The morning alarm blared far too early and this time coffee was not strong enough to loosen my fog but that was OK as Jill was driving us today to our simulation run of the Utah Canyons — via downtown Washington, DC.
Our Thelma and Louise cross-country road-trip for The Grandfest is less than 2 months away, and we both were having car concerns. While we may stray from details in the original movie flick — I longed for safety features, and Jill preferred a car that would just drive itself. The car gods granted each of us our wishes – and we traded in old cars for newer models. When Jill arrived to pick me up for destination-DC, we stood outside pushing the key fob begging her Jetsons-electric car to open the doors. 10 minutes later the car agreed to let us in, and off we went — not quite ready for the car to drive itself.
We are 5 weeks in and I am just leaning in to contribute to our Grand Trailfest training journal.
The challenges of the training go beyond the quick steps on hot pavement; out maneuvering the invisible spider webs in the early morning hours; avoiding prickly, clinging bushes as we trail-blaze through uncharted fields; swatting away hungry mosquitoes; timing our training to finish before the sun tops the trees; or regulating fatigued bodies through 3 consecutive days of long-distance training. It is about doing this journey together. So when the 4 am alarm beckons us to wobble out of bed and wipe the stardust out of our eyes, we are certain our training sista, will be waiting. Continue reading Grand Trailfest: Confidence Journal Entry #6→
The best discovery of surviving 3 days of running in excessive heat — is learning that training in heat is a handy substitute for training in higher altitudes. According to research, if your training lacks altitude, just run in an oven. Grand Trailfest, here we come!
When the FitBit reads oh-four-thirty-ish, running gear includes headlamps and the thick wet morning air belongs in a sauna — you can stake claim to the label: Sleep-deprived East Coast runner. Or, simply someone who has lost their sensibilities.
Yes, the Grand Trailfest is under 3 months away. Yes, we are still searching for replica-trails that will mirror the conditions in high-altitude desert. Yes, the East Coast is baking in heat and drowning in rain making for super-humid-roaster conditions — the opposite of high-altitude desert. Yes, we search for that fine-line of training too much or tapering-too-soon, and yes, yes yes, we err on the side of training-too-much. Continue reading Grande Trailfest: Confidence Journal Entry#3→
Three back-to-back training days included a 13 mile jog/walk on the 4th of July (with fireworks detours), an 11 mile run the day after with less than 1/2 mile of actual trail running, and a final day of 6 miles that included 2 miles running home-runs over-n-over on the local baseball field. Here is where I discovered running the perimeter of the infield — it is approximately 1 tenth of a mile, so by my estimation I scored 20 home runs. Continue reading Grande Trailfest: Confidence Journal Entry#2→
Jill insisted we take to the trails of Patapsco Park near Ellicott City at 0600 and I was not one to argue when her mind is made. So off we went, first along delightful pavement of which I am familiar, then over to a rocky trail surface filled with stones 3 inch in size, millions of them and all ready to tug and turn ankles. My feet hurt, possibly because I wasn’t wearing trail running shoes and I watched our trail leader (Jill) sprint off ahead, wearing the proper shoes. Eventually, I caught up, and we made it inside of the park, the campground where everyone was still sleeping in their tents and I wondered what it might be like to sleep in — for once. Continue reading Grande Trailfest: Confidence Journal Entry#1→
The sistahood (sister-in-law’s Jane and Jill) are bonded by more than family, same age (within months), and hours and hours of training and partaking in exercise events that sometimes requires kicking and fussing (think open water swimming) to get to the start line. The sistas are bonded by a twinge of madness that includes never saying never — from ultra distance inline skating, bicycling touring the northeast, triathlons, duathlons, marathon running, or just running for donuts. Continue reading The Grande Trailfest beckons→