That hot, hilly, and windy 20-miler was so much fun (said no runner ever) …

Today I ran my 20-miler. I have been physically and mentally preparing for it all week. This is a big one. Huge. I couldn’t wait to get it under my (fuel) belt. And then I woke up.

I woke up to the sound of wind. As I started to get ready I realized the wind wasn’t letting up, so I checked the weather report. High wind advisory. SWELL. I already knew I would be racing against time to avoid the heat, which wouldn’t be an easy battle because I mapped out 10 miles of hills for myself. Wind was not going to make anything easier. Not. At. All. But I laced up and got out there anyway. Somehow I survived and lived to write about it. Here’s how it all went down:

Mile 1: The wind appears to have died down. Run woman run!

Miles 2: I was wrong … the wind did not die down.

Mile 3: Suspicious stranger sighting. I’m glad I have my pepper spray but with all the wind I figure using it could backfire. I determine I can out run him. My paranoia subsides.

Mile 4: My left hamstring woke up and is pissed we aren’t still in bed. I also come to the realization that everyone in my neighborhood is still asleep. I am overwhelmed with jealousy.

Mile 5: 10,000 steps. Whatever Fitbit, whatever.

Mile 6: Gusts. I hate them and all the debris that comes with them. Ouch.

Mile 7: I wonder why I didn’t register for the Donate Life 5k that is this weekend. It’s practically in my backyard. Then I realize I would have had to run it over 6 times to get all my miles in. I calculate 6 race entry fees. I am happy I can still do simple math. This skill will be dead to me soon.

Mile 8: Cyclists pass me. I notice all their butts. I conclude that my butt is too big to fit on a bike seat.

Mile 9: The downhill. This is just mind trickery to build my confidence … the REAL hills are coming.

Mile 10: I’m at the gates of Hell. Let the hill repeats begin.

Mile 11: Branches are falling from the trees. Sure let’s make this a terrifying obstacle course too. Because I obviously need THAT in my life.

Mile 12: Blood, sweat and gagging. I REALLY hate hills. Oh and MORE WIND.

Mile 13: If wind was a person I would call it a bad name … and punch it in the throat.

Mile 14: I’m pretty sure everything is chapped.

Mile 15: What fresh hell is this?

Mile 16: Pulling out the big guns. Electrolytes with extra caffeine. This will either get me to the end of this run or give me a heart attack. At this point I see it going either way. 

Mile 17: A brief encounter with feeling TOTALLY BITCHEN. In your face haters. I GOT THIS.

Mile 18: BITCHEN feeling gone. I start my run home. I remember that it’s uphill. I am running into the sun and have a constant headwind. I cry a little and question my sanity.

Mile 19: My ability to do simple math is gone. Everything hurts. I am pretty sure running is very bad for you.

Mile 20: DONE. Elated and thankful. It is over. I did it. And I am pretty sure that once the feeling of wanting to throw-up leaves my body I will want to eat my weight in donuts.

The 20 miler. Even under the best of circumstances I have never found this distance easy. Today was unbelievably hard. It beat my tush. But I have learned over the years that if I try hard enough I can find humor in even the most difficult runs. I gotta say, I like that about myself.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you laugh yourself through some tough times!!!

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Bug guts …

As a runner I often encounter bugs. I do not like bugs so I enjoy none of it. Luckily most of my bug encounters are brief. Like when I see a bug on the pavement in front of me. I can go around it or, if I’m feeling particularly brave, I can jump over it. I have had more unpleasant bug encounters, however. Like running through a spider web. Or what I like to call a scream-fest. And then there are those runs that take me through a swarm of gnats. That’s fun when your mouth is open. NOT. I did have a bug manage its way into my eye on one run. I died a little. I bring all this up because this morning on my run I had a pretty gross bug encounter. I was particularly sweaty because I was running in a windbreaker. I was running much warmer than I usually do and my face was dripping with sweat. I was almost home and it happened. I felt it. SLAP. A bug hit my cheek. I immediately did what I always do in this situation, I smacked at my face frantically in an attempt to brush the little bugger off of me. That usually works. Not today. This bug was bigger than I initially thought it was. WAY bigger. In my multiple hysterical attempts to get it off of me I had only made things worse. It was stuck on me and with every swipe of my hand it just moved around rather than fell off. How I wasn’t screaming at this point I will never know. Anyway, eventually I got most of the that bug carcass off of my face. Most. Ew. And Guh.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you don’t smear bug guts all over your face!!! 

Turn yourself around …

So I went for a run early this morning and I did something I have NEVER done before. It shocks me that I’ve made it 46 years (approximately 41 of those years I’ve been getting dressed unassisted) and this could have happened … but it did. I am assuming being sleepy and getting dressed quickly didn’t help either.

OK. Fine. I will stop making excuses for myself and just spill it. I put my pants on backwards and didn’t even realize it until I went pee after my run. Yes, I am talking “pee” again. But heck, why not?!?! I’m admitting to not putting my pants on correctly so “pee” talk can’t be that much of a shocker. Now one, in my defense, might point out that running pants are pretty similar front and back. And I would have to agree if these weren’t the running pants with a drawstring tie in the front and a huge zipper pocket in the back.

Goodness … some days I even surprise myself.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you turn yourself around!!!