At the beginning of October, the hubs and I jumped into a last-minute mountain race in Tennessee. Our flatlander status in Ohio showed like the Northern Lights In Alaska this time of year and we didn’t finish the race. But we were already signed up for a 50K in Georgia the first weekend in December so we did what most sane people would do, we pondered dropping down to the 10-miler for that race weekend.
I was all for it. And then we went out to Chattanooga Brewing Company and this is where my reprieve quickly dissolved. You won’t believe this chain of events even after I tell you. But I will forewarn you… it’s all about a commemorative glass.
We were sitting there drinking our Hill City IPA and awaiting other brewery goodness, which included a basket of french fries. Life was good. We were on vacation, the weather was spectacular, and I sat there watching the sun begin its leisurely descent on another day.
All was right in the world (except, of course, that we were socially distanced, we are still in a pandemic and the US is in some sort of teenage angst) and then John spotted a Cloudland Canyon 50K glass. And with that I was startled abruptly from my dream of ending 2020 with a 10-miler. Nope, after our sad defeat just two days earlier my husband’s desire to push ourselves in the final month of 2020 was stoked and that’s how we ended up this latest installment of the Torture Report.
It’s actually rather poetic that it began with a beer named Hill City because, friends, this is my life now. I spend my time trying to find vert in a basically flat city. I run hill repeats. I run the same 3- to 4-mile path at the park in an effort to get 1500 feet of climb per 10 miles. For all you billy goats and mountain lions that may not sound like much but to we mere Buckeyes, it’s a little nutty.
My hamstrings have quite a bit to say about the new training program and my GPS watch rewards me with little Dopamine hits by sprinkling around phrases like “Optimized” in reference to my latest workout. I am a stick and carrot kind of personality, down to my roots.
I am working on running downhill without the brakes on and remind myself frequently to go “the way of the water.” It’s a little phrase I read years ago that when running downhill, take the path of least resistance, the way of the water. Plus water doesn’t throw on the brakes for anything, it just runs. There is something about that theory that sounds lovely, putting it into practice feels well… different.
That’s where we are folks. I run downhill hard so I can climb, again and again. And one day last week I gave myself a little treat of running 8 miles on the treadmill because I couldn’t muster the motivation to run in the rain and it was the dreamiest 8 miles EVAH!!! After you climb, climb and climb some more, running on the flat is like Neosporin to well-chafed skin. OK you probably have to be a runner to get that reference but let’s just say it is amazing!! For 8 whole miles this week I felt like I had some cardiovascular fitness and did not feel like a poser. The other 30-ish miles were akin to being baptized with fire, walking on hot coals without Tony Robbins there to psych you up, or being asked to breathe underwater when you don’t, you know, have gills.
The struggle is real and every single person who passed by me over the weekend knew it too. Unlike Lady Gaga, I do not have a poker face. I am the same woman who has been known to play poker and lay out her cards and say, what do I win for this many? I have zero chill, my poker skills are atrocious, and the pain of this training block is all over my face every single mile.
Oh and to really top it off, while Lowi is fasting her way to the body of a 20-year old I hobbled onto the scale to find that the story my jeans have been telling me is true, “Girl, you’re fat and even quarantine is getting tired of taking the rap for your muffin top!”
This is the truth of the situation, me and Miley are all about the climb (I couldn’t help myself). And I will keep at it until hell or I have a high-water booty. I am not sure how this 50K will turn out but I am giving it my best. Which is ironic since this is how John sold me on this race several months ago. He said, I think this would be a great way to celebrate our 20th anniversary. I give him the best years of my life and he gives me this death trap?!
I will keep you posted or you can just come on out to the trail to see what’s what. I’ll be the one with the joker and the muffin top.
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G