Yes, May is when the stakes got real. With 9 weeks to Go time, it was time to buckle down. Normally, by now, I would have been not able to run any longer, after my "yearly spike of 4-6 weeks of good running" (in the last 5 years, I mean). This year, though...knock on wood, 4 months and going. Who's complaining? But, it also means, if in my prior backpacking training cycles I would simply substitute some runs (shuffles?) with backpack walks, this time...I am not giving up my running! I love it too much! And thus comes a shaky balance, managing a fine line between what needs to be done, what is wanted to be continued, and my health at this stage of my life (I still don't know what prompted the sudden death of running, and with that - no clue what makes it worse or better). Not to mention. Austin entered summer, and my body does not do well in this hot humid hell.
That said, the runs stayed as they were for the previous 3 months: Monday 10, Tuesday 8 on hills, Wednesday easy, Saturday 7 tempo. Friday run turned into steep hill repeats (Beauford Hill road at 18% grade). Thursday was transferred at the end of April into River Place trails (with staircases) as a run, then after 2 weeks, in May - into multiple 2 mile stair-stretch repeats with a backpack. Tuesday's Mt Bonnell's 100 steps repeats got loaded with 35 lbs pack. Still weights workout (with legs getting the brunt of the load, and upper body - just for the "cuteness" of it). Still yoga 1-2 times a week. Still getting my monthly massage with Kat - now needed more than ever. Sunday is off! I am consistently hitting over 40 miles a week, and actually trying to not over-reach. Preservation. The first week of increased load left me very tired (having a job I do doesn't help). But body adjusted, and so did the mind. Fine-tuning this schedule, as well as adding little things to each workout, continues. Oh, how I miss regimented focused training! A delight in its own right. I draw such a satisfaction from each of my hard workouts - and somehow it feels like all my workouts these days are hard ones. Love it. Larry claims last time he's seen me train this way was for San Diego 100 in 2013. That was my last racing season. I do feel as focused as back then, for sure. Bring it.
On another side of the preparation, I packed all my food - yes, 20 lbs of it. Don't judge, I like to carry most of my fuel from the start and count on not resupplying, but rather adding on (an only if I hit a small store directly on the trail, which are only 4 opportunities here, who knows what they carry and if they'll be open when I pass by). I also pulled out all my clothes to use. It is a normal practice for me to start with a 45 lbs pack - 14 lbs of base weight (irreplaceable items I'll be starting and finishing with), 3 lbs of extra clothes, 3 lbs of "things that will be gone, but not food" (random items, like stove fuel, personal hygiene, medical, etc), 20 lbs of food, 5 lbs of water. No, I am not a minimalist, or ultralight packer, I don't follow trends, I do what works for me. If my free-standing tent is in perfect condition, as well as my sleeping bag and other main items making up the "base weight" - why would I spend hundreds of dollars to "upgrade" to lighter version? Once they get used up - I will replace them one by one as needed.
Another Wednesday night the former HCTR (local running club that seized to exist, and which I at some point was not only a big participant in, but even a VP) had a resurrected night together - very few people, but still fun to reconnect. It did feel far, far away and gone, honestly...Larry and I continue with Sunday afternoon dates, and the small things still keep us smiling.
My sister-in-law Stephanie (the one in Denver) gave birth to a Little Princess, and I now have more fun things to knit!
Partially to commemorate that, along with hitting official 10 years "dating", and simply checking off that "Texas list of things to do before we leave", we escaped from Austin for an overnight trip to Houston to visit some museums and other pretty places.
|First date back on May 29th, 2009|
Its time to stop this photo-assay of the month. More training to do - 5 weeks before Go Time!
Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening:
...in our lives, how often are we living in anticipation of what comes next, as if that will finally bring us to some sort of completion or fulfillment?
|A glimpse at one of my own personal journeys I am vastly enjoying.|