One of the many highlights of my week was the box of goodies I got in the mail from Salonpas (who covered my LA Marathon entry), including a sweet note wishing me good luck in LA!
The box included a dozen sample patches, which I’ve been using intermittently since Tuesday’s 18-miler. My right knee/IT band was definitely achy on Tuesday night, so I put a patch on before bed and it’s been feeling surprisingly good ever since! I don’t want to jinx it, but I’m stoked it’s feeling so… normal!!!!
Saturday morning, we had a trail run on the calendar: the Mission Driven Eco Run 10k, race #3 of the San Diego Trail Run Series. I’m totally new to trail running and so far, my experience has been that it’s very, very difficult!
***Random tidbit #1: I misspelled the word “difficult” during a spelling bee in second grade and was so torn up about it and disappointed in myself. I made myself repeat the spelling: d-i-f-f-i-c-u-l-t, over and over and over again. I think about that every time I write the word.
Well, Jared was feeling “rundown” midweek and by Friday night he was feverish, fighting a sore throat, coughing, aching–the whole miserable (flu?) bit. We headed to bed early, but when the poor guy wasn’t coughing his brains out, he was snoring so loud the windows rattled (I swear!). Needless to say, it was an extremely fitful night’s sleep for both of us. At 2am, I text messaged our buddy, Muffin, to let him know we were going to bow out of the race and I curled up on the blow-up bed in our guest room.
At 8am, I was up, putzing around the kitchen, and planning a trip to the pharmacy to get bubs some cough medicine. I kept looking at the clock and thinking about the fact that I was skipping a race I’d already paid for and at the very last second, I decided to go.
I threw on my shoes, grabbed my keys, and took off for the 20 minute drive to Mission Gorge, arriving minutes before the start. I jogged to the check-in tent for my bib, then took off for the starting area.
***Random tidbit #2: I’ve run something like 30 races in the past year and a half and have NEVER had the #7 on my race bib! Until today!
I can’t say it brought me good luck or anything all that special. It was a pretty anticlimactic end to the streak. Oh well.
Anyhow, I wasn’t the only one who switched things up at the last minute. Apparently, the race directors (those pranksters…), decided to alter the course and threw in some pretty diabolical mountain climbs. On the other hand, I don’t think they had anything to say about how sunny and hot it was (70-degrees by 9am!), nor how awesomely muddy the course was! My socks were soaked and shoes were caked with mud just a tenth of a mile into the race.
I carried the camera, but only remembered/managed to take pictures during the peaceful, flat, easy stretches. There were several parts of the course that were so muddy, rocky and steep that they were impossible to run. I was definitely feeling the uneven terrain in my ankles and achilles. I was sucking wind and struggling and distinctly remember thinking: “Well, at least I know I’m alive!”
Trail running’s tough, man! I have a love/hate appreciation for how thoroughly challenging (and d-i-f-f-i-c-u-l-t) it is… though the whole being in nature part really tips the scale in favor for it.
I mean, would you believe this landscape is just 20 minute from my house in Pacific Beach?!?!:
I leaped over a creak, rounded a bend and was shocked to abruptly cross the finish line–with only 5.8 miles on my Garmin! What?!?! Not only was it not a full 10k, but it wasn’t even a full 6-miler! Boo! I grabbed a bag of post-race goodies (which turned out to be several Larabar samples! Score!) and jogged another two-tenths of a mile back to my car.
I certainly can’t say this trail run series has made me fall in love with trail running, but I feel pretty confident that it’s making me a better/stronger runner. And I think the dirty shoes make me look more legit, dontcha think? Too bad these puppies have far too many miles on them and need to be retired, like, last year.
Check out my mile splits–they’re all over the place!:
Mile 1: 9:21
Mile 2: 10:48
Mile 3: 9:41
Mile 4: 12:45
Mile 5: 11:44
Mile 6: 9:05
Garmin Results: 6.0 miles, 1:03:24 (10:34/mile)
Official Time: 6.2 miles, 1:01:31 (9:55/mile)