Torture Report: On Top of the World; Just Trying to Stand Up

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(L)  A couple of weeks ago G and I took stock of where we were half way through our year and if you will recall I had a lot of make up work to do.  I can’t say I have made up for lost time, but I have been working out.  The one thing I love about summer is that you are able to get out and work out for hours without it seeming like “work.”  Being a holiday weekend, we were in the mountains, which usually mean running or hiking on top of the world.  This weekend we decided for a 5-hour hike up to Silver Dollar Lake and beyond. The first half of the hike is a quick ascent to some snow pack and serious mud/quicksand! Once up to about 11,600 feet it flattens out and the views are to die for.

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Trekking across Everest…I mean Silver Dollar Lake Trail
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Silver Dollar Lake

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While this hike didn’t necessarily burn enough calories for me to overindulge all weekend, it definitely helped.

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Murray Lake, 12,400 feet.

In other news…G, thinking that my life may soon be less busy than normal, called me this week to tell me she had just the thing to “help me out.”  I actually thought I had blacked out and missed an entire conversation because I didn’t remember a discussion where I was feeling at a loss for what I was going to do with my life come August.  That never stopped G though and she proceeded to fill me in on a schedule of races that I could participate in.  What would I do without G?

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This is what I would do without G busting my chops at every turn!

(G):  For the record, I wasn’t exactly thinking that she didn’t have a busy life. I was thinking that maybe she needed a distraction from the fact that birdies were leaving the nest. And what better distraction than some obscure running event with me?!

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Notice this is more of a grimace than an actual smile but I got to stop and catch my breath so …

I mean she did just actually write, in print, that I have her back!

We’ll see how that one shakes out but I am optimistic!

Anyway, I am back on the exercise wagon after taking the week before off and let’s just say it’s not been kind. After a week of rest, I was all rejuvenated and ready to return to running and get re-energized on my strength routine after a friend suggested “Original Strength: Regaining the Body You Were Meant to Have” (fascinating by the way).

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Things started off with a real zing, Swaggy J led me out to Highbanks for a hard, five-mile run. He said we’d run all the hills (which when we are doing long mileage, we don’t) and that we’d really push the pace. Holy re-entry!! It was a hard 70 minutes for the long, slow runner that I am. While I was trying to breathe, stay upright, not swallow my tongue and other necessities of life, Swags was in front with the GoPro filming away with his monopod stick and chatting up passersby.

(For your viewing pleasure, click above for a little

video montage of my latest running foray.)

Around mile 4, after a very long hill climb that I swear I could’ve walked faster than I ran, he told me I had 10 seconds to walk and recover.
I protested, OK only in my mind because I was breathing so hard I couldn’t speak, but mentally protest I did. Then I mustered up some mojo and ran it out until we hit 5 miles, which conveniently coincided with encountering the stairs.

I thought I was home free.

Uh, no. We’re running the stairs?

I don’t love stairs anyway, but these stairs are awkwardly spaced so it’s hard to get a running rhythm and being that I, myself, am less than coordinated it’s just a mess. But I got to the top and ran (on a slight incline, might I add) the rest of the way to the car.

John is professing the fun and joy that just transpired and while I am happy to do the workout and know I need it, “FUN” would not be the “F word” I would’ve used if asked.

That got me off to a great start. I was pushing my boundaries, testing myself, and while challenging, it’s just what I wanted July to be since I am backing off on the big miles for the month. Monday rolled around and I jumped full speed into spider crawling, air squats, low, very low squats, lots of pushups, surrenders and other things that really all belong in a report described at torture.

Not long after, I should’ve known I was maybe in over my head when I noticed that my legs had a slight but noticeable tremble to them as I moved about.
Tuesday morning I woke up and could barely get out of bed, which was the first clue that walking would be equally hard.

And when your hamstrings and quads are shot, what else do you do but decide that running isn’t a great idea, you should do hill work. What?
Yes, it was not my best thinking.
By Wednesday morning I was waddling around and knew I needed to regroup.
I decided to walk on the treadmill and ride the bike to see if that would loosen the legs up.
Thankfully, it worked and I was able to run on Thursday and Friday.
Oh yes, so Friday I hit the squat, spider crawl nonsense again and while still really hard I managed to prevail on that one.

But then Sunday rolled around, again, as it’s want to do and we went back to Highbanks for the torture, I mean, fun… And it begins. I am going to attempt a repeat of last week minus the crawling around in agonizing pain.

Sunshine & Sarcasm,

Lowi & G

The Torture Report began in January 2014 as a weekly update of our journey to completing a 50-mile race. Since then it’s continued on to become a chronicle of how we try mightily to find fitness, health and sometimes the finish line. We aren’t always successful but we keep showing up and telling you all about it on Tuesdays.

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