Today is my first wedding anniversary with my husband… it still feels weird to use that word… which is crazy and confusing because it feels like we’ve barely been married for a month and then again, I can’t really remember or imagine my life without him, so it feels like it’s been a lifetime–a perfectly wonderful lifetime. Sometimes, I feel like it’s crazy-unfair to be as happy as I am, but then I whack myself in the head and remember to just flippin’ enjoy it already.
With that said, we had an OSOM weekend (better than awesome, it was OSOM). It zoomed by way, way too fast, so I had to whack myself in the head again and remind myself to enjoy it. And I did.
Friday, at work, I got my booty kicked. It was just one of those days. I cried on the drive home. When I walked in the door with tear-stained cheeks and heavy shoulders, opened the refrigerator and remembered we had absolutely no food, I turned to Jared with my most pathetic, pouty, puppy-dog eyes and he whisked me off to dinner at Souplantation. I ate two ginormous plates of salad, the teeny-tiniest sweet potato I’ve ever seen in my life and, like, four bowls of messy dessert concoctions (frozen yogurt, vanilla pudding, chocolate pudding and sugar-free triple berry mousse. I threw a bunch of grapes in there too to make it healthy).
On Saturday, we were up and at ‘em by 7:30am for the Black Mountain Summit 7k. The website’s course description really, really, really downplayed this bad boy:
This trail run is fun but challenging due to the steep summit climb. If you can run the whole way you will feel accomplished and the views from the top are well worth it!
Wow. It should say: “If you can even make it to the top without hacking up a lung or breaking an ankle, you should be proud of yourself.” The course was strewn with loose rocks and gravel. This, coupled with the extremely steep, narrow, uneven pathways, made for a course that was far beyond “challenging”–it was practically impossible at points. Oh, and to make it a full 7k, those lovely race organizers had the brilliant idea to have us run down the very steep parking lot and back up again at the start of the race, so you’re a mere three-tenths of a mile in, sucking wind and hating life when you first step foot onto the trail. What a psychological beat down!
What they did get right was the fact that the views from the top were “well worth it!” I had “marathon thoughts” throughout the course: What the heck am I doing? This is crazy! Are we all crazy? Why are we putting ourselves through this torture? But as soon as you reach the top, you immediately forget all of the suffering. There wasn’t a hint of a cloud in the bright blue sky that stretched from here to eternity, blanketing the ocean, the city, the mountains; it was incredible. It was a good 30+ minutes of suffering on the way up, then an instant “high” as you hit the peak, turn around and head back down through the same atrocious course you covered on the way up.
Jared would argue that the way up was the hardest, but I had a harder time on the way down. I wanted to fly. I wanted to let gravity be my friend, but I knew that would tax my knee/IT band, so I tried to take it easy. Also, the loose rocks made it extremely dangerous. I played it safe and finished in 55:14 (according to Mr. Garmin) and 55:16 (according to the official race results), which is roughly 12:50/mile. That slow pace does NOT reflect the intensity and exertion required on this monster-of-a-course. I’ve never wanted to wear a heart rate monitor before, but I wish I had for this puppy, because it was TOUGH. We probably burned about a bajillion calories.
Interestingly enough, the only residual soreness from this event is located in my left butt cheek. Why just my left???
We swung by Gordon Biersch to pick up our race packets for Sunday’s event, then headed home where we resisted the urge to drift into lazy comas for the rest of the day. We walked Sully, ate breakfast, ran errands, then met our buddy, Muffin (yes, Muffin, he’s a dude, real name’s Clint, and he’s awesome. Or OSOM, rather) at YOGURTLAND (a.k.a. heaven on earth).
Fro-yo two nights in a row you ask?! Hello, this is why I run! And I burned a bajillion calories, remember?
We played some Rummy 500 and I whooped their butts.
Sunday morning came mighty fast. We were up at 6:00am for the Coronado Valentine’s Day 10k and were running by 7:15am. We stayed together the whole time and spent the run reminiscing about the past year’s events and playing “what were we doing at this time last year?” It was sweet and sentimental and we both thoroughly enjoyed the ultra-flat terrain of Coronado.
I felt a little discomfort in my right knee/IT band just shy of mile 3, but it subsided quickly and I finished feeling great… don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing in terms of the IT band injury, but it certainly is what it is. I’m staying optimistic. We scooped up our heart-shaped medals and post-race goodies, including Activate water.
