Thursday, March 6, 2014

are you there God, it's me Amanda...

Does anyone have a box of kittens they are willing to let me borrow? After the week I had, I need something soft and cuddly...

What's with this overly dramatic feline request? Training is ramping up for me in a big way. As it stood on my calendar, I needed to complete somewhere in the vicinity of 40-45 miles over the March 1st weekend. I can sense your skepticism, and trust me it is just.

I came off my 34 mile weekend feeling tired, but no major complaints. I thought so myself, "Hey, this isn't so bad! I'm going to be the female Anton Krupika!" What a stupid little fool I was.

I had intended to run 25 miles on Saturday, March 1st on the Soaring Eagle Trail out in Issaquah, WA. I now fully understand why my friends looked at me as if I needed a straight jacket. Running 25 miles on a single track trail just ain't gonna happen on a leisurely Saturday morning. After an hour and 30 min, I had run all of 6 miles! Oh hell no. I topped out at 15 miles in 3.5 hours and called it a job well done.

But at least the trails were beautiful, breathtaking even. The run, albeit a time sucker, was pleasant and shared in good company with my running buddy.

Sunday, however...

Sunday I woke up with what felt like swollen lymph nodes. Perfect. Given that I hadn't fully succumbed to the virus that was surely pending in my future, I knew how important it would be to get in a good long run because who knows what the coming days would bring.

I threw on my running clothes, tossed my hair in a run-bun, laced up and stepped out the door...into pouring down rain and mid-30 temps. Perfect.

Maybe it'll clear up? It didn't. I drove out to Renton for a 9 mile loop that runs around Lake Youngs. It's hilly and there's not much to entertain, but I figured it would allow me to refuel every lap and at least there's no chance of getting lost.

I set out for my first of 3 loops. Naturally I got 2 miles in and hail began to crash down upon me. Perfect.  Hell had, in fact, started to freeze over.

My trail soon turned to a river and I found myself flashing back to The Oregon Trail. "Will you ford this river?" Do I dare?

For 9 miles I would tell myself, "Only 4 more miles till you get a snack. You'll be glad you did this when you finish." The tone of the conversation plummeted from there. At one point I distinctly remember arguing with myself, and losing. These one-sided conversations (scattered obscenities throughout) continued for all 28 miles.

5 hours and 30 minutes I was out there. Frozen. Wet. Beaten, yet not quite broken. I prayed for the sweet relief of death but it never came. It poured every minute of that run, but somehow I managed to press on. My mind is a scary place, especially when I'm trapped inside it for that long with nothing but impending doom to occupy my thoughts.

My friends, this was a struggle. The greatest test of my will power (and mental faculties) to date, until April that is. But I live to run another day...every day. Day 65 and still running.

Double-fistin' it. Post-run recovery combo.
Truly I must take a moment and thank my running buddy Jill, who I missed dearly on ultra Sunday runday, and friend Lina, for her constant emotional support. Also, a huge shout out to all my Oiselle HQ peeps for supporting me as I bitched and complained for 5 days straight post-run. Everyone in the greater Seattle area knows about my woes.

Until next time.

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