Portland has been purely blessed - with 60F and sun during this weekend!!! What do you do when the weather is like that?? Hit the trails, taper or not!
That said, I hooked up with a bunch of crazy locals on Saturday morning. Many of us were doing different distances, and the only "good" part of my so-called taper and day off was that I committed to run no more than 10 miles. Shorts and one shirt, baby! Kyly, Caroline, E. David, Tom R. and Adrien showed up, and we had a banter going on non-stop. I love Kyly's group and style of running! Do as you pleased, talk nasty, exchange stories and after each section have however long break with food and more laughs! I mean, who wouldn't want it like that?? I was sorry to leave them, complaining on stupid race schedule:) Oh, and Kyly got me an earrings from Death Valley that say "Zest for Life" in Indian! How sweet can that be?
I did taxes afterwords (and I became such a proffesional, it took me all of 15 min for mine, Oleg's and Alex's - may be I should change jobs?) and packed a couple more boxes for the move, then took extra books to Powells Books store to sell, and took care of Monika's cat (they are away for the weekend). The day rolled at a nice slow pace, a real weekend kind of thing.
Sunday I met with Gail and Mike for a Maple loop (15M) in Forest park, and the party time continued. Actually, despite ending up with over 70 miles for the "taper" week, I felt good. May be a bit tired at some spots, but really, no "dead legs" yet again! I even ran some uphills and could have run more if not for the 2 races in two next weekends. Last 3 miles I did all on my own - and I absolutely LOVE running alone just as much as I love running with my buddies (I think there is time and place for each of those variety) - and they went pretty fast and focused, and I thought: hmm, may be I can make it through that OP50 if not with style, then with joy and smile, without pain and dragging my ass? I think I can...I think I will!
The sun was just amazing, warming up the air and lighting the trails, which, by the way, were in perfect condition after a dry week, no mud or anything else. It was funny to see one young guy running with a stop watch, and as he slowed down and stooped to walk over a log, he pressed a stop button, and then the start again - I wonder if he does it in a race? I mean, do they stop race clocks when you take a leak, step aside for gel time, tie your shoes, chat at the aid station? He cracked me up...roadie:)
This weekend I remembered why I love this running thing. Truly, when you push yourself out the door on a god-damned dark early rainy cold morning for some asphalt torture, don't you wonder why are you in it? And the the day like this comes, the sun is shining, the birds are chirping (we saw a woodpecker very close too), the trees are green and the trail just rolls under your feet with no effort - and it's an "aha" moment. That's why!
And I get to do it all over again tomorrow! God bless American holidays, I get to join more trails! Because putting some 40+ miles on pavement stresses up not only my muscles and joints, but my mental health too. I want the spring come over finally! I could live with 60F and sun all year long! But then again, may be I wouldn't have appreciated it as much...
Stacey and Ronda took 2-3 at Orange County 100k yesterday, yay! Stacey qualified for Spartatlon, and Ronda had guts to go strong after a nasty flu she had for over a week prior. There was Orcas 50k locally, and I am waiting to see those results - one year I gotta make it to the island! Mike and I discussed Hardrock summer trip in details, what got me pumped up (I hope he won't drop me, I hope to get acclimated, I hope to be useful...and I know I'll have a blast there!), and put me on a memory "run" for all the past 100's I had done. Heck, I love this crazy thing ultrarunning!
I'll post pictures from today later - sadly, on Saturday my camera was uncharged. Somebody tell the Man up there to keep this sun shining!