07 October 2012

The little legs that could...

Today was a 2012 distance record.

Over 11 miles.
Giant, dusty hills.
Blazing hot sun.
Just like grandpa's walks to school in the olden days.

Just kidding…I wore flipflops.

Just kidding! I wore running shoes…but I took them off before I took this picture…

My feet really did look red. It was hot. 

I am posting that picture to pay homage to my little legs that are doing a great job with this running deal. They are getting stronger, staying relatively healthy for the time being, and finally are tan…which has nothing to do with how they run, but they are…so I am pointing it out. I've pretty much always had legs on the scrawny side (especially the calves) but now they sort of have muscles. Very cool. I was going to post a picture of my booty, too, because it's getting pretty awesome for the first time ever, but it ate my shorts (yes, it's now big enough to do that) and it's hard to photo your own butt, so given the awkward angle of the butt-that-ate-my-shorts picture, you lucky folks are getting a 'pass' on the ass-shot.

I'm getting very adept at the "run when you can" schedule. We didn't figure out our family schedule for the day until around 10 this morning. And it was determined that my run worked best if finished and home by 2:30 p.m. And I hadn't had breakfast yet. As I had a longish, hilly run in mind, I would have to start around noon. I love running in the heat with the sun high and missing lunch :(  But that was what worked, so I sucked it up and made it happen. 

I pulled into a sparsely populated parking lot and was ready to roll by 12:30. What I love about this loop are the following:
  • it's half in the shade
  • there are bathrooms
  • there is a water fountain
  • it's pretty
  • you can park right by the trailhead
My first 2.83-mile loop was fun despite the heat. There were a lot of hikers and dogs…as one would expect on a lovely day…but everyone was conscientious so it was all good. I had water at the end of that loop and saw that someone had pulled into the spot next to me. Some ultra person, no doubt drawn to the spot by virtue of the powerful badass energy emanating from my super badass minivan. They probably thought that by parking next to my car, they would be infused with badass juice and have an ultramazing ultralong run. Needless to say, the car was still parked there when I left. 

The sticker says "miles" under the 50.

Lap #2 was even more fun than the first. I felt loose and happy. I savored the feelings because I had a notion that #3 and #4 might be a little different. I took another hit of water and had 2 ShotBlok things right before starting my third loop. I was feeling good…not dehydrated (I had been drinking Nuun prior to my run, both at home and during the drive to the trail) and not hungry (my granola/protein powder breakfast was proving to be good fuel) and not tired…yet.

As I set off on that third loop, I knew it was going to be more of a struggle. The first 1.4 miles were pretty much uphill, and I worked it…aggressive but not psycho. The mile and a half downhill that followed was my downfall. My legs were tired. My feet hurt. I had a blister. My hip was cranky. I was hot. I wanted my mommy. I briefly flirted with the idea of ending the run at the conclusion of that third loop, but I realized that I really wanted to run another. I had the time in my schedule to do it. I wasn't having any fueling/hydration issues. No GI crap to contend with. Though the hip was a little cranky, it was not really hurting. The blister hurt, but what's a blister? Pshhhh…


A little more water and another ShotBlok and I pushed off on a fourth loop. What kept me going was that I had 'crowd support' on this one :)  By this time, I'd passed a lot of hikers multiple times. They finally realized it was the same runner passing them by and on this loop they all cheered me on! It was so nice…exactly what I needed to finish it off. I made it up the big hill decently, but the wheels fell off the wagon again on the downhill. The blister was just about all I could think about. 

But I made it. Walked it out a little. Stretched a bit. Performed self-Graston with a butterknife in the parking lot. And then remembered that I was supposed to high-tail it home!

I had a hard time finding my keys! I knew I had thrown them into the pocket on the door…but there is a LOT of crap in there!

Why this mini-screwdriver was in the handle-pocket of my car door, I have no idea.
Why I decided you needed to see this is an even bigger mystery.

I finally found my keys…along with something like 8 Target receipts, 4 broken pencils, 2 pair of sunglasses, a handful of ticket stubs, a banana peel (gross), and at least a dozen date pits (really gross). And as I drove home, I enjoyed the most refreshing post-run drink ever...

Post- and pre-run beverages of choice.
Water is what happens during.

Kombucha packed in ice as a reward for a run well done is my perfect "carrot" :)

Who doesn't love a photo of a cooler bag?
Just looking at it makes you feel all…cool and refreshed, right?

Run Stats
4 loops...4 x 2.83 miles 

  1 – 28:20 (10:01/mile)
  2 – 28:09 (9:57/mile)
  3 – 28:31 (10:04/mile)
  4 – 30:12 (10:40/mile)   "Survival" was my mantra.

Total distance = 11.32 miles
Total time = 1:55:11
Average pace = 10:10/mile


  1. hoooray! congrats on the long run (and tan legs....). Also, you car description reminds me very much of my own.. :)

    1. Haha! And that was just describing the contents of the pocket on the driver's door. The rest of the car is an ultra-disaster :P

  2. Nice run. Legs too, since you mentioned it.
    I have no idea what Kombucha is. None at all.
    I'd trade the pic of the screwdriver for one of the butt big enough to eat shorts. I'm sure someone in the parking lot could force themselves to take that shot, if you asked really nice.
    Every now and then, (usually when more people than me and my wife need to go someplace( I have to excavate the layers behind the driver's seat. It makes me feel so archeological.

    1. Hmmmm…perhaps next time I will enlist stranger help. There were two guys who looked like they'd be delighted to photo my ass.

  3. Nice job on that long run! Ahhh...tan legs. I remember what that was like, I think. Maybe.

  4. So glad to hear you're feeling better & getting some good running in! Since going back to work full time, I've also been embracing the run-when-you-can model--things certainly aren't ideal all the time, but at least it gets done (er, usually).

    (Thanks to the Irish background, my legs don't really ever get more than faintly tan on their own....It's Chocolate Sun all the way!)

  5. Yay on a distance record (and a decent pace for it, too)! You are on your way. I still haven't cracked 10 miles--trying not to stress about that with my half-marathon in less than two weeks. Oh well. Whatever will be, will be.

  6. Congrats on your long run! Yes, our legs can do some amazing things, can't they?

  7. you, my friend, are really killing it. :) going with the flow, pushing yourself, enjoying it, etc. love it. Roger gets grossed out when my car is like that-but since i work out of it-it gets pretty nasty. i sometimes eat 2 of my 3 meals in the car. eew.

  8. your pace is out of control for that tough loop. You have clearly gotten much stronger, even though next to me, your legs will always always always look scrawny. The grass is always greener....

  9. You need to post a elevation profile of that loop (if you haven't done so previously) to show everyone what a bad-ass you are. That is such a great pace for that loop! Also, I love that the hikers cheered you on. It always makes me smile to see friendly people on the trail.

  10. Ok, so clearly, in order to feel any kind of motivation to get active again, I need to find fans! I would be running my tail off if people were cheering me on. Good for you! I love your new philosophy of "Run when you Can," and although I'm sitting on my butt, telling myself I could run right now, I won't because I would not get a tan out there. Quite the opposite. Your legs do look terrific. Want to see a booty shot though! Yes, I'm pervy like that!


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