours) and that seemed to work well.

Sunday–10 miles easy. Easy 10 miles on the schedule, so I ran the Mill Creek Distance Classic half marathon. This is one of my FAVORITE races. It’s tough–19 hills over 13 miles. The park it is in is absolutely gorgeous though, and I really do love awful things. Wasn’t sure how it would go after 24 yesterday. Definitely felt my quads on the first downhill. But I was solid and strong out there. Really steady, and honestly didn’t walk that much, all things considered. And I can tell because even though I ran 24 miles the day before, I set a 4-minute course PR! I can’t get over how strong I’m getting this training cycle. Followed this up with a trigger point class with my training team. That was awesome and I’m rolling my feet on the lacrosse ball as I type. Definitely going to work some of that into my routine.

Big races coming up next weekend. Not goal races–training runs with medals, but I have a really good feeling about the marathon on Saturday. More soon, friends.

Keto Continues

So an update on this little experiment. I’m continuing with it. Honestly, I feel really good. Haven’t been as strict lately, putting a little “life into living” as they say, but here are some observations as I continue this journey:

I’m not hungry all the time. I’m doing some high volume training. Previously, even with lower volumes of training I was a bottomless pit. Hungry ALL the time. I definitely have moments where I’m ravenous, but it’s not like it was. It is possible for me to be sated for relatively long periods of time.

I don’t have a lot of cravings. Not saying I never crave carbs. I do sometimes. A couple weeks ago I would’ve cut someone for some pasta. So I had some. And then I was good and I didn’t want any more. But by and large–I don’t crave much. I like the things I’m eating. It’s not a struggle to avoid sugar/carbs. If I *really* want something, I have it. Going off for a meal here and there will not kill me, so I don’t stress about it, but I also don’t have the desire to go off plan very often. We’re a month out from Easter and I’ve not had a Reese’s egg or Cadbury mini-eggs (my favorites) because I haven’t wanted them enough to get them. *shrugs*

My recovery has been amazing. Will be interesting to test out when I’m racing as opposed to running for training, but I’m not nearly as sore as I have been in the past, even though the volume of my training has increased quite a bit. I can do my long run, or speedwork and be ready to run the next day. I can lift at kettlebell, and be fine running 2 days later (when my DOMS was always the worst). There’s a little soreness, I’m still challenging myself, but not like it was.

I’m less “crazy” about food than I’ve ever been. As someone with body image issues who is also into distance running and interested in health and fitness and all that good stuff–food has always been a big topic for me. Trying to balance wanting to lose weight with being constantly hungry was a major challenge for a long time. Counting macros really worked well for me, but at a certain point the math made me absolutely nuts–1/2 a serving of this, 2/3 serving of that…just to hit my numbers got old. This is so much easier on me mentally–which I never thought would be the case. I don’t have to figure out how to “make” it fit, I just acknowledge that it doesn’t and make the decision to either have it or not. Less math, less measuring–so much happier.

My athletic performance is improving. My runs have been pretty great lately. I’m holding decent paces on my long runs and pushing pace on my shorter runs feels really good. I can go longer without fueling, and I’m transitioning from the chews to F-Bomb macadamia nut butters when I do need a boost. So far, so good. It’s not like I’m intentionally pushing myself to go longer without fuel either, I just don’t feel the crash or the gnawing hunger like sensation I used to get. I got 11 miles into a long run before I thought “I should probably take something” a few weeks ago.

I also want to note that I’m doing a much more real-foods Keto approach than what is trendy now. I’m not using a lot of sugar substitutes or keto-friendly fake foods. If I’m going to go off plan, I’d rather have the real thing and be satisfied by it. No “low carb” pasta, I just either have pasta or I don’t. No “keto-friendly” desserts or treats–I just either eat the cake or I don’t. This feels much more sustainable (and wallet friendly) to me, and I think it’s part of why I’m actually satisfied when I eat–I’m not trying to trick myself, I’m just eating food. So far, I’m sold on this. It feels sustainable to me, especially in the way I’m approaching it.

