Sunday, March 13, 2011

I Kissed Mother Earth

Monday, March 7th 2011: 9 miles @ 10:46 minutes per mile pace. I walked out the door at 5:00am and into a torrential downpour. Honestly - who, in their right mind, participates in a hobby which involves waking up at 5:00am to run for a few hours while wearing a large black garbage bag? Who? Who! I'll answer that for you - nobody. Nobody in their right mind does that. Which is why I was out at 5:00am in pouring rain wearing a garbage bag.

I had stuff going the next day so I decided to do the next day's run on Monday night: 4 miles @ 8:59 minutes per mile pace. I haven't done a tempo run on purpose in months (or years?) and was curious how I'd feel running at goal marathon pace for a few miles.

I really want to run under a 4 hour marathon someday which is around 9:09 per mile. But this run wasn't very encouraging. I was pooped by the end and couldn't imagine running another 22 miles like that. I'm not going to give up trying, but part of me wonders if this goal is a little out of reach.

Tuesday, March 8th 2011: Rest.

Wednesday, March 9th 2011: 13 miles @ 10:34 minutes per mile pace. I ran on the Arizona Strip dirt road which is equally challenging and beautiful.

There is one hill which is a real beast. I loathe it. I saw a car driving up it which gives a better perspective of how big the hill is:

The dirt road requires crossing two cattle guards. You earn bonus points if you don't sprain your ankle:

I put sunscreen on but still managed to get a little bit burned. That wasn't a surprise though. I can get a sunburn while standing inside. At night.

Thursday, March 10th 2011: 4 miles @ 10:53 minutes per mile pace. This was one of those I-Feel-Like-A-Slug days. My legs had no interest in moving. I had my taper planned for the upcoming ultra, but after today I think I'm going to taper my taper just to make sure I'm fully rested.

Friday, March 11th 2011: Rest.

Saturday, March 12th 2011: 9 miles @ 12:08 minutes per mile pace. I ran the Hurricane Rim trail which is technically challenging so my pace was slower. I ran into a few problems in the last mile of the run. First - I got a pretty good roll of the ankle. A word popped out of my mouth that shouldn't have popped out of my mouth as my knees hit the dirt. I think I fell before it did major damage though.

About five minutes later I was cruising down the trail when apparently I tripped on a rock. I had this strange realization that I was flying through the air, mid-flight, like I was sliding for home plate. It was the weirdest feeling to be airborne and know that I would be kissing Mother Earth a split second later.

And then I kissed Mother Earth. My knees got in on the action too. I was so angry. I grabbed a water bottle and spiked it to the ground. Then I felt a little better.

I was only a few minutes away from the car and decided I better walk back, considering my poor track record for the day. Next time I'm on a trail I plan to do better at staying vertical.

"I grew up believing that once you completed a marathon it was as if you had been sworn into a secret society. A society of runners who become sisters and brothers, bonded by blisters, chaffing, dehydration, cramping and intense pain! We will have endured the same rigorous path together."
~ Shalane Flanagan


  1. Ouch, hope you are ok. Other than that sounds like you had a pretty good week. Can I just say with 2-3 inches of snow on the ground this morning - I am totally jealous of wearing sunscreen!! But....Spring is just around the corner and we are supposed to hit 70 this week.

  2. Dear Cory,

    You are fast. Remember? It's in your blog title, so obviously it's true. I think you could do a marathon in under 4. I, too, am jealous of your need to wear sunblock. I ran today and it was 32 degrees and it was a heat wave.


  3. I did not wear sunscreen on my 15miler yesterday and I toasted up like a tomato. I am wearing sunscreen for today's bike and run though. I don't ever remember falling running, I am sure it's bound to happen though.

  4. I kissed mother earth on Sat at my first trail run/marathon. Not fun. My knees are still screaming at me. Hope they heal enough before Buffalo.

    Did you email my sister? and did she reply? Was it helpful?

    Dude.... 8 days, I am so freaking excited.

  5. Michael - the weather is PERFECT right now in our area. Wish it would stay like this all year.

    Amylee - thank you. The encouragement boosts mean a lot to me. I don't envy your heat wave.

    Patrick - hope it's a long time before you eat cement. I'll knock on wood for you.

    Janice - Hope your knees feel better FAST. I've been playing phone tag with your sister but we'll get in touch soon. Boy - reading "8 days" gave me butterflies in my stomach.