So a few posts ago, I declared my intention to run a 5k in November and a 10k in December. Those were my racing goals for the rest of the year and I was genuinely excited about them.
Until I wasn’t.
I drew up a training plan, based on the free Hal Higdon ones you get online. Usually a new training spreadie fills me with joy and excitement. This time I just stared at the spreadsheet with no desire to start training hard again. And I realized I wasn’t there yet.
It turns out that what I really wanted to do was run trails. Just to run through the forest, to tackle the long climbs that make me feel like dying and to fly endlessly downhill. So with a little more searching, I found my next race. It’s the Mt Tam Half Marathon on November 12th.
3,000 feet of climbing in 13 miles. New trails – and not just any trails but trails that I’ve wanted to run for years now but have never got round to doing. Ladders. Stairs. Ocean views. Forests. I am honestly beside myself, especially because I persuaded Lisa that she should do it with me. My goal is totally to have fun. I’m thinking it would take me about 3 hours but I am honestly not bothered if it’s 2 hrs 30 or 3 hrs 30. I’m doing this for joy!
But joy can only get a girl so far. A girl also needs to do some hill training! So this week, I’ve been running hills.
On Monday, my legs were STILL sore and stiff from Friday night’s Barre class, so I just ran three easy flat miles and STILL suffered.
On Tuesday, I headed to Seal Point and ran five repeats of the west-side slope and then 5 times up the 80-odd stairs there. It nearly killed me but I kind of loved the brutality.
On Wednesday, I had a real treat and got to run trails. The Dude had plans all afternoon so I met up with a new friend who has just moved to my church from Alaska. She’s moved from a place where she could run 40 miles on trails from her front door to a place where there’s basically just concrete for 40 miles from her front door. I took her to Huddart Park and introduced her to the delights of the Bay Area trails. I got to watch her look up her first redwood, we clambered over fallen trees over the trail, we listened to our feet crunching on leaves and padding silently on dropped pine needles. We talked non-stop, discovered our very similar approach to parenting (lots of outdoors stuff with ice-cream as bribery) and just had this wonderful hour of running together.
On Friday, I met Lisa at 6am in the dark and in the rain to run hill repeats. We only managed two repeats up the half-mile climb due to lack of time, but it was enough to get the heart pounding and the quads burning. Love it.
There will be plenty more hill-climbing over the next few weeks! I’m not particularly good up hills but I really relish the challenge, so I’m really excited to run up Mt Tam in a few weeks’ time.