That’s all I got for now friends, have a great weekend. More soon.

Training Recap–Week 11

Must have kicked whatever was ailing me the previous weekend, I felt great all week.

Monday–rest day. I want to start doing the Yoga for Distance Runners that I have saved on the DVR on Mondays, but today was not the day. I went to a fueling for runners seminar after work, which was interesting, but didn’t tell me much that I didn’t know (bear in mind I’ve been at all of this for awhile and am studying for my nutrition certification for this round of CEUs). The dietitian who spoke is also against keto, which is working really well for me (more about that later this week). I wouldn’t push it for everyone (especially not all athletes) but it’s working for ME, so I’m staying the course.

Tuesday–kettlebell and warmup mile. Got to run my mile outside–yay! Felt good (and different!) to push my pace some outside for the warmup. Chased it with some foam rolling and then a really great class. Moderately heavy weights, and I got to work on single bell squat form with a heavy non-racked position. Need to do more of that to get my confidence up for double bell squats.

Wednesday–easy miles. Had 4 on the schedule, but a few friends needed 5 so we did the Team RWB run and then tacked on some extra. It was a beautiful night to run around the city and I felt really good.

Thursday–easy miles. Again, 4 on the schedule, but my friend needed 5 so what’s one more? Went up to North Park in the evening wearing a tank top and capris! So excited for that weather. I miss running in some heat. Loving having company for these Thursday night runs, makes them go much better.

Friday–kettlebell and warmup miles. Hit the treadmill because of the wind, but it was still a solid warmup mile. Foam rolled a little. Awesome class. 10 round ascending ladder (adding an exercise each round). I don’t always finish these, but today I did! I got through all 10 rounds! I’m really proud of my effort and how strong I’m getting.

Saturday–10 miles easy. Instead, I ran the Shamrock Shuffle half marathon in Harmony, PA. I like awful things, I really do. Ask my friends, I have a special place in my heart for the hilliest most awful races. Ogden is one of my favorites. Mill Creek is another favorite–I’ve had friends swear off both and ask what I see in them. But this race makes even me question my judgement. I remembered part way through why it’s been 5 years since I last did it–you need awhile to forget about it before you can go back. At any rate, I ran it with a couple of friends which made it much more bearable, enjoyed my jello shots, survived the freak snowstorm (hitting just as we were about to come down the most massive hill), and ended up with a 23 minute course PR! It wasn’t easy, to be sure, but I was definitely not racing. I wasn’t forcing pace (well…maybe a little at the end). I am so freaking proud of that race–I’m so much stronger than I used to be. I can’t get over it. I’m really proud of how far I’ve come and all the work I’ve put in to get here.

Sunday–8 recovery miles. Mentally I was not interested in running today. But we all know that wouldn’t stop me from doing it. Met up with my friends and got it done. Quads were trashed from the hills on Saturday but I still felt remarkably good while I was out there. Pace was solid, which made me really happy after the previous day’s workout. Just another sign of how much stronger I’m getting.

Word for this week–STRONG. I felt really good and really strong, and I can see my progress. Great feeling coming out of a cutback week, bring on the next 2 weeks of training!

On being an athlete…

Okay. Hard post to write, but lots to process, so here goes…

I really, really struggle with seeing myself as an athlete. I was a fat kid and have struggled with my weight and body most of my life. Even since I fell in love with running it hasn’t been easy, in fact it has complicated it even more in some ways. I’ll have spells where I’m good with myself and don’t give it a second thought, but ultimately I still see myself as a fat girl. By and large I’m to a point where I can say that I don’t care and mean it–I’ll run around the city in my sports bra because I don’t really care what other people think. If they don’t like my body they don’t have to look. They certainly can’t say anything to me that I haven’t said to myself a hundred times already that day.

