Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Anatomy of a self-sabotaged run

1. Pick a SUPER challenging trail route for my longest run since Eugene, with 1900' gain in the first 5 miles.

2. Screw around at home for ages instead of getting up and going while it's cool and cloudy.

3. Change up the standard breakfast routine, and despite waking up really hungry, don't take in any extra calories.

4. Ignore that the legs are already a little tired and blah from the long bike the day before.

5. At mile 2, when you can tell the run is going poorly, and you JUST STARTED and can't pull anything better than a 10:30 pace ON A DOWNHILL, continue going. Don't turn around and go home to run on flats or the treadmill. I assumed it would get better the farther I went.

6. Take a wrong turn and add a giant hill loop to your mileage.

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7. Realize at 4 miles you're low on fluids, and STILL don't turn around.

8. At mile 6, when you get to a park that you were counting on refilling at, and can't find the water fountain, STILL DON'T TURN AROUND.

9. When you hit a screaming downhill at the end of the breautiful ridge route (that almost makes all of this worth the trouble....), and realize that you still have to go BACK up to get to the next trail..... continue going.

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10. When you are completely melting down at a crossroads, and see the trail you SHOULD be on climbing up (remember, that's not a surprise), see the clouds breaking and the sun coming out full-force... by all means, take the super sketchy, not-on-the-map-but-it's-downhill canyon trail.

11. Half a mile later when you realize it's a CLOSED ACCESS trail..... yeah, keep going.

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12. Hide from the helicopters overhead, because you're convinced They know you're there (what.).

13. 2 miles later when you hit a 6' high fence.... climb it. Duh.

14. Decide then, still 4 miles from the car, that... you're done. You're just walking from here.

15. Try to look inconspicuous as you walk through A GOLF COURSE in your bright purple ProCompression sock and Brooks Pure Grits. They're almost like golf clothes, right?

The highlight of the morning (and early afternoon....) was an old man asking if I needed anything - ummm, yeah, like some better sense than what I demonstrated this morning - followed by his golf partner yelling, "Hey, GIRL, see that! THAT'S a golf shot!".

It was not a good run. Mostly my own doing, and I made some DUMB decisions - my brain just BROKE. My pace for the first 9.2 (while I was running....) was right at 13 minute/mile, which is decent for me on trails, so I'm okay with that, but the 4 mile walk of shame back to my car was LAME. I should know better.

I tried a few things - I stopped and took a lot of pictures, for one, and tried to remember that I really love these trails, so I should be glad to be there. I WAS NOT.

I did get to try the new salted caramel GU (verdict: DELICIOUS), and stopping for McDonald's french fries on the way home. So there's that.
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And, it was really pretty.
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My lessons from the day:
1. Don't procrastinate. I knew the weather would get sketchy the longer I waited, and yet.
2. Eat. I was STARVING. I needed more than a handful of frosted mini wheats and some blueberries.
3. I questioned if I would have enough water, and I should have brought more. I assumed I would have an opportunity to refill, but I didn't. Never assume.
4. Plan better. A hilly trail route was probably not a good choice for my long run the day after my longest bike ride ever.
6. Especially closed access sketchy trails.


  1. This is all so true!!! And sad, and funny.

    Thanks for the reminder. Just filled my water bottle for 7 miles. I would never do that in the spring or fall.

    I can't believe you climbed a fence. Parkour is your new cross training?

  2. I would have quit. But now you have a great story about it!

  3. This sounds pretty similar to how my long trail run went this weekend. :) Live and learn, right?

  4. Those little unplanned adventures are great for building an ultrarunner. But next time you set out on a similar run, eat some protein, pack extra water and supplies, think of carrying the extra weight as part of the workout, get going early, and OWN IT!

  5. You poor thing! Glad it worked out & you got home alright, but geez...Yeah, I just would've quit.

    Also, I am pretty sure I have seen golfers wear purple compression socks.

  6. It might make me a horrible person, but I found this post very entertaining. Probably because I can relate to ALL of it, and it's similar to runs I have done in the past.

  7. 1) Bad decisions make for good stories. :) and, 2) Always, always refill, even if you don't think you'll need it. (I've had to learn #2 over and over again). Glad you got back safely. I've done the walk of shame more than once.

  8. Add to your list: Running trails alone!! I get scolded for that.

    I got a hydration pack for trail runs. Sure, I feel like a Ninja Turtle, and it means I often bring more water than I need. But there's no water on my trails either unless I make it up to the fire camp at the top of my mountain.

  9. actually LOLd at the hiding from the helicopter. You legit just had your own obstacle run that day. Glad you know what to do to be smart next time. And i'm so sad that I'm so out of the running loop that I didn't even know about a salted caramel GU. the SHAME.


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