Sweat is Good

How about a horrible photo of my smiling through the sweat on the treadmill while at the gym last night to terrify you on this Friday afternoon?

Work has been keeping me fairly overwhelmed this week, which has actually been good since I really do need a little distraction from my broken heart.  I haven’t gone out and hit the asphalt like I should and for that I feel awful.  I realized last night it had nothing to do with exhaustion or time constraints as much as leaving me with too much time to myself.   I know this heart ache is just as much part of sharing my life with dogs as the incredible humor (and absolute horror) of watching them take off the through the front yard with that ridiculously neon colored lacy thong your mom insisted you needed while all your neighbors and their children watch (true story).

Last night I took a deep breath and trotted over to the gym.  I put my miles in while staring raptly at endless closed captioned political advertisements.  I abhor political ads and yet I watched them with all the intensity I devote to such topics as Zumba infomercials and reruns of Friends.  It was surprisingly a good workout and I did spend a little time in my own head as I loped home at a casual pace to devour a handmade cheese pizza with a side of the most amazing gazpacho you will ever wrap your tonsils around.  I did well with it.  It takes time.

On a brighter note, I received a fabulous pair of the most amazing purple compression socks.  I will be sport these pretty bad girls after my 33 mile weekend next week.

Oh?  Did I not mention that?  Well then, let’s get happy shall we?

There is a bit of a tradition in these parts where certain half crazed and totally bad ass runners I know strike out on or around their birthday and run their age in miles.  This is not a new concept but it one that up until a few months ago I simply just stood back and said, “You guys have fun with that.”

That is until I got all focused and motivated for the Tahoe Trifecta.  Somwhere in all my mileage and back to back runs, I realized that not only did I want to actually make an attempt to run my age in miles on my birthday this year but it actually fit into the training program perfectly.

I will turn 33 next Tuesday and thus, I will run 33 miles between 8/24 and 8/26.  That’s only an average of 11 miles a day, come on now!  That isn’t bad at all!  Or so I say now.  You can guarantee, however, that when I am NOT on the trail you will be finding me in my bright pretty purple compression socks sipping a cold beer under a pile of terriers.

Here is my strategy to date:

On Friday I will start with a nice 6-8 miles through the neighborhood to loosen up and get warmed up.  I will chase that with 7-9 miles in Washoe Valley.  And finally, wrap it up with a lovely 16-18 miles on Sunday.

The challenge became finding a way to get in up to 18 miles without getting bored while also making sure I had access to resources  and running buddies along the way.  It actually turned out not to be as much of a challenge as I thought it would be.  In fact, I immediately know where and how I wanted to do it:

Over the winter I made a few treks up a mountain to the every so spectacular Hunter Creek Falls.  During these HIKING adventures, I noted a few rugged runners loping their way up the mountain and resolved that next year I would run it too (I really need to have a long hard discussion with my inner bad ass.  She seems to have decided that I can absolutely do anything I set my mind to and gives me crazy ideas like ultra marathons and running up mountains just for fun).

Hunter Creek Falls, November 2011

What better weekend than on my birthday, right?  Of course, right.  It also doesn’t hurt that the 6 mile out and back to the falls (with a 1,3000’ climb) comes backs to the parking lot where I can refuel, pick up my running buddy and head out for a really nice easy 10-12 mile trail out and back on the ditch trail.

Yes, that is me doing a plank on a plank on the trail to Hunter Creek Falls. And yes, I do think I will do it again, thank you very much!

So there you have it:  33 miles in three days.

As excited as I am to take on this challenge, I am also a little sad.  This is exactly the type of weekend Rambo lived for.  I am going to miss yelling 35 times to GET OUT OF THE RIVER NOW and taking breaks on rocks overlooking the city.  Okay, I would take the break and he would have me throw a stick 82 times because he really didn’t need a break.  I know he’ll still be out there with us in his own way.  It is just going to take me a little time to get used to it.