I've had enough of long road runs and found a new local trail marathon around Georgetown Lake. I ran around it a number of times (and written a couple), the trail was familiar, 30 minutes away from home, the company putting it on was non-profit with dedication to offering trouble youth activities, Larry had 26 trail miles on his calendar (and I had something like 21 on road, gag), so we both signed up on Tuesday. On Wednesday the weather prognosis changed to 100% rain and thunderstorms. Texas floods when it rains. However, it held enough to not cause insane damage overnight, and the race wasn't cancelled.
We arrived to pick up our bibs (under rain, of course) and Larry discovered he left all his gels in a waist pack at home. Ha! Being a guy, he threw a fit and announced he is not running (the race offered only water and some chewy granola bars that would be impossible to process on the run). I offered to split my gels in half and make it a low-effort training run. He was still not convinced and claimed he's got no way to carry those gels. I gave up my Nathan pack I planned to wear. There was no way to back off for my precious honey anymore, so we settled in the idea we're going to just have "time on our feet".
Luckily I wore my "racing skirt", on which I had sawed pockets (the reason I didn't want originally go without a pack was that under rain the skirt slides down, and with weighted pockets I will be loosing it and having to hold and pull it up a lot). So, nothing else to do but prepare myself to expose my spankies to those behind!
We started still in dusk, no headlamps, and made our way in first mile on rocks, twists, roots and single track. This trail combines the trickiest technical parts Austin has to offer with some double-track in a stretch that will come towards the end the way the course of this marathon was laid out. The rain magnified in about 20 minutes, and around that time we were having many stretches open to the sky's pouring waters, which was actually fun. Streams running down face, all clothes sticking in, and splashing around felt like being a kid - and I thought how ironic that two races I participated in TX this year both had weather more like in Oregon - Prickly Pear 50k back in March and this one. At least this time it wasn't chilly!
So I ran, listened to music, had some folks pass me, stretched my gels, and generally had a good time. By the road section of about a mile and half (a path and a dam over the lake) I was power-walking quite some, but not really concerned about it. A couple girls passed me, and I cheered them on.
On the other side of the dam we went into what was my personal favorite section, lots of sharp up and down hills, extremely rocky, very muddy too. Caught up 2 girls and 2 guys, and I think had way too much fun pushing (I did promise them the hills will be over soon).
As soon as the hills ended and we were thrown onto first a single track that was mellow, than a double-track, I had a feeling somebody just set on my chest and started squeezing it. I don't have allergies, and only have altitude-associated asthma problems, so I was surprised. I remembered how the past Tuesday's speed intervals caused a lot of breathing problems, wheezing loudly and feeling like I am about to have my lungs explode. The further I went, the worse it got - and I had to resort to power-walking, during which I still was breathing very loudly, very hard and seemed to not have been sucking any oxygen in.
Those 2 girls passed me back one by one, and I encouraged them - and I think surprised them about it too. Why? Not many people were friendly out there, whether it is a thing for ultrarunners, or the rain didn't make folks happy. By the way, the rain actually stopped those last 10 miles, which I power-walked all. I would try to run in splurges, 100 yards at first, then 50, later reduced to 20 at most. Even jogging 20 yards on a slight decline was cutting my breath off, and walking fast as well. I did manage to pass a couple of guys - and have them walk with me, which they couldn't keep up the pace (thank God I am a natural power-walker, and I practice twice a week while my son is in boxing, walking around the streets!). And another funny thing I thought about, good Lord I am an ultrarunner, because in my mind the phrase "Piece of cake, 10 miles, I can walk it easily" sounded normal and not discouraging at all.
I arrived at the finish line, and surprised myself to actually end up having time I kind of thought I would (due to caloric deficit and slippery rock), so I guess my walking saved me from sliding otherwise, or in theory I was better prepared than I thought I was. I bent over and tried to inhale some air, and the RD sent me to an EMT vehicle. They didn't carry inhalers (I have Albuterol at home for stuff like that, but obviously did not expect to have problems at altitude 100 feet), so they hooked me up to some bunch of devices. Overkill for sure. I finally stopped wheezing loudly and calmed down enough to walk away, change and Larry drove us home.
Bottom line is, I have not a clue. And that's ok. I'll decide later.
In a meantime, I am taking an easy week to regroup. I had also signed up for Whole30 challenge from Whole9life. Just because. I am in general a pretty healthy eater and don't do carp-food (I mean, fast-food, prepackaged stuff and so on, cooking from scratch, and as gluten-sensitive, I had been really avoiding lots of things too and cut out pasta's, majority of breads and indifferent to cakes). I am kind of curious if the "cleaning your diet off sugar in any type, shape or form" (hot sauce, anyone? bullion cubes?) would make any difference in how I feel, since I am coming from a not-so-horri9ble start. And to make it more fun, to Bodyrock.tv (don't pay attention to sexist photos, please). While that latter program seems whacky and utilizes women almost wearing nothing and camera shooting angles questionable to general population, I did those 12 minutes today - and was beat up (and I used modified "slacker", or beginner' version!). And no weigh-in allowed!
So, we shall see. What the sugar elimination does to my shake-up metabolism and what the shake-up routine does to my funk.
Yeah, I also have my birthday to get through, and a BBQ for the running club I am responsible, and 2 days of volunteering at CR100.
Ha. Welcome to clean eating.
It is going to be fun!
p.s. On unrelated note, blogs are a dying art, nobody's writing or reading. But personally, I don't care. I need to write - when I want to put my thoughts down and see what it looks like for my own self, to pretend I am sharing with friends, to express clearly what I mean because when I speak I fail a lot, and simply when I am bored and got nothing to do. So, it's ok, don't read, don't comment, don't expect things meaningful. I'll be here from time to time anyway:)