Saturday, May 30, 2015

I just needed to get dirty

It seems only natural that might mojo might have waned a bit this past month.

After a BQ/PR race-of-my-dreams in Boston on April 20th:
And the most ridiculous fun one could have over 52.4 miles on May 2nd and 3rd:

It was probably was time to just relax and soak in all the good memories.
But I had the most bodacious run on the Tuesday following the Mitten Challenge and I seriously thought that I might conquer the world.
Sadly and rightfully so, reality sunk in just a few days later. I've been whining about heat, humidity, and awful runs pretty much since then. In case you missed the newsflash, QC loathes summer. I want all my runs to feel amazeballs. But I consider myself lucky if I get a mile or 2 a week that don't feel terrible this time of year.
I thought I'd brighten my spirits and replace my Hokas. The old purple pair were nearing 700 miles and though full of stupid amazing feats, they needed to be relegated to yard shoes.
New shoes sure do smell good. And are fun to take pictures of. But they sure as hell don't make summer go away.
I tried unsuccessfully the same tactic with a new running skirt. It pretty much only guaranteed that I could pretend to be happy while taking post-run selfies.
On a side note, I frickin' adore the patterns of the Runningskirts brand. They are super cute skirts. But I think my butt is not a runner butt. I tried the traditional skirt with the brief first in a size MUCH too small that left indentations on my cheek after having it on for 30 seconds. The next size up was a loosey goosey skirt and still-too-tight brief. So I ordered the kind with the "compression" shorts underneath. I don't want them to feel like Spanx, but they are far from anything else compression I own. Unfortunately, they creep up as I run. So I'll be wearing them for short runs and saving my beloved discontinued Brooks Mesh PR skirts for long runs.

I have been plodding through the miles, but it's been kind of just out of habit rather than fun. There is this lingering ridiculousness of jumping headfirst into the ultra world in September. So I've been trying to maintain decent mileage so I can begin to stretch out the long runs. Here's the deal about this Woodstock business. I know I can finish. I just want to do it as happily and successfully as my body lets me. So I would like to properly train. But with my mojo hovering near the drain this month, I will give it another month or two before I fully commit. There's no point in doing it if I'm not truly enjoying it. Right? Right....

Which leads us to my latest escapade.... a revisit to the Dawson Forest City of Atlanta Tract. I actually wanted to revisit the mountains of Vogel State Park, but with my confidence waning, I decided to stick to the lower elevations. I had been to Dawson Forest back in January when I was streaking. It was a tough run and I felt downtrodden by my slow pace. However, I went into this latest adventure knowing I was just out there to rack up the time and distance and had less concern about pace.
It started out okay-ish, but then I finally started to feel groovy about 2 miles into the shebang.
About 3.5 miles in, I came up to a river about 40 feet across. I paced along the shore edge for a minute.
I have this odd QC-ism that makes me abhor putting socks on that I've taken off. But the alternative was to get my socks sopping wet. So I forded the damn river with my socks and shoes in my hands.
A few steps in, I giggled to myself. The water felt delightfully cool and all of sudden, I felt in touch with this whole trail running thing. I climbed the huge hill out of the river basin and things just felt right again. I walked when it got hard and ran when I felt like it. I ate some snacks. I drank a whole bunch of water and Nuun.
I was sopping wet from the humidity and going through my hydration quickly. Since I wasn't sure I was going to make it back without getting dangerously dehydrated, I decided to dangerously drink. I scooped up some water from a stream/waterfall and crossed my fingers that it didn't have any funky after effects.

Later, after I had talked myself into just looping back and doing closer to 16 instead of 20, I saw red arrow markers instead of blue. Derp. This little detour added about 2.5 miles onto my route and I was really glad I scooped up sketchy stream water. When I finally made my way to the gravel road, I started dreaming of lemonade, sweet tea, and Sprite, in that order. But my thoughts were interrupted by a dumb black snake lying across the road. PETA might hate me, but I threw a few rocks towards it to see if it was alive. Once I determined it was 99% dead, I "sprinted" past it and kept going for another 100 meters before I slowed back down.

As I neared my car, I was happily exhausted and elated that I had found a little sprig of mojo out in the forest.
Turns out that perhaps those new shoes were just missing some dirt. Or red Georgia clay in this case.

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