You want to know a secret? Just this past week in an email I typed these words: "my next marathon..." Shhhh...don't tell my husband. I'm pretty sure that he thinks I'm going to get this out of my system and then no more of these crazy four hour runs. I'll break it to him gently. I'm sure I'll have to sweeten the news a little, but I think he'll be happy with the trade-off. What the heck, I'm already losing sleep with these early morning runs...what's a little less, right?
Since I haven't been running much, what have I been doing?
Ummm...eating birthday cake. On Monday we celebrated my annual 29th birthday. Well, actually, we celebrated with the family on Sunday. My gifts: a bike rack for my car, running/biking books, two running shirts and the shorts I'll be wearing in my marathon, and money for my road bike. Do these people know me or what? :D Since we had the party on Sunday, I wasn't expecting anything for Monday. In fact, I went to a tri-club meeting and then had to do some shopping for school on the way back. When I got home, the lights suddenly went out. Huh?
I came in to this:
|If J wasn't wearing camouflage, you could see him in this picture. :)|
While I was gone, Jeff, N, and J had filled the living room with balloons. Every one of the balloons had a message written on it. Here are a few of my favorites:
This was an amazing gift! First, just that they took the time to blow up all those crazy balloons, but also because J is not an effusive kid. To see such sweet messages was really touching...and I LOVE the first grade spelling. I'm "pefect". Clearly. And loved totalee.
The rest of the week was pretty abysmal due to some issues I've been having with one of my students. I'm darn good at my job, and I'm struggling right now with helping her to succeed with behavior. Not a good feeling. Luckily, my sweet sister-in-law took me out on Wednesday evening to celebrate my birthday. Pitchers of margaritas and lots of girl talk were involved. And then, as we were ready to leave, the waiters all came by singing Happy Birthday. Totally (totalee) took me by surprise. Best part: instead of cake, they had a flaming shot for me. And a hat.
|Best. birthday cake. ever.|
|Quite a look for me...|
On Friday, I returned to the scene of the crime, where one year ago today I had my first taste of mountain bike trails . Not coincidentally, one year ago this coming Friday I had hand surgery to pin my dislocated thumb back into place. Since I've got a little more mountain biking experience now, and since it was a beautiful day, I wanted to get out on the trails.
Here's how the GORC website describes the trails: This trail system is made up of nearly 8 miles of tight, twisty, all-dirt singletrack in 4 separate trails, with a 5th trail in the works. Modest elevation gain, thick forest, and smooth hardpack make for rides which will satisfy every rider from beginner to advanced. The trails were designed in such a way that they would be a place not only for beginners to try out mountain biking, but also to allow more advanced riders an opportunity to test their bike handling skills by riding the narrow trails at a more rapid pace
There aren't any real technical areas, some dips and climbs, some roots, and some logs. It was a good place for me to practice riding switchbacks without a death grip on the brakes (though still using them plenty), picking a line, hopping downed (small) trees, and keeping my gaze ahead of me rather than right in front of me. It would've been nicer to have company out there, but I had a blast riding on my own. And I only thought I was going to flip over my handlebars twice--once when I braked too hard going downhill, and once going over a bigger tree. Definitely still need practice with that.
|Enjoying the best seats we've ever had|
"What does 'screwed' mean, Mommy?"
Total parenting fail: caught off guard and (frankly) trying to watch the play and keep him quiet, I answered, "It's a way to make friends." Then, realizing that my first grade son was going to come home some day telling us that he screwed the new kid in class, I added, "But not a very nice way!"
Ohhhh, dear. Sigh.
And finally I resumed my marathon training on Saturday, despite Chris K's assurances that I could
I had plans to have lunch with my mom around 1:30. I got up at 7:30 to go run, and it was pouring outside. Now, I know that I won't melt, but I didn't want to run 20 miles in the rain. Back to sleep. Got up between 8-8:30, and the sun was out. Rather than get moving right away, I helped J clean in his room, got him breakfast, got me breakfast, just generally poked around. When I finally decided to get my butt in gear, I still had to track down all my running clothes. By the time I got to the trailhead, it was almost 10. I called my mom and said it would be closer to 3 before I'd be ready.
I parked along a 10-mile loop, thinking that I could stop by my car after the first loop and get more water. Two weeks after we had snow on the ground, the temperature climbed above 80 on Saturday. It was probably mid-70's while I was running. Beautiful, beautiful weather...unless you've been training in cold weather and are completely unprepared for the heat.
The first part of the run went OK. I've gotten spoiled with all the trails I've been running and company I've been having on runs, and my iPod just wasn't cutting it. Still, I was happy to be out and running again. Even so, I thought early on that if I was taking too long I could just cut the run short so I could meet my mom on time. Or instead of running the second loop I could run so far down the trail and then turn around. Or maybe I'd just run the other half on Sunday.
Can you see where this is going? The run got more difficult for me...mentally, not so much physically. I mean, I was tired, no question. But I kept stopping to walk. It was like when I first started running and I'd tell myself, "You can do it, you can do it," and then just...stop. By the time I got back to my car, I felt thoroughly defeated. I'd been mentally composing my blog post about my failed run for about 4 miles. Talk about your self-fulfilling prophecies!
I sat in my car, had a drink, and called my mom to tell her that I'd be on time after all. I sat in my car and sent a quick whiny blog post. I started driving home and realized what a big baby I was being. I totally had time to finish that second ten miles. But I'd already changed plans with my mom twice, and I don't get to see her nearly enough. So...I left the run in the bag and headed home. I'm still annoyed with myself, but I'm letting it go. Let that be a lesson to me about talking myself out of something I know I can do. I need to start making one of Amanda's collages. Or at least ban the RISC (Running is Stupid Club) from my solo runs.