Life has been hard lately. Harder than normal. And honestly I haven’t been dealing with it very well for the past couple of months. But I’m ready to change that. I’ve still been running even through the hard days.
Looking back I’m sure I had a grand plan for the summer. I always have a plan. But someone reached in my brain and stole that plan and turned my life downside up. I thought I was going to go to DTP (distance training program) on Saturdays and run with friends. I thought I was going to run trails on Sundays. I was going to float along with reasonable mileage in the beginning and then I was going to nail down a solid training plan for my upcoming trail races. Some of that happened….some of the time. And then things just starting changing and I was only reacting to whatever emergency was in front of me that day.
DTP just hasn’t been meeting my hopes and dreams this session so I’ve spent more time on trails. Trails make me happy and my big goal races are trail races anyway so I guess that worked out. I’m 4 weeks away from my first 10 miler of the series and I never really made a solid plan….like the kind that is written down and perfectly followed. But I have been trying to increase my mileage.
Yesterday I decided to actually make an appearance at DTP. I knew I wouldn’t have anyone to run with though so I planned to just run the horse trail. I wanted to do 10 miles. My run started off quite well. The big goal I have for my races is to have enough endurance to run the runable sections….the flats and the downhills. I don’t want to walk because I’m too tired. I want to push through anything that I should be able to run efficiently. The large uphills on trails are not runable for me. I can power hike them faster than I can run them and I feel much better when I get to the top if I’ve hiked them instead of trying to run them. So I plan to walk the hills. But inbetween the hills I want to be running. With this goal in mind I’ve been trying to do this on training runs. I did this very well for the first 5 miles yesterday.
For fuel I was carrying a zipper bag of dried apricots. Normally I put one to two servings in a bag and put them in the pockets of my skirt. Yesterday when dumping them into the bag I dumped too many so I put them in my hydration vest pocket. At 3 miles I pulled the bag out and somehow dropped one apricot, freaked out for 1/10th of a second and then realized I had way more than I needed so I ate one or two, stopped freaking out, and put the bag back in my vest. At the 5 miles I was pretty hungry. I realized I had eaten dinner early on Friday and not had anything after dinner and before my run I only had a small spoonful of peanut butter instead of the bigger one that I have gotten used to eating. So I pulled out my bag….which I thought I had zippered closed….um, nope….apparently it was not closed. Most of my apricots went flying all around me. I looked down and they were everywhere…..and I was standing in gravel. Tiny gravel….lots of it. And the apricots were sticky. Yeah….that was not cool. I picked one up to see if I could deal with it. But I really couldn’t. They were covered in gravel. I just looked down at them and thought this is the story of my life lately.
Now, of course there was other fuel in my pack. But I didn’t want that fuel. I was so mad at myself for dropping the fuel that I wanted. I ate the two that I had managed to keep in the bag and turned around to head back. I thought I could get over it. But I couldn’t. I was bummed out and I started the walking thing. The thing where I walk when I’m not on a hill. I should never start that. If I do it once or twice I think it’s ok and I keep doing it. So I was significantly slower on the second half of the run.
But I did 10 miles! And geez it was only gravel on apricots! It could have been much worse.
And the really good news…my super white new shoes aren’t so white anymore. This makes me happy. Dirt on my shoes is earned.