What a strange/fun day

When I planned out my Saturday, I jokingly said I was probably going to die by the end of it. I reserved a 7am class at the gym for a team workout and the power lifting class immediately following. I had a small breakfast and some pre workout before leaving the house and brought a 64 ounce jug of water to hydrate in preparation for my hot evening 5k race. The workout involved sharing 400 meter runs and splitting other things [like 100 burpees] among the group. The power portion was mostly deadlifts, and I got a lot out of going to that. I needed some correction and I got it.

On my way home, Judy called and asked if I wanted to go out for breakfast. So, I had a HUGE breakfast and 3 cups of coffee while I sat there. I’m normally a 1 cup of coffee or pre workout type of person because caffeine is not the friend of anxiety, but it wasn’t affecting me.

I put the shorts I’d worn to the gym into the wash and waited to put them into the dryer so I could wear them later for the 5k race. Once they were in the dryer, I was off to take a nap. The copious amount of caffeine I’d had didn’t prevent me from sleeping nearly 2 hours before getting up and getting ready to race. I noticed the sky was looking ominous and my phone said there was a thunderstorm warning in my area. Sure enough, it was storming up in Hudson, the town 20 minutes north of my house where the race was planned. Judy messaged me that there was a bridge out on my usual route to Hudson, so I headed out and took the highway.

Let me tell you, it started hailing on my one year old CR-V and I was terrified. I don’t remember ever driving in hail before. I started seeing people pulling off the road. I saw a couple on a motorcycle hunched over being pelted and I couldn’t pull off to help because other people had pulled off to the shoulder there. I kept driving through it and by the time I got to my exit, I was behind the same 18 wheeler I’d been following and trusting to keep me in my lane by watching his taillights. I was going 40 mph on a highway and Google proudly announced through the navigation, “Speed Trap Ahead.” I laughed aloud by myself in the car and then said, “Thanks, I’ll keep an eye out,” to my empty car. Then, I saw the most vivid rainbow I’ve seen in awhile and I just praised God that I made it through the storm.

The race was started in waves. Mine was the 3rd wave of 4 and we were all shy and trying to stand in the spots (6 feet spaced dots on the ground) furthest from the actual start. The person running the start line informed us that there were only 10 people in our heat and we needed to move up. So, I wound up first momentarily until a woman came forward to take my spot after I kept saying people would just have to pass me right out of the gate if I started out front.

The sun had returned and the streets were steaming in places from the heat. I chose to wear my hat and a hydration belt because I was afraid it would rain again and my belt pocket is waterproof. I’m glad I did. I poured the cold water under my hat to cool off and I used the water to drink at one point. Toward the end of the race, there was a woman slightly in front of me and I picked up my speed and pulled ahead of her. She wasn’t in my age group, but how would I know? I wound up finishing 3rd in my age group.

Official Results

Judy and I went to a restaurant across from the race to get drinks. When the guy filled my beer and used a glass, I asked if he was sure I could take it outside because I could break it or take it. He dismissed me and said it was fine, so we went out to my car and pulled out the lawn chairs I’d brought along. Thunder came after awhile and the sky started sprinkling on us. We drove over the the other restaurant there for dinner and I may have taken the glass into my car when I threw the chairs in and put the beer into a water bottle. I intend to drive it back up there soon. I’m up that way most weekends.

We had a great tasting/not at all nutritious dinner of cheeseburgers, fries, fried mushrooms, and fried cheddar cheese curds. I was surprised I didn’t feel worse today from that, but I was nauseated at 4am. Anyway, after we’d eaten, I headed to the restroom and as I was washing my hands, the power went out. It was pitch black in there and when I found my way out, people were inside with their phone flashlights illuminating the restaurant. We waited the storm out and settled our bill to head home.

