8 mile long run

Put down eight miles this weekend. It was a good, strong, slow run. I was lucky to avoid most of the downpours in the bay area, but it was still windy, wet, and hovered around forty degrees, rising to forty-three degrees by the time I was finished with the run. Colder for the bay area, but not close to Antarctica cold.

I’m still a mile behind my training schedule for the long runs, but with how I’ve been feeling while running (💪🏼), I’m okay with that.

It’s four weeks until we leave for Antarctica and the race is exactly five weeks away. I can’t believe how fast it is approaching. I still have a lingering cough, which I can’t attribute to anything but that damned flu shot I received weeks ago. I just want it to go away.

As far as race gear, the plan is to wear a long sleeve performance tee under a warmer three-quarter zip fleece, which will be topped with a waterproof shell. Depending on how cold it will be on race day, I will increase the thickness of the waterproof shell. So I’ll probably bring two. Not sure yet.

My gloves are half fingerless with mittens that pop on top of them. Really great for both warming, cooling, and operating my iPhone, Go Pro (if I bring it), zipper on water bottle bag, etc.

Bottoms will be warm running tights with shorts on top. Again, if it’s really raining or sleeting or the wind is over 25 mph, I’ll add thin, waterproof shell pants.

I’ve got great trail shoes, warm (and proven) running socks, a warm beanie and if needed a balaclava. I haven’t landed on my sunglasses yet, but have a backup pair if I don’t find what I want in the next few weeks.

As far as nutrition, it’s only 13.1 miles, so I’ll likely stick mostly with water and dates. I might add a CLIF bar in my pack for a just-in-case scenario. Maybe I’ll lose more calories in the cold than I realize, so I’d rather be on the safe side.

It’s all getting so close. Will continue to keep you posted as the weeks count down.

Until then, stay healthy. 🙏


Back at it

slippery when wet paint on run path with Saucony shoes

It took over a week to recover from the flu shot-caused illness, at least enough to start running again. I did three very tough miles in an attempt to get back on the half marathon training schedule. I hope to knock out six more this weekend, which is still a mile behind where I should be.

But I suppose I’m not the first or last runner who has encountered sickness during her training so let me share what I’ve learned.

If you get sick, get rest. I think sleeping for hours or days at a time actually shortened the illness. I didn’t try to get out too soon and simply let the virus take its course while I stayed hydrated and warm under many blankets.

Drink lots of liquids. No brainer here. The more liquids you can drink to help your body flush out the badness, the faster you’ll recover.

Vitamin C is king. I took loads of vitamin C even though I doubted it would help with the flu virus. It did. I wasn’t nearly as tired or feverish after I started loading up on the C. Make sure you have enough zinc in your system to absorb it too.

Sticking to the bulletproof fast was easier than ever. Since I didn’t have an appetite, eating during a short, say eight-hour window, was a snap. I ate only healthy, clean foods with mega-nutrients like avocados, lettuce, nuts, salmon, etc.

As an aside, I’m loving the bulletproof coffee concoction with the intermittent fasting, and will give an update next week after the three week experiment officially ends.

Last but not least, although I am no doctor, my experience has told me to avoid the flu shot. If you had the shot and believe it works for you, then keep at it. Good for you. If you’ve not had the injection in the past and not caught the flu, you probably don’t need it.

Although flu shots can have different ingredients, the most popular injection contains genetically modified dead flu strands along with a bunch of other junk they label stabilizers and preservatives. Oh, and don’t forget the wonderful lot of antibiotics they also include in there. Antibiotics in the flu shot. Strange, isn’t it?

This terrible mixture goes directly into your blood stream. In my case, a few days later it manifested into a painful and debilitating illness that lasted over a week.

I don’t care what the CDC says about its “safety.” It’s not like large governing bodies in the US have a fabulous track record of open and honest policies. Historically, they tend to make lobbyists and big businesses, like drug companies who produce the shot, lots of money. What a racket. 👎

Stay healthy runners.


Antarctica

It was 2014 when I sent my application in for the half marathon taking place in Antarctica. A couple of months later, I was waitlisted without an estimated date or time for acceptance. My assumption was it would take a year. It seemed reasonable, like most marathons, a year or a little less is about when they open. But not this one.

Four years later, I got the green light to send in the rest of my deposit. The race folks confirmed I would be running in the 2019 race. A full five years later. But, hey, it was official. I had a room on a ship going to Antarctica, and this would be my final half marathon.

The problem with such a long waitlist is I’m no longer in the marathon-running shape I was in back in 2014 or 15 or even 16. I’m older and slower and have really started to enjoy not running for hours, not training during what were supposed to be slow weekend mornings, not enduring a foam rolling after the run. No more ice on my knees and piles of sweaty running gear filling up my laundry hamper.

