Oddly enough, I think this was my longest run since Quest for Kings, another one of Jun's creations. And it puts my total mileage for the week at 28, which I think is my highest mileage since the week of Quest for Kings. Do you know what I used to call 28-mile weeks? Recovery.
Anyway, yesterday Jun warned me that things could be sloppy today, and since yesterday was such a beautiful day and I never check weather reports, I had no idea what he was talking about. But when I woke up to drizzle and gloom this morning, not to mention snow on the mountains, I say what he meant and I almost decided to stay home.
Although I did decide to go, we got out the door a little late (funny how often that happens with a baby) and I had to skip breakfast. So at 9:30ish I found myself lining up for a 13-mile trail run having had nothing in the past 10 hours but a small glass of Dr. Pepper 10 and half a fun-size packet of Skittles. Smart.
Even smarter, when I left the house I didn't think to grab any water or gels. Fortunately, Jun had a spare handheld that he lent to me. Even more fortunately, there was a Hammer Gel in that handheld that I ate halfway through the race. (Don't worry, Jun--I'm good for it.)
In an email yeterday Jun had mentioned that if the weather was bad enough we could all run the 10K option instead, so when the race actually started I dawdled long enough to ask him if anyone was going to run the half. I was hoping he would say no, because I didn't feel like running that far, but he didn't, so I felt obligated to go the whole distance.
I quickly caught up with and ran through most of the pack before settling into a lead group of two with Dragon Vulture. Once I realized it was him, I knew I wasn't going to win, because he actually trains. I like to call that cheating.
Anyway, we ran together and chatted for a few miles until somewhere near Corner Canyon, when I stopped to tie my shoes and lost contact with him. But I found him a couple of miles later, after he had apparently taken a wrong turn, and we ran up Canyon Hollow together.
There, like everywhere in Corner Canyon, the trails were a muddy, gooey mess, but even so we managed a respectable pace to the top. I had no desire to push things on the slippery, sloppy descent, however, and that's where DV lost me for good.
I kept expecting to blow up on the return trip, but instead I experienced more of a slow fade. The climbs weren't feeling good to me, but I was able to run them all, so I just kept plugging along. Before I knew it (and after only one wrong turn) I was at the finish, and Catherine and Elliott were there waiting with hot chocolate and donuts. How cool is that?
Anyway, we headed over to Jun's house for the post-race barbecue, and that was it. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday.
Oh yeah--I mentioned a while back that my 101s had blown out in the forefoot right before Speedgoat. Just before the race today I noticed that they had blown out in the heels, too, reducing them to nothing more than a pair of makeshift sandals (like the Tarahumara wear!), even though they only had 240 miles on them. They held up for the race, and when I got home they went straight to the trash. I liked running in them, but overall they turned out to be some pretty crappy shoes. Strange, because my 100s lasted over 500 miles and didn't die until I "accidentally" destroyed them with a mini-hacksaw.