Sunday, November 22, 2009

15 head clearing miles

I'm feeling better. Physically (I'm certain it has nothing to do with giving up sugar!!). Mentally is another story but yesterday I had an awesome run and THAT definitely lifts the spirit! Let me take you on my run.

My running friend, Dennis, and I headed up to the mountains yesterday to run. Let's recall that miserable 20 miler I had a couple weeks ago with Matt - the perfectionist I am and all (guilty!) - thought I needed to try it that again. To defend myself, as us perfectionist do, I just needed to get some miles in and a mountain run is a nice diversion to the everyday neighborhood runs; as a bonus, I can get a continuous long downhill run in, which Tucson Marathon is. Dennis offered (okay, I had to bribe him with lunch) to take me and drop me off at the top to let me run down (again) and he'd park at the bottom and run up to where I'd meet him at mile 9 and then we'd run down the last 6 together. Yeah, score all around! (unless, of course, I had a crappy run...then not so much scoring as sulking)

Silver Plume was the run's origin, which is just the funniest tiny old silver mining town tucked along the side of the highway. It had this cute bakery nestled back on "Main Street" - which is just a street with a few Victorian houses, about 2 really run-down stores and this bakery, which just stands out with it's antique architecture and neon "open" sign. The fact we ever found this place a couple summer's ago when Dennis and I were running a trail run in the area, needed more water, and just happened to come upon this place, is amazing. Apparently, it's popular with the Denver commuter ski crowds, but neither of us had ever head of it. Now it's become a staple whenever we are in the area. It has the most amazing bread, about 10 different varieties, all fresh-baked. The smell upon entry is intoxicating. Anyway, I had to pee bad so we stopped at our fav-y bakery (I bought some bread, of course) and headed to the trail.

Since the last time I ran this route two weeks ago until now, we've seen a pretty significant snowfall and I couldn't find the beginning of the trail. Dennis directed me to the side of the road, thinking that's where it was, so off I went. It didn't take long to realize that if this WAS the trail, I was doomed; it was covered with deep crunchy snow and running was a challenge. About a half mile into it, I realized I am on the median of the highway - with semi's zipping past me about to blow me off the dang thing. Dennis stopped and showed me where the real trail was, just off to the right behind the fence. Relieved, for sure!!!! Smooth sailing from there; only a few patches of snow which I could easily navigate around. Felt very good. VERY good! My quads were a bit stiff, which I have no idea why since I've barely been running; but no calf tightness; no major stomach issues (minor later at mile 11); slight backache at mile 7 where I popped an Aleve; and bonus: ran a great pace (8:28 avg). I found Dennis just a tad beyond our scheduled meeting point at mile 9, which is the ONLY stop I made during the entire 15-mile run so I could use the facilities and get more water. He was feeling good (yea) but he had to run almost 6 miles UP and to boot, in the nasty wind. Major points to me for not stopping 19 times - beings I seem to have a stopping issue lately! I tried to keep my pace even though I was tiring some and there are a few more rolling ups on the last stretch. There's more snow along this section of the road, I guess it doesn't get as much sun as the upper portion does, so I did have to be more careful with my footing. Dennis popped off to find a bush for a minute and I kept going, vowing not to slow. I think it took him a bit over a half mile to catch me (he's speedy) and during this time, I got a tinge of light-headedness. I also had taken some Sport Beans about a mile back and that was starting to upset my stomach. Not sure why since I've been able to take these in the past - this "sensitive stomach" thing is really driving me nuts lately (sometimes? I didn't mean that...I meant "always")!! I took some Xood, electrolyte I've been playing with and some Perpetuem, which I'm using in place of GU, and that seemed to combat both the problems slightly. When Dennis and I ran to the top of the underpass hill into Idaho Springs, I told him it was time to pick up the pace the last mile and not to let me fall under 8:05. I wanted to get off the main road away from the traffic so hopped off onto what I thought was a side street but actually was an alley - which was a little snowy and slick. I cranked out the last mile in 8:01 - yea - and stopped my watch, and my run, at 15 miles!


A huge spirit boost for sure. Despite what's going on in my personal life that's been clawing me downward, today's run was a huge victory. Dennis and I celebrated with my promised bribe and had lunch at Beau Jo's, famous for it's really thick pizza crust that you dip in honey at the end (Pic: how's that for a pizza!!!). In true recent ADD nature, I did the customary crust into honey dip and yikes!!!! totally didn't think ahead to honey falling into giving-up-sugar-for-while category. Oh well, it wasn't pounds of processed sugar'd chocolate candy or half my daughter's birthday cake - it was a couple tsp of honey and well...I had reason to celebrate (I can justify most anything :) ). I'm certain the pizza itself was more destructive than the tad of honey I consumed. ugh.

I'm not sure how the next few weeks are going to pan out with all the mess that's piling high at home but I'm grateful that I got my mind to temporarily let go and allow myself to do what I love to do most: run! It may be borrowed time, I'm not sure, but I loved that I had a great run today - on MANY levels! And I'm grateful for my running friends that continue to be there for me. Wow, it's not even "weekly mileage/Gratitude" blog day!!!

