Sunday, July 31, 2016

Trying to catch up.

I haven't blogged in a while... Oops. And I had been doing so well! I have been pretty busy with the wedding preparation, and we decided to buy a house instead of renting. House hunting is basically a part time job. I have been doing some running, though, and it's time to talk about it.

The weekend after the Bear Lake triple, we were off to run Ragnar Wasatch Back. 5 of the 6 of us in van two had been at the Bear Lake event, so we weren't really sure how it was going to go. We made it up to the first exchange to take over from van one and it was HOT. I think we all nearly melted trying to get through our first legs. We managed to survive and headed out to what we thought was the second exchange. The directions that were written in the booklet made it sound like we needed to go to the high school that was actually the third exchange. So we sat around forever, waiting for our runner to come in. We realized our error a bit too late, but we managed to book it on over to the proper exchange and get back on track. The van one people only waited maybe 10 minutes before we made it there.

Our nights legs all went well, but when the sun went down, it got downright cold. You had to keep moving at a decent pace to keep warm. I had a 6 mile run downhill and I have never run 6 miles so fast in my life. It turns out that I can run super fast when I have a full bladder and I'm freezing. I was managing 10 minute miles, and I NEVER do that. I came in so much faster than my team was expecting that I had to wait a few minutes for them to come take over. We finished up our second set of runs just after sunrise and headed to the last exchange.
An epic hand off to Scott on the first day.
At the last exchange, we tried to sleep in the van, but the hot sun made it difficult to get much sleep. So we were all feeling cranky at this point. As the day progressed, the crankiness turned to loopiness as we tried to get through the tail end of the race. Jamie, our runner 12, got to run some bonus miles at the end as well, because of a last minute course change.
Team Haulin' Arse, looking triumphant. 
I spent the week following Ragnar just trying to recover. Those things always beat me up, worse than any ultra I've run. The fatigue is overpowering. But I had another race to run the next weekend, so I did my best to catch up on sleep and do some active recovery at the gym.

Next up was the AF Canyon Half. The proceeds from this race go to cancer research. It's a wonderful course, as well, so it's a win/win all around. I didn't feel so great at the start (go figure) and it was a struggle to get through it. I did manage a decent time due to the course.
Scott ran up the course to meet me, and get his miles in for the day. It's always so great when he does that. I enjoy having the company to get me through the last few miles of a race.
As an extra bonus, he always runs ahead to capture the finish. It's like having my own personal race photographer, plus a lunch date for afterwards.
Photo credit: Scott M. Stringham
I was still feeling quite a bit of fatigue from the past weeks of racing, so I spent even more time not running during the week to try and be ready for the next weekend of racing. The 13 Miles of Freedom was up next. Scott, Jamie, and I were all in for yet another half marathon. This one was nice because they cooked up a pancake breakfast for us at the end. We all struggled with the heat, and our finish times were not what we wanted, but at least we got it done.
Running for America. Photo credit: Jamie Eckles. 
So patriotic. 
I had one more race to get through before a much needed break. My last race for July was the Hobbler Half Marathon. The course is down the canyon right by my house. I like the race for its convenience, plus the french toast breakfast afterwards. Scott ran this one with me, too, since he needed 13 miles for the day anyway so why not get a medal for it?

It was a nice day to race. It started early enough that we got through before it got too hot outside. I was finally feeling good and was able to run a strong race. I finished with my fastest half marathon time for the year. They changed the course from the previous years that I had run it. There was less downhill with the new course, but it didn't seem to matter to my time.
With all of the races out of the way, I still have had to get my long training runs in. The heat has been sending me inside to get most of them done on the treadmill. But I have been managing to get most of them in. My training hasn't been perfect, what with everything else going on. I've got the Bear Lake 50 coming up in September, and I really don't know if I'll be ready or not. I may end up not doing it, depending on how things go after the wedding, honeymoon, and the continued house hunt. At least we're running a race on the honeymoon (I know you're all surprised to hear that).

I hope to have a more entertaining and timely blog for y'all next time. Until then, happy running!