This is one of the beliefs that holds me back the most, and it’s not something I can ignore, try as I might. A hundred times in a hundred different ways I’m confronted with the dissonance between my self-perception and reality. I reach for sizes or order race shirts that are too big because I can’t get it through my thick skull that I’m not as big as I used to be. I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror or see a picture and am caught off guard because it doesn’t match my usual self-critique. I frequently comment to my BRF that anyone who doesn’t know me wouldn’t think by looking at me that I work out at all, let alone as much and as hard as I do. He of course rolls his eyes and tells me (gently, of course) that I’m an idiot and to get over myself.

It is this very thing that smacked a little bit of reality into me a week or so ago. We have some new hires at work, and management does a little introduction game early on so they get to know us. The ice-breaker this round was Truth and a Lie. We had to present a truth and a lie about ourselves and see if they could guess which was which, without knowing us at all. So, armed with the belief that I don’t “look” like a runner, I said I was training for a 50-miler and have 2 dogs, sure they’d call the 50-miler the lie. They did not. Three people who have never seen me before and met me only moments earlier believed out the gate that I’m training for a 50-mile race. What the what?

So I’ve been wrestling with this demon for the past couple of weeks, trying to get my head around the fact my self-perception is so messed up. I know this is one of the things that holds me back as an athlete. I write myself off all the time, if only in my head, as being ‘pretty good for a fat girl’ or ‘kinda fast for a fat girl.’ But here I am training to run these crazy stupid distances and the unbelievable thing is the distances and why anyone would do that in the first place, NOT that *I* am doing it.

I’m working harder on shifting my self-perception to athlete. If people I don’t know from Adam can believe I’m an athlete, why shouldn’t I? I can honestly say that my keto-experiment (which I also need to update you on, but that’s another post) is coming from a pure place of athletic experimentation and not just an attempt to lose weight. I am LOVING this training cycle. I guess I just need to put it out there and be real about the ongoing struggle. One step forwards, two steps back. The little dance called life.

More soon, friends.

Training Recap–week 10

Damn. 10 weeks into this training cycle. Last week didn’t go as smoothly but was still a solid training week, miles in the bank, and inching closer to my goals.

Monday–rest day. 10/10, would do again. So thankful for my rest days this cycle.

Tuesday–Kettlebell and warmup mile. Pushed pace a little on my mile, foam rolled–something I’m trying to tie to my warmup mile habit to ensure I do it with some kind of regularity. Class was then some crazy bullshit (in a good way, of course) and I pushed heavy since my partner was back. Realized that I want to really work on squatting deeper with heavier weights–might need to go a little lighter until I get my form perfected to do it, but I think it will be worth the concentrated effort.

Wednesday–Speedwork, easy miles + pickups. Kept it on the treadmill, it was cold and I find it easy to do speedwork on the treadmill in the winter. 3 Easy miles at 12 (also my recovery pace for intervals), followed by 6 rounds of 1 min hard, 2 min easy. Hard pace was 8:34. That first minute is always a little bit of a shock to me, but after that I relax into it and trust my body to keep up. Thankful for the short bursts–not sure how long I could hold that pace, but I can do anything for a minute.

Thursday–5 miles easy Stairs at the Cathedral of Learning. Knowing that I got a little bored and frustrated with my last training cycle, coach told me at the outset that if I wanted to throw in stairs this go round–Thursdays were my best workout to swap out, and this week I finally took advantage of it. I LOVE doing the stairs at the Cathedral of Learning. 5x up the 34 flights in just about an hour (ever so slightly over). I really wanted 6, but I slowed down so much in my last round that I knew it would probably be a bad idea to go again. Next time…

Friday–Kettlebell and warmup mile. Got to run my warmup outside, followed by foam rolling. Another awesome class. Really digging the variety in the workouts and the warmups and cool downs. I know I’m getting a really good quality stretch session in at least once a week.

Saturday–22 miles easy 17 miles. Had some major GI distress during the run that just continued to get worse, so I cut it short instead of suffering even more. Really struggled with the decision, because I’m stubborn about hitting my numbers, but friends talked me down and ultimately I knew it was best to give my body time to sort itself out. (Definitely the right move, as I crashed HARD when I got home, didn’t sleep, but didn’t move much, which is abnormal for me even after a long run.)