The roads were covered in tree debris. There were uprooted trees and the corn was all slanted from the winds that had come through. My phone was out of service and took me to a road that had a road block that said “Bridge Out Ahead”. I turned on a different road and the maps app was still trying to take me back to that road and put me down a tiny road with corn on either side. I turned around and asked the GPS to take me back to the restaurant. I found the main road and saw a gas station I recognized and pulled in. Their trash bins were all over the parking lot and I had to swerve to avoid hitting lids and cans just to pull into a spot to get my bearings. I finally saw the highway and got on only for there to be a barrel in the middle of the lane and I had no idea where to go except into the side the construction was being done and drive through other barrels afterward.

I finally got home in the rain and I sent Judy a message to make sure she got home. All in all, the whole day was great, but crazy.

Thanks for reading! I could honestly talk all day today, but I’ll leave you with this.

Oh, and a lightning bug landed on Judy’s hand and just hung out there. It was so odd and so funny, I needed a picture. I have no idea how the hell this ended up being the only photo I took of her and I didn’t do a selfie with her:

I should’ve posted when I was feeling awesome.

I’m still running and working out most days. I spend much more time in the gym since there isn’t much to do outside of the home. I stick around most days and complete a “power” workout after functional fitness class. It’s fun because I get to socialize with other like minded women. I’m also getting better at stuff I didn’t have a chance to work on before. I was running every day, also though and that took too much time.

I started a running streak with some gym friends on my “Run the Year” team. The plan was Memorial Day through Independence Day to run at least 1 mile per day. I actually thought I would try to go through Labor day at some point in time, but finishing through the 4th of July was pretty impressive and I wanted to stop.

My 4th outfit

I got to run a real, in person, 5k race the weekend before the 4th in a local town. They had a wave start to alleviate concerns about physical [social] distancing. There were no gatherings before or after the race. There was no water stop. Even so, it was a real race and I got to do it. I was shooting for a PR, which I thought was anything faster than 28:45. That was, until I found a pint glass I’d gotten from a local race as a prize and found that 28:16 was actually my best 5k time. It was humid that morning, but I was still bent on getting my best time. Fortunately, I ran into my friend, Jess at the start line and I latched on to her to hold pace. That was, until I couldn’t hold my pace and I actually felt like I was going to be sick. I pulled back and reset. I tried to keep moving as fast as I could and I finished in less than 30 minutes, which has to be the best official time I’ve had since I tore my peroneal tendon in 2016. I was disappointed, but I was actually a little proud that I was actually getting back some speed and pleased to have run a real race. After speaking to some experienced runners, they were surprised that I’d attempted to PR in those conditions and cautioned against trying in the heat.

My long term 2020 goal was to PR at my 10th half marathon in St. Charles, MO. The MO Cowbell was my planned race for the 4th of October. I was disappointed when I had to defer half marathon number 9 in April. I still virtually ran it with Judy. We’ve even kept up our mileage so training wouldn’t be as hard in the late summer months. Then, I saw the announcement on social media about the Cowbell going virtual this year. No race; No rematch with the mile long hill near highway 370 or running through Old Town seeing all the dogs people bring out to cheer for the runners. I don’t even want to say I was disappointed. It was more. I was frustrated and discouraged. I don’t fault the race or its organizers for it. I understand it is the stupid virus. I am tired of its existence.

I get to run another real, in person 5k this weekend. Another wave start race. I’m not shooting for a PR. I just want to run it for the tank top that comes with the race. I’m hoping I get another opportunity to beat my time in October.

I honestly think my running performance improvements are directly related to my working out at my gym, Be Strong. I’m stronger and less prone to injury. I’m also just a better all around athlete than I was before. I have cross trained in the past and I don’t think it helped me as much as this type of fitness programming has helped. I’m hooked and super enthusiastic about it. I feel like I have this amazing support system and I actually enjoy working out. I did their Hero WOD this 4th of July and I got another coin for it.

I stand by what I said awhile back when all this began. It is okay to be angry and upset with the things that are affecting you at this time. It isn’t selfish just because there is someone out there who “has it worse.” Emotions are valid and necessary.

Thanks for reading! I hope you find something to enjoy and hang on to it. I also hope to find more “in person” racing.