6 weeks to go!

So it has now come down to about 6 weeks until Badwater. This means I have about 4 weeks to actually train hard so that I can have a nice two week taper before the race. To be honest, the past two weeks have been a bit rough for me and caused me to really stress out over it last week. After running the Bishop 50 mile, my foot kind of started hurting again. All of the soft sand on the course probably wasn’t the best thing for it since it was a pretty unstable surface. Then to top it off I got the flu. At that point, however, I wasn’t too worried. I figured that a few days off after a hard 50 mile would probably do me some good and would allow my foot to calm down. Mark and I also had plans to go up to Western States Training Camp the following weekend, where we would be running 70 miles over 3 days and so I would still get some kick ass training in over the weekend.

Then Friday came and as Mark and I drove up to camp I felt horrible. I slept in the car almost the whole 7 hour drive up, but was still trying to be optimistic about being able to run the next day. I had been sick since Monday, so figured that by Saturday it just HAD to be gone! So I woke up Saturday morning at 4am and got myself all ready for a 32 mile run. I felt really groggy and pretty crappy, but figured it was from waking up at FOUR IN THE MORNING! However, during the drive to the start at Foresthill, I wasn’t feeling any better and running 30+ miles sounded absolutely horrible. I have done the run 3 or so times before and knew that it wasn’t an easy 30 miles either and just didn’t think that I had the energy to even make it up Devil’s Thumb (a 1.5ish mile hill that is literally straight up) and so I ended up just dropping Mark off and went back to the hotel to sleep. A couple hours later I woke back up, ate breakfast and watched who knows how many episodes of Arrested Development on TV. Around noon though I just couldn’t take it anymore. We had driven SEVEN HOURS to do this totally awesome run on the Western States course and it was a gorgeous day out and there I was sitting in the hotel watching TV. How lame is that!? So even though I still felt shitty, I put my running clothes on (well actually they were still on from the morning) and headed back up to Foresthill. The run was point to point and so runners were bussed up the mountain to Robinson’s Flat (Mile 30sih during the Western States run) and then would finish back at Foresthill. I figured Mark should only have a few miles left and so I decided to head up the trail in the opposite direction the the runners were coming from until I found him and then would turn back and run it in with him. So, Im not sure how one manages to get lost on the Western States trail (its a very well marked trail with signs all over the place!) but of course Mark managed to get lost. However the second that he got back on course was when I had caught up to him. Had I had been there 30 seconds earlier, I would have not seen him.. weird. Luckily I found him and we ran/hiked the last few miles in together. So I got in about 7 miles for the day. Even though it was something, it wasn’t what I had wanted to do at all and I was jealous that Mark got to run 30+ miles and I didn’t 😦

Sunday morning I woke up feeling a lot better, with only a stuffy nose remaining and so was determined to run the 19 miles that day. My legs felt really strong and 19 miles felt like a piece of cake, but my dang foot hurt! Seriously, so annoying. By Monday (memorial day), Mark was trashed and I didn’t want to aggravate my foot anymore, so we ended up skipping the last day and headed back home.

On Tuesday, my foot was still bad and my positive attitude was starting to fade. Luckily though, my massage therapist, Jess, was able to see me and do some graston work on it to help loosen it up and break up some of the scar tissue, which was probably a result from the surgery I just had on it. So I missed another day of running and did some CrossFit with lots of squats instead.

Wednesday, foot still hurt. Felt slightly better, but not good enough to run. I originally had wanted to do 30-35 miles of hills on the bike, but my legs were so torn up from squatting the day before, so I cut my ride down to 22 miles and even that wiped me out.

Thursday, again foot was not good enough to run and so I did intervals on the rower and still had myself a good workout, but it wasn’t putting in miles on the road like I knew I should be doing at this point with the race less than two months away. UGH!