It’s only 5 calories per bottle and I was thirsty, so I went for it, though I normally stay away from flavored water and stuff like this because I look at the ingredients and can’t pronounce 90% of the words, so I guess my thoughts are: 1) I don’t want to ingest something that I have no idea what it is except not natural and 2) I can’t even begin to guess whether or not it’s gluten-free. Well, I broke my rules on this one and drank a bottle of the passion fruit and it was delish! I love me some good ol’ plain water–bottled or tap, preferably icy cold, (but when I’m thirsty, I won’t discriminate), so I won’t be running out to buy this stuff, but it’d be good for someone who doesn’t love the plain stuff and needs a lil something.
We finished in a respectable 1:10:26 (again, according to Mr. G), which averages out to 9:54/mile, then got some extra steps in trying to find our car because we only kinda sorta paid attention to where we parked. I freaked out a little bit because I thought we’d lost the car and was having flashbacks of the Silver Strand half marathon in 2009 when we lost our car key during the race and had to hitch a ride home with some strangers to pick up our spare key. It was all good in the end, but it was a stressful way to wrap up a race. Luckily, we found our brains AND the car and were home before 9:00am.
We took Sully for a long walk, then met up with friends for a mimosa brunch at JRDN on the beach, which turned into a mimosa afternoon on the rooftop of PB Ale House and when we got home at 5pm, Jared immediately started sawing logs on the couch, while I ate a giant lentil-pepper-spinach salad and watched Food Network. When he woke up, we went to Yogurtland, yes, again.
What the heck do they put in that stuff!?!?
I’ve talked about my ambitions to become a “Marathon Maniac” on a few different occasions, but I’ll admit, I’ve always kept it very light and joking and not serious. But, truth be told, I really AM serious about wanting to accomplish this goal for two reasons:
- I’m slacking off on my ambitions to “Qualify for Boston ASAP!” because, well, I just don’t want to put so much pressure on myself! First and foremost, my goal is to enjoy running and training and racing and for me, pushing, pushing, pushing is a surefire way to squash my motivation like a bug, so I’m eliminating the pressure and embracing my desire to simply run as much as I want to, baby! And…
- I AM a maniac.
So I’ve scoped out the nearest (and soonest) events and I’ve narrowed it down to these four options:
03/20/2011: LA Marathon: http://www.lamarathon.com/ Registration: $145 until Sold Out – This is STEEP and I’m trying to win a free bib… There’s only one contest left, which ends on Wednesday, so we shall see…
Travel to LA is 116 miles or approximately 2 hours
MarathonGuide.com Ratings: Course-3.5/5, Organization-3.5/5, Fans-4/5
Comments were primarily about the organization (or lack of), parking and expo.
05/01/2011: OC Marathon: http://www.ocmarathon.com/
Registration: Marathon-$100 & Half-$85 until Sold Out
Jared would have the option to run the half, while I run the full
Course: Full & Half Marathoners split at Mile 12
Travel to OC is 84 miles or approximately 1½ hours
MarathonGuide.com Ratings: Course-3.5/5, Organization-3.5/5, Fans-3/5
Comments were about the crowded start line and course, rolling hills and lack of course support.
05/15/2011: Pasadena Marathon: http://pasadenamarathon.org/
Registration: Marathon-$81 & Half-$67.50 thru 2/20 – Cheap!
Again, Jared could run the half, while I run the full
Course: Full & Half Marathoners split at Mile 8
Because I’m running RNR San Diego in 3 weeks, I’d be aiming for 20-22 mile long run this weekend anyways, so why not just run a full marathon!?
Travel to Pasadena is 123 miles or approximately 2 hours, 10 minutes
MarathonGuide.com Ratings: Course-4/5, Organization-4/5, Fans-3/5
Comments were about the hills, frequent switchbacks and lack of course support.
With the LA Marathon bib giveaway contest ending on Wednesday and Pasadena’s fees increasing on Sunday, I’m thinking I’ll be making the decision this week… Is now the right time to go for it? And if so, which ones do I want to do? Not to mention: Will Jared be supportive of my leap into Maniac-ville? Who am I kidding? Of course he will be!
In the meantime, that husband of mine is on his way to pick me up from work so we can go to Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza for our Anniversary/Valentine’s dinner celebration. Osom!
I have a feeling there’s a glass of Malbec there with my name all over it.