I went into this week feeling like I needed to ride the emotional high from WFL and keep charging in my training to prepare for Dirty 30. With the weekend marking three weeks out from the race, my “plan” was for it to be my biggest week of training. One day after a huge race, I was already anxious about doing more, more, more. Well, my body pretty much put a stop to this for me and forced me to chill.
Monday: We were still in Santa Clarita and enjoyed a leisurely morning before heading to the airport. Dan was going back to Colorado and I was heading to Oakland for work. I started getting anxious about my trip and about reports of storms and hail damage at home. I didn’t run, but I also didn’t really relax either. I am noting this because stress (from life or running or whatever) is stress and it takes a toll on you.
Tuesday: I was walking a little funny, with my back still really tight and lingering soreness, but felt like I was okay. So after a day of driving and working, I headed to Garin/Dry Creek Regional Parks, near where I was staying in Hayward, CA. It was about 85 degrees out with not a cloud in the sky. I had a 7ish mile loop planned, thanks to the help of the amazing resource Trailstompers put together. The run started by going UP immediately. This actually felt pretty good. But then I got to the flatter section after the climb and I was barely moving faster than an 11-minute mile. I felt lifeless. Even little downhill sections felt hard. I stopped multiple times to take pictures and eventually just turned around because of some cows up on the trail ahead that I didn’t want to disturb. On the way down, I felt a tightness in my right hamstring behind my knee. I’ve felt this pain before post-race. With each step down, I felt a little stab in that spot. I ended up with 4.3 miles instead of the 7 I was hoping for and 882 feet of climbing. I should have just taken another day off.
Wednesday: This day of work took me out of the Bay Area and up north. I planned my trip so that I would be in Napa at lunchtime, which was great as I’ve never been in that area of California. And then I continued driving to Folsom, just north of Sacramento. By the time I got to my hotel, I was exhausted and creaky from driving. When I travel, I get anxious about seeing all the things and eating at all the places. So, even though I knew my hamstring wasn’t feeling good, I decided to go check out nearby Folsom Lake with the hope to run some trails around there. That didn’t work out like I planned, but I ended up parking the car (after more driving) and getting on the American River Trail, a lovely bike path that spans for miles around Sacramento. I started running and felt sore and creaky. There is a dirt trail that runs along the bike path in sections that I got on and running on the soft dirt brought some relief… for a little bit. And then the stabbing sensation started, so I alternated running and walking. I turned around after a couple miles and started getting down on myself for feeling so poorly but also for not taking care of myself. I did 4.1 miles at a 10:03 pace and just wanted to get back to my hotel.
Thursday: I had time to run in the morning before my appointment, but I didn’t. I slept in later than I have in years, probably. I texted with Robyn my thoughts about Dirty 30; basically, I feel pretty hopeless about it. I felt like I was on or past the verge of hurting myself in an effort to cram in training for the 50k. I needed to mentally shut it out so that I could stop feeling so anxious. So, that’s what I did. I decided to approach the rest of the week like I didn’t have a race coming up, but I was just recovering from the one I ran a few days ago. That mental switch felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders and I got back to Colorado later that evening, feeling tired from traveling but not so worried about running.
Friday: It was so good to be back in my own bed that I didn’t want to get out! I made plans to run Lair o the Bear with Robyn on Saturday because I thought it sounded nice, but after a walk later in the evening in which I felt my hamstring, I called it.
Saturday: After a relaxing morning, Dan and I hit the road to Fort Collins for a little early birthday adventure. We went to a couple of my favorite places: The Little Bird Bakeshop for coffee and then Choice City Deli for sandwiches before heading up the Poudre Canyon in hopes of finding a camping spot. The campground we had scoped out was full, but we found an awesome spot by the side of the road which was all we needed. We spent the afternoon lying by the river and climbing on the rock behind our car. And then it was time for the whole reason reason for the trip: a concert at The Mishawaka Amphitheater. The Mish is an incredible venue and we had a blast watching Paper Bird and Head for the Hills perform. We walked back to our car and crawled in to go to sleep.
Sunday: After a lovely morning and an afternoon of cleaning, I made it out for a quick hike. I had absolutely no interest in running. But one lap of no-pressure traversing up the honeymoon incline felt good. By 8:00 that evening, I was like a little overtired kid that cries at the drop of the hat. Literally, I think I teared up from dropping something.
Total mileage: 10.7 miles
Total climbing: 1,896 feet
High: A relaxing Saturday morning and fun date with Dan.
Low: All of the little aches and pains I’ve been feeling.