Last week was my first real training week, I got 55 miles in, I felt like a runner again. I am still struggling with slow heavy legs and feeling like a snail compared to where I was this time last year, but I will get there. The Buffaloes are happy that their mom is back to running, which means more running for them.
Steph and I had a long conversation on the phone, talking about things we did right and wrong at Badwater, and starting to plan for a future Badwater run. We also talked about some trail runs we both want to do in the coming year, which got me psyched up again. We got on the topic of scorpions, she said she would have felt better if I had a cot that was off the ground. While we were all resting, she was awake worrying about sidewinders and hallucinating about coyotes.
On my days off last week I did some trail running, Pineridge Reservoir and Horsetooth Mountain Park, doing a loop of the Spring Creek-Stout-Towers-Westridge trails instead of the old Rock Repeat route. I've been taking the Buffaloes to Riverbend Ponds and we keep seeing herons and sunflowers. The temperature has finally dipped into the 40s at night and that has wiped out much of the bug population, and the girls love all the good smells when we run around the ponds. Every week there's a little more color in the foliage. I can't wait for the trees to start changing in town.
Sunday I went to the annual running club picnic which was held after the monthly Tortoise and Hare 5K. I decided to try the 5K and not to push too hard, but I was curious to see what I could do. I ran this same course back in February in just over 24 minutes. This time I ran it 21 seconds faster, 23:40! Who would have ever thought you could improve your speed by training to walk 135 miles in the desert, but that's what happened!
One thing is for sure, there was no way I could have gone fast enough to do any damage. My legs have zero turnover. I can run 7 1/2 minute miles for a long time, but I couldn't push the pace faster than that for a short sprint. I was chasing Chris who was only 25 seconds ahead of me but I don't have that extra gear to pick it up.
After the run we had a breakfast with delicious food from club members and we had a drawing for Olympic souvenirs. Ping went to the Olympics in Beijing, that's where she's from originally, and she brought back a load of gifts for the running club from her trip. We had a drawing for prizes and I got this cool bookmark with the Great Wall on it. Thanks for thinking of us, Ping!
The thing that has kept me laughing all week is "Caribou Barbie". I'm not going to get into politics in this blog but ever since I heard the new name for John McCain's running mate Sarah Palin, I can't help myself. I was out running in the park the day after I first heard about it and I saw some deer, and it reminded me of Caribou Barbie and I started laughing so hard I had to stop and catch my breath. The deer probably thought I was a rabid human.