Scatter my ashes here...

Scatter my ashes here...
scatter my ashes in the desert...

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Spring! Time to blow out some carbon!

It's really spring now. The trees have leaves and flowers are blooming and that means it's time for my weekly visits to the scenic Colorado State University track. I did my second track workout of the season today. Three miles at sub-7 minute pace. I felt very comfortable.

I love doing speedwork. I am a closeted speed junkie. One of the hard parts about training for long ultras is that speedwork becomes less justifiable the longer your race is. Doing hard fast workouts allows you to blow out carbon, tear up the track, and burn off some frustration, like after a difficult work day, like I had yesterday. More on that down the page.

I love being able to watch the snow melt on Longs Peak from the track. That's how I know when it's time to start going up to Estes to run. Maybe in another month. Tomorrow I am going to do 20 up in the park and Cat is going to join me for at least part of it. I hope she'll do the whole thing. I'm thinking four Rock Repeats, if she can stand the repetition.

Maybe there's hope for these slow legs after all. I want to work on getting my leg turnover back. It's been too long without doing anything fast, and with a track like this, I hate to miss my weekly dose of speedwork.

More proof of spring, Isabelle has a cherry blossom on her butt.

Iris is stalking her sister, to get the cherry blossom.

The backyard with cherry blossoms and lilacs.

I needed to run hard today just to purge myself of yesterday. I hate having a work hangover. It was the kind of day you want desperately to forget, but it stays with you, no matter how much you try to purge it from your mind.

I worked Tuesday and Wednesday this week. At the end of the day on Tuesday, I was exhausted. It occurred to me that I haven't taken a stretch of time longer than 4 days away from work since I got back from Arizona at New Year's.

I normally don't work Wednesdays. Unfortunately I idiotically scheduled myself for something like 5 Wednesdays over the next 6 weeks. What was I thinking? I was trying to spread my work days in a way that I'd get longer stretches of time off. Now I'm doubting the wisdom of that decision.

When I went home Tuesday night, I thought about taking a mental health day on Wednesday, but I need to save my time off and decided to tough it out. It's only a 12 hour shift, right?

I woke up Wednesday morning at 3:35 am. Wide awake, two hours before my alarm goes off. I took the Buffaloes for a run in the neighborhood, and took my time getting ready for work. I start work at 7 am, and I knew I'd be hurting by mid-afternoon, but at least it was just one day.

By 8 am I was wishing I had taken the day off. It was an absolutely horrendous, exhausting, mind-numbing day. Things at work were psycho. I got the assignment from hell, down the far end of the hall, plus it seemed like all the other unpleasant aspects of my job piled up in one 12 hour shift and landed on top of me. I needed about 6 clones of myself to get through the day.

By the time I went home at 8 pm I was DONE. I was done 12 hours earlier, but the ultrarunner in me kept going. The ultrarunner who wants nothing more than to save enough money and time off to do Badwater again, probably a double, in a couple of years. The ultrarunner who stops on her trips to the bathroom at work to look at the Death Valley pictures on her locker.

I haven't had a day like that in a long time. Probably since the last time I worked a Wednesday?

Fortunately I have 2 days off and then I work this weekend. Weekends at work are like a different world. I enjoy my job and the people I work with are great, consistently, no matter how busy it gets and how tough my assignment is. Wednesdays are a gamble, sort of like Russian Roulette, and most of the time I lose.

If I didn't have an ultra life and Dennis had weekdays off, I'd only work weekends. I am so thankful I have an ultra life. I am so thankful I have an ultra life and have so many awesome people in it, who make my short visits to work hell bearable.

1 comment:

JeffO said...

I totally know the work-hangover. You're right, speedwork really melts the stress and makes you feel like yourself again.