Thursday, March 29, 2007

Weekend Runs, Injuries and Curses - warning LONG post

This is a catch up blog to let you know how the runs went last weekend. There was the 20k trail run on Saturday in the Marin headlands and a itty-bitty 5k run on Sunday at Coyote Hills, close to home.

Saturday....what can I say about this run....except it was miserable. Started off with me waking up Saturday morning with that heavy, congested chest feeling of an oncoming illness. Great start. The drive there was nice and supposedly scenic, although with all the freakin' fog who could tell. This is not looking good. "Not to worry" my buddy Tina says, "It burns off by 10:30 or so." Okay, okay.

We sat in the nice toasty car waiting for the start time to approach and discussed whether we'd actually do the 20k or only do the 8k. We DID run 5.5 miles just on Thursday, so 20k might be pushing it. Hmmmm. Well, we don't have to decide until we hit the split point on the trail. We have other options too..we could take a short cut which will make the trail about 10 miles, 16k, but we'd still have to tackle the 2nd hill from hell.

Oh, time to go. We go to the start and take off with the crazy 30k and 50k people. What's better than starting with a big long hill?!? And then more hill and then steps. Before we know it, it's the decision point...ah, what the heck we can walk that 2nd hill, right? So we go for it, planning to take the short cut. Ok, let me just say that if I had believed Tina in how loooooooong that damn hill was I would have voted to skip it. Ugh. At one point I thought my lungs were going to burst, from exertion and illness combined. And the higher we went up the hill, the colder and windier it got. That damn fog wasn't burning off.

Granted, what we could see was really pretty, but it wasn't enough to make the run enjoyable. So, we took the shortcut and ended up back on the trail, where people who had passed us gave us some pretty perplexed looks as we ended up in front of them again. That was pretty funny.

Oh, they save the best for last on this run too. You get to run across the beach to the finish line. Yeah, great, I always wanted to finish up a 10 mile trail run by running through molasses. My feet were sooooo heavy. But we finally made it to the finish line around 2:40 later. Ugh, miserable.

We hit the finish line changed into sweats and grabbed a bowl of hot soup. Now that felt good. Some more treats and we were on our way outta' there.

On the way home, Tina took me to the Marine Mammal Center where she volunteers. They rescue abandoned and injured seals and sea lions, rehab them and then release them. They currently have quite a few Elephant Seal pups. Oh man, were those little guys CUTE! I wanted to pet them, but that is HIGHLY discouraged. They really don't want them to get used to people.

Sunday's run was to be a quick 5k. After Saturday I considered blowing it off, but I wanted my t-shirt. :-) We did get to sleep in since it was so close to home, but then of course there was no parking and we had to be 'shuttled' into the park. Shuttled by a minivan driving 20 something who hit those speed bumps like nobodies business. Wow.

There were quite a few people and we trotted along until it opened up a little bit. Then 'the orange shirt girl' passed us. Okay, no problem. She was bugging me a bit, but okay. Then there was a little girl and her mom(?) that were walk-running. We would pass them while they were walking then they'd pass us while they were running. And that snotty little girl would look back to make sure we were behind them. I'm sure that's what she was doing. I put up with her for 2 miles, but then I couldn't take it anymore. I had to get away from them. I picked up the pace a bit, and sadly, yes, I was a terrible running friend, I left Tina behind. I was a woman possessed. I was going to finish this damn thing in front of that 8 year old if it killed me. Oooooh, as I got closer to the finish line I spied orange shirt girl. You guessed it, she was going down. I picked up the speed a little more and passed her. I saw her try to pick it up too and get by me. No way was I going to let THAT happen. Happily I beat her! I may be slow but I'm faster than her! Hahahahahahaha! Oh, man, I really need to get that competitive streak under control.

So I'm pretty sure she put some sort of curse on me. Yeah, I'm pretty sure. My knee has been bothering me for almost a week now. Maybe a tendon strain, probably a curse. I asked Tina if she knew the anti-curse, but she was no help. Sigh. Serves me right I guess for gloating, even if the gloating was in private. Have I learned a valuable lesson here? Probably not. Although Tina did volunteer to always run behind me if it would make me feel better to be beating someone. Somehow it just isn't the same. :-D

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