Monday, July 23, 2012

Great week running, and other funny stuff

First let's get the foolishness out of the way, then move on to more important things.  Maybe I am not understanding what it means to be terminated via text (which I saved copies of, as well as all of the other lovely texts I have received) and banned from the store that I am still part owner of (not sure of the legality of that).  Maybe some are realizing that things were handled poorly.  Maybe this would have all been cleared up sooner if handled in person, or if any of the parties involved would choose to speak to me in person instead of hiding behind texts and emails.  Funny that now I should receive a letter asking me to formally resign my position as general manager when I was "terminated". ( I can't say that word without picturing Arnold Schwarzenegger. )  Since I am being ignored otherwise, but I know those interested are following this blog, let me respond to their letter here.  Let's see....ummmm....NO.

Moving on to a more interesting topic - Danielle's first run at Chicot! (AND her longest run to date!!)
13 miles run!!  Awesome job Danielle!

I would say that this past weekends run didn't go according to plan, but I never really have a set plan when going out to Chicot.  I was aiming for my last 20 miler, but the morning of the run, a couple of people had schedule conflicts which would have had us rushing to finish so they could make it back home for another event, so we all agreed to do an out and back for 12 or 13 miles. (I really didn't need another 20, since my race is next weekend, so it was easy to agree to this).

I should have known this would not be just another trail run.  From the beginning, it was like the trail gods were trying to tell me something.  When we get to the park, the first stop we always make is at the park bathroom before we get to the trail head.  There are always deer around the area, since there is a feeder nearby.  The deer in Chicot are very bold.  They are protected, and they know it.  But this weekend was a first.  There was a herd of 5 or 6 does crossing the road ahead of our truck.  When we got close they just looked at us, and kept walking across the road.  We actually had to stop to let them get by, and as the last doe was crossing and we were about to start moving, a buck ran in front of us. It was like trying to drive through the parking lot of WalMart.  Crazy.

When we got to the trail head and I took my Camelbak out of the back of the truck, I noticed the bottom of the pack was soaked.  I fooled with it a bit and found that the bottom quick release valve was leaking.  I couldn't get it to stop completely, but I figured since I had filled the pack with enough water to do the full 20 miles, I should be able to make 12 or 13 even with a leak.  I was wrong.  As soon as we started running, it really started leaking - pouring out the pack, down my legs, and into my shoes.

By mile 2.5 or so, the pack was almost dry.  I knew it would be a bad decision to go in too far and risk running out of water completely, so I turned around at this point.  At first I was aggravated that my mileage goal would not be met, but it turned out to be a great run back.  Since I wasn't accomplishing a whole lot with this run, I decided to take this opportunity to take some pictures along the way.

This is my favorite!

Lots of trees down this week from the storms the night before.

And it sounds and smells just as relaxing as it looks.
So, my last long run turned into a 5 mile run/walk/photo shoot.  I didn't stay aggravated for long.  It is so peaceful out there, it has a way of washing any negative feelings right out of you.  I enjoyed waiting at the finish and getting to see all of my friends (new and old) pop out of the woods.

Emma finishing.  Evidently she ran so fast, her shirt
flew off.  A common occurrence on the trails.

Liz finishing strong as usual!

Sandi dancing.  Or having a muscle spasm.
Either way, pretty cute.

Run, hike, skip, prance -
All are welcome, regardless of your chosen
form of locomotion.

Taylor, Kristofer and Tara sweating and smiling!

Everyone did between 8 and 13 miles on this outing.  Three newbies were introduced to Chicot, and there were 10 of us in all.  What an awesome trip!!
Don and Christina tearing up the trail

"That spider was THIS big!"

Liz and Randy doing Chicot yoga.
Randy on the trail.

L to R
Kristofer Harrington, 12, first time trail runner!!
Tara Greer, first timer, Taylor and Sandi - veteran
trail monkeys.
So, this week ended with 36 miles.  About 20 miles short of my goal.  I'm not thrilled with that, but I am not all tied in knots about it either.  Keep in mind, the race this weekend is not my "A" race by any means.  It will be 31 miles of suck, and I am looking at it as a training run/learning experience.  I am also looking at it as a great break over race to lead me into training for Cactus Rose, my first 50 miler of the season, in late October.  I did 31 miles in 3 days this week - all in the hottest parts of the day.  Ouch.  I am not expecting to do anything spectacular with this race, I am just really looking forward to getting there, and being surrounded by other ultrarunning fools.  I know there will be some GREAT stories!!

A big group of new trail runners are planning on doing their first loop of Chicot together on August 26th.  I can not wait for that day!  They will finally get to see all of the beauty of Chicot, and see what it feels like to pop out at that finish line with one heck of a tough trail run under their belt.  I am VERY excited about sharing that with them!!

I will try to get my pacer blog done this week some time, and I will put together a full race report after my 50k this weekend.  As always, there will be stories to tell!!

Happy Running!

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