Wednesday, February 09, 2005

I'm still here

I got a comment from someone wondering if I was going to post again. I guess I have been a little remiss. I've been so busy I've been scanning everyone else's blogs but haven't had time to really read them thoroughly or to comment (congrats to Richard on his excellent half marathon and PR!).

Last week I wasn't feeling well so I didn't walk at all during the week. I felt a bug coming on and I knew if I got up early to walk and pushed myself that I would get sick.

On Saturday I went to my niece's two year birthday party. I tossed around the football with my nephews and ran around the back yard. It sure made my knees sore, and I jammed my thumb; it was an interesting shade of purple for the next couple of days. At the party we found out that my brother-in-law is about to do a 14 month tour in Afghanistan. We are all concerned for him and his family (he has a four kids, from 2 years to 14 years). So I'm unofficially adopting one of the nephews and will make sure to be there for him in his dad's absence.

On Sunday I had one of the hardest workouts in my life. Once again we had rain so the trail was muddy. The mud was the slickest I have ever experienced; it was often like ice. In some instances I had to find a branch on the side of the trail to help me get up steep, slippery hills. I fell three times in the first three miles, including two face plants. One was so hard that my Garmin came halfway loose from the strap. Luckily I was able to secure it once the sun came up.

My plan was to do thirty miles. The trail is about 8.5 miles long, so I did one out and back (17 miles) and then another out and back of 13 miles. It was brutal. Some miles, when the trail was relatively smooth and mud free, I could do 11 to 13 minutes miles. But on some of the muddy miles I did 16-18 minute miles. I even tried running sometimes because it was easier than walking.

Then, I managed to jam my toe HARD against a rock--TWICE! I knew it was going to be bad when I took my shoe off but I just kept going. I successfully finished the thirty miles in 7 hours 14 minutes, a pace of 14:28. That felt pretty slow to me, but after reviewing my walking log I realized that it's not much slower than my 50k PR of 7:21:48, a 14:13 pace.

When I got home it took me about 15 minutes to get the mud off my legs and out of my socks and shoes. My toe was just as I expected--fat and deep, dark purple. But all in all I was pleased with the day. It was hard, but I enjoyed being outside and the weather cleared up and was beautiful. For the last couple of days I have felt terrible. Everything was sore on Monday, even the tops of my feet. But now I'm feeling much better and am planning to walk tomorrow morning.

That's about all for now. I hope everyone else is having fun and training hard.