But after a not so good night sleep, I woke up to my coffee pot brewing and the Peanut still snoozing (for once) that I decided to use this time to write. I brought my camera but took zero pictures. I probably would have thrown it out of frustration if I even tried to take it out anyways.
The group decided to shake things up a bit yesterday. We met at 7 am at Cavitt Stallman and then piled into various cars and drove over to the Fish Hatchery. We unloaded and shed layers of clothing. It was extremely chilly but the sun was out and you could tell it was just going to get warm and fairly quick. Off we went. I had prepared the night before for this long run by charging my ipod and filling it with a whole four hour playlist of songs. I also made some boiled potatoes with salt and stuffed them into my hydration pack.
I never used my ipod. I ran the first 10 miles with my ear buds in but no music playing. Pigeon instead was my ipod. She ran along side and we talked and laughed and commiserated together about how nervous we were about today. Yesterday was Pigeons first run past 26.2 miles as she did not do Way Too Cool a few weeks ago. She rocked yesterday. I only wish I was still able to keep up with her to celebrate her 27th mile. Pigeon you're going to kick butt at AR50!!!
The first 10 took us to Beal's Point. We ran only on the bike path to simulate the first half of AR50. Snooze. Boring. At Beal's we stopped and used the facilities and I took this time to take 2 Tylenol for my knee which had started hurting at about mile .5. Yeah, it was going to be one of those days.
At Beal's we hopped onto some single tracks that took us up and out towards Granite Bay and onto the same trails we were on last Saturday. Little pink and orange ribbons guided our way. Pigeon took the lead and was considerate enough to check up on me from time to time. I had to walk the downhill sections unfortunately even this early in the run. I told Pigeon not to let me slow her down and if she wanted she should go at any time. Eventually, she did. I was happy for her and yet, I wanted to be able to keep up and just started getting so frustrated with myself that I couldn't. Shortly after Beal's we passed the trail that leads us back to Cavitt Stallman where my car was waiting. In hind sight, I should have called it a day and headed back to my car and left Coach Nikon and Captain Kirk a note. But I am stubborn and for some reason I thought the pain would get better so onward I went.
Besides the knee pain I felt okay. The tummy was good and I didn't have that exhausted feeling I had last Saturday. I went to bed at 7:30 pm on Friday night so I was definitely rested. My knee however was the thing slowing me down.
The plan was to run these trails until we hit Horseshoe Bar where Coach Nikon had stashed a little aid station for us. It was located at about the 20.5 mile marker. It was a tough mental struggle at times trying to figure out the half way point. In my head I kept thinking Beal's was the half way point because it IS during the actual race but yesterday it was not.
Up down up down up down is how the trail goes at this point. Not exactly fun for someone suffering with an IT band issue. At one point a girl goes whizzing by me. I recognize her as a Fleet Feet Roseville Employee and a friend of the coaches. She looked strong which deflated me a little bit. As it turns out she saw a Mountain Lion! I apparently was too oblivious or perhaps the kitty wasn't there when I was running by but when I found out later that one was spotted I can assure you I was a teensy bit scared.
I also passed some of my group who were already on their way back. In that group was Garmin. I owe Garmin an apology. He asked me how I was and at that point I was not so happy and I sort of just waved him off and kept going. SORRY GARMIN!!!
I eventually made it to Horseshoe where the crew was waiting. It was a beautiful spot, nice and sunny. I immediately busted out the cell phone (something I never do) and I called Vans at home. I wanted to tell him that I was struggling and that I would be home a lot later than expected. The minute I heard his voice and the Peanut's in the background tears formed. Vans was so sweet. He encouraged me and told me to take it easy and that I could do it. He had faith in me and so should I.
I hung out with the group until they all decided to go back. I was a bit afraid to venture out there alone with the mountain lion sighting. Wonder Woman and Captain Kirk stuck with me past the mountain lion spot and then were off. Since I was limping and walking the downs at this point I don't blame them. I was slower than molasses out there.
We had 10 miles to cover until we reached our cars. I probably walked the first 5. I would try shuffling on the flats but the flats usually followed a steep down which left my leg useless. Eventually enough time had passed by that I decided I could probably take another dose of Tylenol. I did and magically in 30 minutes my knee felt about 30% better. Not sure if it was the adrenaline, the Tylenol or the fact that Jessica's Mom had come up behind me that inspired me to run. I was able to run the last 5 walking the ups and shuffling the downs.
It took me over 7 hours yesterday to finish. According to my garmin stats I averaged a 14 minute mile pace (30.57 miles), burned only 1900 calories (normally it is in the 2000s) and my average heart rate was 139 (usually about 155). Yesterday was a struggle both mentally and physically. In my mind I had already pulled myself out of running AR50 in two weeks. Today, I am thinking that at the very least I will start the race and see what happens.
These next two weeks of taper will include, lots of ice, Advil, stretching, foam rolling and anything else I can do to help my knee. Today however, it is mom and Peanut day. Our training schedule says we have to do a 3 to 5 mile run and the coaches tell us it is mandatory. I'll probably do the minimum if that with the jogger. I plan to take the Peanut to the park which is about a mile away, play to our hearts content and then run home and maybe throw in an extra mile if I can manage it. The Peanut is my recovery today and I am looking forward to it.
C'mon on in Momma! I'll give you a lift!