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 on....the.....dot!
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!!!
- 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!