Saturday, I got in my long run of 14 miles with my awesome friends Robin W, Amanda, and Dana. It was hot and humid (what a shocker folks!). But we pushed through it. But on Sunday, my usual rest day, we parted ways. My three buds went to race the Summer Bath House 5k and check this out:
That's right... they ALL got bling! So proud of these ladies for rockin' it at the lake.
But I made the decision to join a few other ladies for a trail run... including Kristi
from Half Virgin and her buddy and awesome commenter here, Shanda. As well as the amazing Greg and Fiona, the sweet Shannon, the hilarious Catherine and her sisters, and my saving grace for the day... Alicia
(to the right).
We got to the trails at 6am, and I was already creeped out. It was pitch black, and it looked like I was in the middle of nowhere. Craziness. But a little light finally broke, and we started out. The plan was to run one 7-8 mile loop. Despite the Saturday long run, I foolishly thought I could push through this without issue. The ladies took off for mile 1 at a hefty pace, and I was already busy sweating. By mile 2, my view was more like this:
See how everyone else became a dot on the horizon? But that was ok with me. I hung with Alicia and Catherine...
Both ladies are experienced with the trails, so I was well taken care of as I whined up and down and up and down and over the logs and to the side for the bikes to pass and... I was completely focused on my feet and not falling, and we failed to pay attention to that thing sitting 5'11" above my feet, so I did get clocked by a few branches, but I didn't fall.
There was some of this...
and some of this:
And a little more of this:
Hey Dorothy, we're not in Kansas anymore... Of course, by mile 4, I was wishing I could click my heels together. I was spent. My legs were bricks, my breathing was labored, and my water was quickly depleting. And the lovely Shannon decided to join our clan at the back. The speedies don't know what they were missing, because the peanut gallery was in the back.
The speedies would wait for us at points where the trail turned or split... And when you least expect it, someone takes a photo with a little less beauty and a little more beast... possibly the most unflattering photo of me EVER...
Covered in sweat, rear needing a "wide load" sign... and a left thigh that is apparently eating my Nike Tempos for breakfast. Beautiful. Running is all about class, I tell ya...
The legs got more and more tired, but we took liberal walk breaks to keep us feeling young. I think the truth is, we couldn't breath in our own stench. The sweat was ridiculous.
See me? I'm an orange dot. Much like a mini-M&M.
As we headed into the last leg, the laughter was getting intense and my abs were getting a workout. Catherine was trying to do her best imitation of a bull while attempting to suck water from her Camelbak... and then we heard her go down... as we turned, all we saw was her sitting on the ground, and some skinny dude grabbing her hand to help her up. It was freakishly weird because none of us even knew there was a skinny dude back there. It was as if she hit the ground and her trail running soul came sprinting out of her. I could not stop laughing at how impressive the 4 of us were to the skinny trail-running sprinter. Not long after that, I had my moment of glory when we had to attack the last hill.
Yes, they called it a hill... but let's get real, it was a cliff. I literally went on all fours to get up it, and I'm pretty sure the biker who jumped over the hill and saw me struggling to pull up it using all four appendages thought I was a superstar athlete. Yeah, I'm cool like that. But I did eventually get up, and we finished out the 8 mile run (all our Garmin's said 7 point something, but there was a lot of up and down and wiggling around under heavy tree cover).
(Bigger orange dot now.)
And it wasn't until I got home and published my run on DailyMile that Alicia pointed out that I had a 47 mile week this past week. Oops. I haven't hit that mileage since May in the last long runs of my pre-marathon cycle. I definitely paid for it, though, as my legs are more sore than normal today... ok, actually my leg... just my right one. Yes, I was created lopsided. All problems occur on the right half of my body. So I gave myself today off, but I'm sure I'll be back at it on Tuesday.