Torture Report: Holy Crickets and Snakes; It Never Gets Easier

(L): School is back in session and so is my trail running.  It was so nice to be able to go to the trail during the week when it was not as crowded.  This week I dropped Reese off at school and headed out for a 6-mile run.  When I arrived at the trail I began to feel like I was in a re-enactment of the 8th plague during biblical times as the crickets were swarming the trail.  I realize that was locusts, but you get the idea. They were literally flying into my arms and legs as I ran.  I am just thankful they steered clear of my mouth, which was probably wide open as I was gasping for air…occasionally.
After getting used to the constant barrage of the crickets I settled into a nice rhythm. Around mile 5 I spotted a bald, muscular guy walking a distance in front of me.  He had a lot of ink and just for kicks I will call him Snake.  As I was pondering what Snake was doing out on the trail just taking a leisurely walk I took a little detour toward the bathroom.  It didn’t take long for me to catch up with Snake again and he seemed to be stopping and perhaps distracted by something.  As I quickly came upon him he started kicking dirt and jumping backward.  We were in an area of trees where there really was no place to go.  I simultaneously saw a giant rattle snake and momentarily considered jumping onto my new friend, Snake’s shoulders.  Fortunately, the snake slithered off into the trees and as my new hero turned to me to say, “he’s gone!”  I was almost side swiped by a 75-year-old lady on her bike.  She glared at me and muttered something as she passed.  Clearly, she was a BLIND biker as surely she could have seen the commotion as she was biking toward us for 1/4 mile!  I looked at Snake and said, “wow, all I could think about was not getting bit by the rattle snake and grandma almost killed me on her bike!”  He laughed and said, “it’s always the things that you aren’t watching out for that get you.”
Isn’t that the truth!
Thankfully, the rest of my running days were uneventful.
On the trail… with apples!
(G): Well we are coming off a recovery week and heading into a taper week. Hmmm, maybe not the best plan we’ve ever had to sign up for two races separated by as many weeks.
Between overall fatigue and waning mo’ I struggled to get it going again. I started on Wednesday by doing 4 miles of hills and hitting the weights but I woke up Thursday feeling tired. I didn’t do much again until Saturday when Swaggy and I went out for a 10-miler. The first longish run after a race is always tough but this one was a slugfest from mile 2.
We went out mid afternoon and while the temperature was in the low 80s the humidity was sky high. I hung in there pretty well until about 4.5 miles and then the wheels started to come off. At 5.5 miles I had to stop and told Swaggy I needed a minute for an attitude adjustment. I was not mentally tolerating my suffering all that well.
And then I ran out of water. And then Swaggy ran out of water and I really started to lose my composure. I knew if I kept running I’d get to water faster but I also felt like my mouth was filling with sand faster when I did.
Let’s be clear, at this point, I was little more than a mile from the car AND water but I was so rattled by my discomfort that I wasn’t much fun to be around.
Swaggy really should have left me in the dust at this point but per usual he was patient and understanding. Finally, we made it to the water fountain and we drank and drank and poured water on our heads — a couple times.
The weird thing is this is about the third or fourth time I’ve run out of water on a training run this summer. Clearly, I need to plan a bit better or carry more H2O.
If you squint and look closely you can see me bringing up the caboose of the trail train.

After suffering through those 10 miles I felt sure that the next day would be easier. In reality, it was a mixed result. I didn’t sleep well on Saturday night and I woke up feeling drained and tired. John’s sister was visiting and so instead of hitting the trail I tagged along on their already planned walk.

So I’d like to tell you this is really how I looked after the training run.
But this one tells the true story.

Blissfully, the string of intensely hot and humid days finally broke that morning and it was pleasant to be outside. When we got back home John headed off to the airport with his sister and I decided that tired or not the day could not end without me running. By this point I’d already gotten sucked into watching the men’s Olympic marathon so I decided to do my miles on the treadmill.
While they were clocking sub 5-minute miles I was dragging myself through… well much slower miles. Much slower. I thought, how can they make this look so easy?But I pushed on to five miles when I had to bail on the workout to make it to another commitment. It felt hard and it wasn’t easy but it was easier than the day before. Progress? Eh?

Yesterday, I woke up again feeling a little tired but there is the possibility I am just plain lazy. I hit the weights and the trampoline and with fingers crossed hope that by Saturday I am feeling full of energy and well rested. If not, well, I can walk pretty fast for a fairly long time.

Sometimes it’s just grinding it out anyway that you can. But I am not giving up or giving in.

Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G

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