Those mountains are vicious.
It’s a challenge.
My 23 year old feels that I should have already fully recovered by now. “One week of rest and then get back at it. You must not be doing it right.”
Ok, 23-year old.
Still, I had hoped that three weeks of rest and icing my Achilles would be enough to at least allow me to feel good getting back out on the trails.
I walked with my mom before my run yesterday morning and was kind of whining about my Achilles and her response was basically, suck it up and stop being a little b-word. “When I was running, you just ran through injuries.”
So, I told the world that I was going to try out the trails this weekend.
Danny asked how far I planned on running.
I said 8.
Danny talked to Jack.
Jack said 14. Ish. 14ish.
Fourteen. Ok. Sure. I can do that.
Although, generally whatever mileage Jack tells you ends up being at least 5 miles shorter than what he actually runs you. So, I went in expecting 20.
This is how my world works.
And I honestly thought I could manage 20.
I should note that I’m writing this while watching “McFarland” for the third time this weekend. You know, the Mexican kids that end up dominating the California high school cross country world? Yeah. It had me feeling pretty overconfident.
My mom did give me some off-brand KT Tape to help with my Achilles. But then I’d started inventorying the other pains that had kicked in during my run yesterday morning (right knee, left hip, back of left knee, both calves, shoulders) and figured if I used the tape, I’d basically just end up wrapped head to toe in stretchy black tape. And that seemed ill-advised. And probably counter-productive?
So, I just loaded up on ibuprofen and hoped for the best.
The best was nowhere to be found. I mean, it was there, running in front of me in the forms of Jack and Kira and following right behind me (probably to make sure I didn’t just fall out unattended or to make sure I didn’t just keep running straight when everyone else had turned off onto another trail…because that’s what I do. I really can’t be left unattended.) in the form of Danny. But MY best was apparently still back at home on my couch.
My body is not recovered from the double. My body is not acclimated to the heat. And my body is definitely not in trail shape.
I was quickly declining the further we got into the run until I started experiencing Loop Two Roanoke Mountain flashbacks. By mile six, I was very close to shutdown mode.
So, when we came to the turn off to head back over to Chestnut Ridge, I peaced out and let the rest of them continue their 14ish miles at a respectable pace while I crawled my way back up to the Star.
I had to stop a few times and rest. It was almost peaceful. I haven’t been on the trails by myself in months. Years? You forget how amazing it feels to be out there in nature, totally alone, just taking in the beauty and the sounds and the smells.
Except I didn’t really take in anything. I was actually struggling to just take in oxygen. This was evidenced by the fact that three older, relatively out of shape folks felt compelled to offer me encouragement to keep going as they passed me on the trail.
That was … humbling.
But I finally made it back.
As I was approaching the parking lot, I had a fleeting moment of excitement when I saw an ice cream truck.
Then I realized it was the Parks and Rec van.
But I was quickly re-energized when I realized that my car was just beyond the ice cream imposter.
So, I’ve got three weeks until Conquer the Cove. I was hoping to do the full marathon. I barely managed seven miles this morning. I’m not sure I can even manage the 25k at this point.
I mean, it’s not like I’m not gonna try. It’s just probably gonna be really, really, ugly. I think my new goal is to see if I can take a worse photo than my Blue Ridge Loop Two Starting Line pic. I’m feeling pretty confident.