01 November 2011

Sick. Physical. Effort.

I have always been really good at math. In eighth grade, the teacher would correct everyone's tests off of my paper. I got in the 700's on my math SAT. I can add my groceries up as I shop and always come out within $5 on 6 to 8 bags of groceries. I'm not bragging. I'm just trying to show that math is one of my strong suits. 

So what happened?

Sunday's run... 12 miles. I picked an X-treeeeemely hilly run because ... because I like extremes.

I've done this run before... a million years ago. It's pieced together off of regional park trail maps. I added up all the parts once and came up with a tiny bit over 12 miles. Perfect. Or so I thought. I should've checked my math.

Here's the map of The Beast....

you can move the map around and zoom in and out to see the whole thing
It looks so far when I see it on a map. It's an out-and-back with a loop on the end (point B). And 12 miles is far.

But 13.1 is farther.

One point one miles is not a huge difference. Except mentally. I realized when my Garmin beeped at 6 miles, and I had not arrived at the farthest point from the start, that I was in for more than I had planned. Throw in the fact that I was in the middle of The Widowmaker (aka Hill from Hell) and I can tell you I was a woman on the verge of something... and it wasn't pretty. (refer back to my f-bomb post...which was inspired partly by this run).

Elevation Profile of The Beast

This is a bonafide example of


I only wish the downhill had felt as noticeable as the uphill.

It was a gorgeous day and a gorgeous place... just hard to appreciate all that gorgeousness when in the middle of climbing hill after never-ending hill...

Here's the scene at 2.5 miles...beautiful rolling hills.

Naked trees at 3.5 miles.

Interestingly, when the going felt nearly insurmountably impossible, it was not the f-word that sprung to mind. My mind kept going to this amazing woman and her phrase... dream big. Thank you for that, Dorothy. 

8.7 miles in, I saw the funniest name for a bathroom door lock EVER.
And was so grateful for clean bathrooms and flushing toilets :)

My husband and I had set up for the family to meet me here, at what I thought would be the 8-mile mark. My math was off. And we had estimated my pace at 10-min miles. Ummm... a bit overly-optimistic. Even without the math screw-up, I knew after the first sllloooowwwww mile that they would be waiting.

I got to the meeting place later than we had planned. They went the flattering route and guessed that I had been running so fast that they had missed me... and they left. We missed each other by moments.


Look what was waiting for me at the end!
Awesome kids greeting me at the finish!
my super husband who let my sweaty self hug him :)

Distance: 13.1 miles
Time: 2:22:18
Avg. Pace: 10:52

And for those of you who enjoy hearing my charming voice, I have prepared a video. My plan was to reward myself at each mile completed by shooting a tiny snippet of video so you could see my surroundings and hear me gasping for air. That lasted for the first 6 miles. It is boring, and it required more effort to stop and start than seemed rewarding, so I scrapped that plan... and just uttered the f-word a few times. Not on camera.

I will continue to dream big.

But I might also sometimes use the f-word.


  1. That hill looks FIERCE!
    But you did it!!! :)
    (and now you've got anther f-word to add to your arsenal)

  2. Wow, in the 700s on your SAT - impressive stuff! I think I got 630, lol

    That run looks awesome, especially that hill - bring the pain! Those trails look very similar to what I usually run in the south bay.

  3. Nothing wrong with the f-word when necessary! Looked beautiful, even if tough. Nice work.

  4. You're a beast! If I was looking at that hill ahead of me, my desire to go running might....just go away :)

  5. How cool that your family came and met you! I'm always way more optimistic about how quickly I can do things than reality will support. Hills. Bleh. I feel your pain...thought I felt it MUCH more slowly than you did.

  6. I have that same hat, somewhere. Nope not talking about the Nuun visor, I'm talking about your husband's hat.

    I'd just rack up your mistake in adding up the mileage to a rounding error. Perhaps a significant rounding error as a %% of the whole, but a rounding error nonetheless.

  7. You know...sometimes only the f-word will do. ;)

  8. Love that they met you at the end. Nice run! Those rolling hills are beautiful but look really tough!!!

  9. Your time is fantastic for such a huge climb! Isn't it so wonderful to see your family at the end of your run. All I wanted to do at the end of my race was to fall into my husband's arms.

  10. Usage of the F word is the bar I set for potential friends. If you don't use the F word now and again, I would always be offending you. I broke up with a perfectly good man because he never cussed. So there, I said it.

    And congrats on the 13.1 miles, even if your math was crap. ;-) Still a terrific accomplishment.

  11. That elevation profile and distance look like one of my hikes! Great job taking on such a difficult training run. And if you're attempting a route like that, you can utter whatever words you want!

  12. The f-word has to be one of the most cathartic and satisfying words in the English language. I feel it is highly underused. Congrats on completing that run! I have hiked such trails, but running...? Wow!

  13. this video is private
    that is what I get
    so I cannot see or hear...boo

    that is a sick run
    I thought I did some hills today
    yeah...not so much looking at this!

  14. All I can say is WOW!! The first mile would have done me in. I am not a runner...Yet!

  15. Wow. Beast is the perfect name.

    Do you really add your groceries up as you shop. That is so cool!

    Love "I will continue to dream big"!

  16. Impressed with the hill... and the family that showed up. And even more impressed about doing math in your head. While I have no problem with the math, the in my head thing kills me!


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