I was definitely excited to see her. I was having a mental battle in my head and seeing Wonder Woman brought another gear to me. I was powering up the hills again. I had a smile on my face from ear to ear. My steps didn't feel so heavy, I was so excited I wanted to toot my whistle. I had completely forgotten the racing thoughts running through my head, my thoughts were everywhere today.
Let me back up a bit and start from the cold beginning.
It was a very cool morning, it was 29 degrees out at the start but the sun was shinning and I knew it was going to warm up. Miss P. and I car pooled to Cavitt this morning and we arrived with plenty of time. The run today was 26 miles on the AR50 course. Coach Nikon had told us the trail was going to be muddy, with pools of water, mini streams and rivers. Basically my feet were going to be wet and stay wet no matter how hard I tried to keep them dry. I really wasn't in for 26 miles with wet feet.
Miss P. and I hit the fire road and I tried to find a comfortably pace. My body felt a bit tight, probably due to the cold but I was also having some chest wall pain and short of breath. Maybe my chest wall pain was because it was so cold? Sure, why not! It seems that my chest wall pain has flared back up again but I am hoping it stays in check. Anyways it seems we quickly distanced ourselves from the group and arrived onto the single track in no time. My legs were a bit achy but I was hoping they would loosen up as my body warmed up.
The single track was a bit gnarly. It had shoe sucking mud, sink holes that when I stepped I dropped well below my ankle, water everywhere, puddles, rivers, streams, and more mud. This run was definitely going to take it's toll on my legs especially if I kept maneuvering around the shoe sucking mud. I just kept focused on the task at hand, which for me was proper fueling and drinking water. I couldn't worry to much over the other obstacles that were out of my control. By mile 5 I had started fueling and by mile 6 I took in a s-cap to see if that would help my legs and then by mile 8 I took some Tylenol.
We ran into Power Girl!
The trail I was battling with was winning. I knew we were approaching horseshoe bar. There I would treat it as an aid station and take in some solid food and I also needed to tie my shoes. But before reaching horse shoe bar we had to cross the major river that was cold with plenty of shoe sucking mud. I hiked through it trying to step where Miss P. had stepped, but she was way ahead that I had to just get through it.
Stream of shoe sucking mud
Soon we arrived at horseshoe bar and here I ate a Honey Stinger Waffle, tied my shoes and was off. This time Miss.P had me take the lead. Today we were taking turns in the lead, I enjoy doing that because when I follow I can zone out for a bit and it helps to recharge me. I also like the lead because it offers me a challenge. A challenge to set a comfortable and keep a comfortable pace. We were maybe a few miles before the turn around when I felt my right hamstring, I immediately grabbed it and stepped off the trail. It felt really twitchy. I let Miss P. take the lead and I slowed down considerable trying to give my hamstring a break. After a mile it was feeling better but I wasn't going to push it because I still had a long ways to go.
We arrived at the turn around intake and Captain Kirk and Terry were waiting. They had started early to finish marking where Coach Nikon had left off. At the turn around I ate some Watermelon Chomps. I shared them with Miss P. and Lily. I also took in my second s-cap of the day. My body was hurting, my legs, my right hamstring, my chest. It seemed that my body was a wreck and nothing was loosening up. We were there for a few minutes and then I headed back with Miss P. right behind me. I wanted to get back.
On the return I was in the lead and when we had to run through the
No way to stay dry
We had maybe 7 muddy, slippery, puddle ridden miles to go and at this point I was just done. I was mentally fatigued and I needed a way to pull myself out of it. I started singing, not very loud and it was only one line I could remember but it kept me going. Then I realized I was all alone and this time I couldn't even hear Miss P. I kept hoping I would see some other group members, but not today there was only 1 other team member in front of me. All I could do was just keep pushing ahead when in reality all I wanted to do was stop.
I kept going pushing on hiking the hills and trying to keep a nice steady pace. I was almost through buzzard cove and twin rocks and I knew once I was through that it was pretty easy running from there. I ran/hiked though Granite Bay and arrived at the fire road. Only 2 or so miles to go. I can do this. Only I was mentally fried for some reason this day. Mentally I wasn't in this run, maybe due to some of the issues I was having with my body but I was at an all time low with no end in sight.
Look what I saw on the fire road! Just for you Trailmomma
Then I couldn't believe what my eyes saw it was Wonder Woman. I have never been so happy to see a fellow friend out on the trails today. I was just shy of I think 1.5 miles to the end. I wasn't exactly too sure if what I was seeing was real or if my mind was playing an evil trick on me. But sure enough I recognized her voice "Hey, you" I was so excited I bent over on my knees and said " I am so happy to see someone, I have been by myself for the past 6 miles.And before that it was Miss P. and me the entire first 13 miles." It has been a lonely day. I was definitely excited to see her. I was having a mental battle in my head and seeing Wonder Woman brought another gear to me. I was powering up the final hills again. I had a smile on my face from ear to ear. My steps didn't feel so heavy, I was so excited I wanted to toot my whistle. I had completely forgotten the racing thoughts running through my head. She ran in with me and I think I didn't stop talking which for me is unusual.
We arrived at Cavitt and I was thrilled to see the cars and just the thought of being done was exhilarating. It was a long 26 miles on the trail that day, but I learned a lot about myself. I learned that I can persevere and keep going. I learned that my body wasn't tired I was more mentally fatigued and that is ultimately the bigger battle for me. Running really is mental and I just need to keep those positive thoughts flowing and keep on running because I never know what I will find just around the next corner or up that hill.
Here is to enjoying my taper week, to fighting the mental fatigue and to the unexpected. Looking forward to resting my tired mind and body and for a speedy recovery.