Sunday–12 miles easy 5 miles. Felt a lot better so I headed out to run 12-14 with my friends. Body still wasn’t 100% though and had GI discomfort early so I called it at 5. Felt significantly better than Saturday though and was productive with the rest of my day. Hoping that I kicked whatever it was/is that is wreaking havoc.

Cutback week this week, so hopefully that will give my body adequate time and rest to recover from whatever the hell happened over the weekend. More soon, friends.

Training Recap–week 9

Solid training week. Crushed February with my highest mileage to date–150 mile month! March is about to get nuts if my very basic math is right…just hang tight for the ride.

Monday–Rest day.

Tuesday–KB class and warmup mile. Solid warm-up. KILLER class. Heavy deadlifts (oxymoron, I know, is there any other kind of deadlift?), squats to upright rows and dead swings (the dead swings killed me tonight, no idea why), then pushups, ropes, and a goblet squat-press-swing complex followed by some BS on the ropes. Love getting my ass kicked. <3

Wednesday–Marathon pace tempo run. Yes it was beautiful out and I ran on the treadmill. I sometimes get so laser focused on the Plan that I forget I am allowed to move things around if I want to. So I ran inside on the treadmill to make sure I could hit my pace. Not sorry though, it went well.

Thursday–7 easy miles. Needed 7.3 to hit 150 for the month, so that’s what I set out for. Went to North Park solo after work and it was a really solid run. I was in a zone. I ran parts of the course that I seldom run when I’m alone. Some GI distress that forced a couple breaks and some walking I wasn’t planning, but got it done and overall I’m really proud of how it went down.

Friday–KB class and warmup miles. Kept the warmup mile easy, just didn’t feel like pushing. Another great class. LOVE getting my ass kicked. About a thousand lunges (that I knew I would feel on Sunday’s run…). Need to invest in some of those cloth bands because they are the shiz.

Saturday–20 miles easy. Ran the first 10 with the big group, and I was totally feeling it. I pushed pace some on the group because I was just in the zone. Pushed pace on my friend for most of the next 5 miles though I was starting to fade. The final 5 by myself were rough, but I got through them. Longest run since 2017. I felt very strong and accomplished. I LOVE getting my distance back. This is truly my happy place.

Sunday–10 miles easy. Went to play in the woods with some friends for the first 6 miles. So much fun. BRF suggested it (even though he HATES trail) and even HE had fun. The weather was great, the trails were pretty perfect (aside from some majorly down trees from the recent wind storms–but you’ll have that). Legs felt good out there while we were running, but I could tell my quads were trashed when I tried to get out of the car. Still…I needed 4 more miles. So I gave my legs a break (as much of one as I could anyway) and finished the 4 on the treadmill several hours later.

My body is tired, bring on that rest day, but damn is my soul happy. More soon, friends.

Mind is racing

Another month done. 150 miles for February, highest mileage to date. It makes me so happy to have that monthly uptick. Three months in a row of 100+ mileage. I can’t wait to see my March mileage, it’s going to be sick…

Still short staffed at work. Working OT, making sure my crew hears me on the phones so they know I’m in the trenches too. Fingers crossed that the next round of new hires makes it through training and sticks with it. I’m cautiously optimistic. Random days off help a little, but I still have stuff I need to accomplish and I really miss that hour of my day. Always more to do. Trying hard to get and stay on my grind.

Toying with the idea of some other dreams and hustles, but now is not the time. An interesting message in today’s live for the moment culture. And it’s not about being ready–I may never be “ready”. And it’s not about “having time”–I may not ever “have” the time. But I can assure you, right now, I do not have the energy to make it happen, and I don’t want to set myself up for failure. I can do all things, but I do not have to do them all at once. I’m going to keep my ideas churning and build some momentum for myself behind the scenes.

Looking forward to running this weekend. My first of many 20 milers on Saturday and some trail with my friends on Sunday. More soon, friends.