Other news:
- college daughter is home. Her stuff is scattered all over the upstairs hallway. 6 weeks may be...challenging....(but man, I have missed her!! She just needs to get a holiday job!!!!!!)
- I'm not that sore today. SCORE!
- Starting day 7 of sans sugar (we're not counting the slight honey mishap as "sugar" this time around :) ): going okay. Some times harder than others. As I sit here and type at my kitchen counter, I have to say I'm somewhat craving a bowl of Coco Puffs!! But I won't give in. It's just an experiment, to see if I can manage to have some self-control, through the marathon. And to get my body fat down (it is - yea!!). I'm sure I'll be flying on a sugar high the day after Tucson!
- Took the boys to the high school play last night: Dracula. Wanted them to see how the high schoolers did it - they were impressed. Great play! I hope they continue with drama in high school. Neither of them are "actors" - they are technical and like the stage crew. Twin 2 loves the lighting, twin 1 the set set-up.
- I'm officially done with winter. What month is it???
- Shout outs to those running the Philly marathon today! And all other races. I hope everyone runs strong!


Anna Banana said...

Congrats! Sometimes training runs that good are even better than races because those training runs are the ones that give you confidence. What beautiful senery to run in and sounds like a good running partenr too! I have had pizza there before and it is TO DIE FOR!!! and I totally dipped it in the honey..because when you go places with a tradition like a signature drink or appetizer you got to try it so honey dipping a total must!

Dennis said...

Thanks for the run Jill. It was fun and a good workout for me. Now I know what it's like to run UP from Idaho Springs. I prefer going East.

You ran really well and had a strong finish on the flat mile in Idaho Springs.

Nice write up on your blog and pictures too.
You forgot the parts where you almost got hit by a car while adjusting your ipod on the road and I yelled and saved your life.

And when you almost got backed into by that other car in the trailer park and I yelled and saved your life.

Thanks for Lunch.

Unknown said...

Looks like you had a great run, nice paces! I especially liked your reward lunch, yum! That town is really cute.
Nice ADD move with the honey mustard, that was very minor though on our ADD scale, don't you think?
So, you want to do a 50 miler? Let's meet half way somewhere in 2010 and do one!

elaine said...

So grateful to Dennis, whoever he is, for saving your life. TWICE! And what is that white stuff on the ground? Not seeing any of that here....

Tim F said...

Hi Jill, awesome blog! Glad you have a great run!

Anonymous said...

Tucson forecast still sketchy. May or may not be heavy snow on race day. Not sure if snowshoes allowed.

Abby said...

Sounds like an awesome run! I'm glad to hear you're feeling better, at least about running.

Knock 'em dead at Tucson!

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

Running in snow! You totally rock! So glad you got out and did it. And what a great running partner!

Honey dipped crust...I am going to HAVE to try that!

Tim said...

Go Jill Go!

Anonymous said... on honey crust

Anonymous said...

I mean honey crust on pizza.

Anonymous said...

Crap...I mean honey on pizza crust!!!!!!!!!! Aargh!!

Anonymous said...

Holy cow! Did you see this? I assume they're sending to registered runners, but just in case, here it is. Sorta changes your race strategy, no?

TUCSON -- Pam Reed, longtime director of the Holualoa Tucson Marathon, announced Sunday that the Tucson race will change directions this year, starting at Coronado Middle School in Tucson and ending in the Old West town of Oracle.
This marks a dramatic shift for the marathon, long known the fastest course in America and a favorite of runners aiming to qualify for the Boston Marathon.
" I have been a fan of the Comrades Marathon (an ultramarathon in South Africa that alternates the direction of its course yearly, from uphill to downhill," Reed said. "I thought, 'If it works for them, why not try it in America? I hope this will present a fresh challenge for our runners and begin a tradition that will last many years."
Not all runners seem to be pleased with the 11th-hour development.
"I signed up for this race specifically for a fast time," says Bob DeMeola of Stamford, Conn. "Now I'm flying all the way across the country for an uphill death march and my slowest time ever? Thanks for the huge advance warning."
But others were more excited.
"It will be like our own Pikes Peak Marathon, but without the annoying Coloradans," said Tucson's Amy Shandling.
It is not known yet if refunds will be available for runners who are already registered but don't want to run the uphill course.
Race director Reed was running the Ironman Tempe in Phoenix and unavailable for further questions Sunday.
Check back to our Web site as more details become available.


Anonymous said...

Oops. My mistake. NOT from Arizona Daily Star. It's off a PR newswire feed we get. Star must've just picked it up. But not their writer.

Unknown said...

Piiiiizzzzzzzzaaaa........mmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Yes, please!

Katie A. said...

Great run! Loved the pics! Did you run in trail shoes for the snow or with Yaktraxs? I'm heading to the snow for Christmas in the Sierras and bought some Yaktrax...hope they work!
And that pizza looks awesome! :)

obxrunner said...


Katie said...

Wow! That run looked incredible! I don't mind trail running in general, but really really hate the snow! It does make everything so much harder. Nice job!

Anonymous said...

That sounds like a fabulous run and that pizza looks absolutely, positively amazing!!!! Great job-- I don't know how you run in the snow, I think I'd freeze :)

Mikey B said...

That pizza looks freakin' awesome!!! Great job on the run.

Christina said...

I'm running Tucson...the half and saw the comment above about running it backwards. Are they serious?