Come on, I tell myself, trying to get motivated, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. How can I not take it on, and try to enjoy it regardless of how old I feel, or how old I really am? Maybe with all of this training and running to come, I might feel younger again. But deep down I doubt it. It’s more likely, I’ll feel older.

So I’m starting slowly. I’ve signed up to work out with a personal trainer once or twice a week depending on our schedules, just to give myself a base level of fitness. I have a history of getting injured while training and I think it’s because I’m not really that fit before I jump right in to running longer distances. I’ve been working with the trainer for about three weeks now.

I’ve also signed up for the first 5k I’ve attempted in so, so long. It’s a hilly up and down, out and back trail race. Training for that has also begun. Training, meaning, I put on my shoes and attempt to meet the distances, but mostly I’m tired and winded.

Regardless of my fitness level, I am excited about visiting Antarctica. Not many people get the opportunity to visit that continent. For me, Antarctica will be my seventh and last remaining continent to step foot on. I’m pretty stoked.

Now, I just need to get that running and fitness thing moving in the right direction. I’ve missed a couple of training runs already this week. It’s time to get in gear or I’ll never know what it was like to complete my last half on the most remote continent in the world.


5k training run

Signed up for a 5k in December. It will be my first trail race in preparation for my last, and most ambitious, half marathon in Antarctica in March.

But right now, my fitness level is embarrassing. I’m so out of shape when I run even short distances, I’m winded for the first five or ten minutes. Other runners say that will go away, but I’m not feeling it. This is my second week and I’m still fatigued. If I don’t start running now, by setting small goals like the 5k in early December, I can’t fathom being prepared for a much longer – four times longer – run in five months.

The training race I picked is called Summit Rock, and its organized from one of my favorite local companies, Brazen Racing. When I’ve run with them in the past, many years ago, I found they ran well-supported races and a good post-race spread. They have a great community of runners too. For Summit Rock, racers can partake in three distances: 5k, 10k, and half marathon. Located in Saratoga, Sanborn County Park has a challenging foot trail that increases in elevation for about four miles before leveling off.

Since I’m running the 5k, the course is straight up – about 2200 feet of elevation gain – and at the halfway point, runners turn around and head back down 2200 feet to the start/finish line. I don’t have trail running shoes, so I’ll use my road shoes and see how things go.

While I’ve sold or donated most of my possessions, oddly enough, they didn’t include trail running shoes or winter running gear, which is what I’ll need for the half marathon in Antarctica.

I haven’t started to think about the actual packing list for Antartica. When I get to it, I expect to have warm, waterproof trail running shoes on it, along with a solid race-day winter running getup, which I’ll get to test out during my cold winter training runs.

Until then, I’ll keep hitting the warm trails, working the hills, and feeling the exhaustion. Send love and support.


Recovery

Image

It’s been a few weeks since my injury and I haven’t seemed to be able to recover. I can go about five miles before debilitating pain sets in. It starts in my foot, travels to my toes and then up into my shin, eventually traveling along my IT band to my hip, where it likes to exude a leg-numbing pain. Man, it sucks. So I’m bummed. The marathon is about five weeks away and it’s looking like I’m likely not going to finish it, or run/walk it slow enough to officially DNF. I’m sick over it. Praying for a miracle.


Gratitude

SF Bay Water

I have a ton of gratitude for all that has come my way. I get to eat dinner everyday and sometimes hem and haw over which cuisine I might fancy. And I often get to have seconds if I so desire. I get to sleep in a comfortable bed every night with clean sheets under a roof that doesn’t leak in a house that is a safe place. I get fresh water freely and take hot showers daily. I work inside a building where, unless I’m really clumsy in the cafe, I won’t lose a finger or limb. My life is abundantly blessed.

Today on my 10 mile run I thought about many of the things, big and small, that I am grateful for including the ability to run freely under an open sky, at my own pace, feeling myself breathing, watching the path disappear under my feet, pushing my boundaries under my own will. It was perfect at times. I’m so lucky to have moved to a place where I have relatively easy access to a running path that will serve as my marathon training ground. I’m so lucky to have the means to afford running shoes, shorts, bras, hats, etc. And to afford to enter a marathon, with both my time and money.

All of this gratitude helped ease the pain on the run today, but make no mistake, there was pain. Enough to scare me into wondering how the hell I’m going to do almost three runs like the one I completed today with less than three months left of training time. I thought the fear and anxiety would have subsided by now, but I couldn’t have been wronger. The reality of how long this run is couldn’t be more real or scarier. I just don’t want to let anyone down.