Friday, came the day that I lost it. I went to physical therapy and on the drive home just started crying. I felt like I hadn’t gotten in any long workouts in 2 whole (even though I had just done a 50 mile and 19 miles the following weekend… sometimes I can be a bit overdramatic and emotional maybe?) and barely any running on the road like I should have been doing. Road running is really critical to do before a race like Badwater. You’re legs take so much of a beating from all the pounding on the road compared to trail. I was majorly stressed out about how I was going to still get in good enough shape to run BADWATER, when my foot was still hurting and I couldn’t even run. So I went home and laid on the couch and watched a movie feeling sorry for myself, but of course texting with Traci who always knows exactly what to say to cheer me up. So after talking with her and calming down a bit, I decided to get my ass to the gym and still get a good workout in. Of course, workouts when you’re pissed off are always the best, and this one was no different. I did intervals on the airdyne bike and then “The Seven,” which is a CF workout that consists of 7 rounds of 7 reps of 7 different movements. I was pretty much dead by round 3 but persevered on to finish all the damn rounds.

On Saturday, I woke up and started to see some light at the end of the tunnel. My foot actually didn’t hurt THAT bad! I was scheduled to a long run on Sunday and still wanted to possibly make that happen and so I decided to go out on a run to test out my foot and see if it would hold up for the next day. It ached a little for the first couple miles, but once I got going I didn’t notice it all that much. I ended up doing 8 miles with a good hill climb that I was able to run hard all the way up. This put me in a MUCH better mood and allowed me to chill out a little bit. THANK GOODNESS!

On Sunday, my goal was to get in 4 hours or 25 miles, whichever came first and was just praying to God that my foot would hold up. I seriously have the best mom ever and she agreed to crew me on my run through Santiago Canyon, my favorite local spot to get some good, hard road miles in. The canyon is 12-13 miles long, with very minimal flat miles. I would start at one end and run to the other end and see how far I could make it back. Now there are some pretty good grades on this road and it always kicks my butt, but despite not getting in too much road training I felt phenomenal. Like the best I had ever felt on that course. I was having a glorious time running and had a great time with my mom. She would leap frog ahead of me about 2-3 miles and then I would spend a few moments with her while I drank some Vitargo and Mila and she refilled my water bottle and cooled me off with a wet towel. The whole time I was moving at a pretty good pace, which didn’t even feel that hard and didn’t even start to fatigue at all until about 20 miles in. I have also been taking this new supplement called, Extreme Endurance, and I think that has been helping a little with my endurance as well and combined with Vitargo… how could I not feel great?! In 4 hours I hit 23.5 miles and it was plenty good enough for me and so we called it a day. The run was a HUGE confidence booster. Ok, maybe I still am in shape and maybe rest DOES do some good sometimes (who woulda thought?) My foot ached a little but felt way better than it did the weekend before. A couple more sessions of acupuncture, massage and PT and I know things will be just fine.

So now comes the heat training in June. Mark and I have plans to run in Palm Springs this weekend and will be going to Cabo is just about 2 weeks for some heat training as well… Ugh, what a rough life! Maybe I’ll even get in the sauna a few times, but I would rather just go out and run in the heat. Every time I go in the sauna its filled with old, fat, hairy dudes and it grosses me out. Plus, I really just think its more efficient training to just run when its really damn hot out. Ha, random but I remember even as a high schooler wanting to go run outside when it was like 90-100 degrees out and my mom telling me no. I guess that back fired on her as now she gets to be there with me when Im running in that kind of heat! June is also time to start getting all my stuff together for the race. I got a HUGE shipment of socks and gear from Injinji this week for my crew and myself for the race (thank you!) and wanna start thinking about making some shirts for my team. I want like a cool team name for our shirts.. any suggestions??!

So point of today’s blog… if I start freaking the f**k out over the next month, remind me to breathe, calm down and to not be such a nut job. Everything will be ok! So let the countdown begin… 6 weeks! Ahh so excited for this again!!!

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