As promised (to myself, at least), here is #DTLAA week #2 update.
Monday started off absolutely terrifying. A routine, basic orientation I was giving to a new member at the gym resulted in a cardiac emergency, 911, CPR, AED, EMT’s, all of the 3 letter acronyms NO ONE wants to actually have to use in the fitness industry. It was horrible and left me, and much of the staff, completely shaken. THANKFULLY, the member is going to be OK. It was a blessing in disguise that the emergency happened on our time, as we were there to help him. The condition was quietly waiting to strike, and had it happened while he was alone, the outcome might not have been positive.
So many of us (thankfully) are CPR & first aid certified, even those not in the fitness/medical industry. We practice these scenarios over and over during our certification process. We practice so we know exactly what to do if an emergency arises. But one thing you are never prepared for is how freaking terrifying the actual event is…nor how you will react to it. Once I got home from work, I sat on the floor with Geoff and cried, talking out all of the feelings and emotions that had welled up over witnessing what we all thought at that time was a death. Thankfully, it wasn’t.
The point of me sharing all of this is to URGE you to become CPR certified if you aren’t already. It literally can save a life, as I witnessed this week.
Tuesday called for 4 miles. I had a morning meeting at work, so I decided to head South the scout out some training runs for an upcoming running program I am starting at my new gym. Geoff and I dodged cars for 3.5 miles and ultimately decided this was NOT the neighborhood to take the running group out in. I also finally took a test run of the Clifbar Organic Energy Food Sweet Potato With Sea Salt (affiliate link) puree.
Don’t let the face fool you, it wasn’t horrible. It just wasn’t what I was expecting after a 3.5 mile hot, humid run. (And no, I typically don’t refuel with these types of things after such a short run. But it was there and Geoff and I dared each other to try it.) Those types of runs leave you wanting something refreshing, hydrating, and probably fruity. This…was not. However, I know once I hit the 3 or 4 + hour mark of much longer runs, I start to crave real food and sodium. THIS is when the Clif Organic Energy Food will come in handy.
Wednesday called for 7 miles. Because of my work schedule, our 7 miler had to happen at 1:00 pm, under the 93 degree sun. We decided to hit our trail loop again, but this time attack it backwards. Because it is a running AND mountain biking loop, the run start is on the same end as the bike finish, and vice versa. I’m guessing this was done to allow both runners and cyclists to see each other approaching head on, and avoid any startles from behind. The second half of the 7 mile loops is almost all out in the open and unshaded. Because of this, and because there was no one else in the parking lot (and thus, on the trail we assumed), Geoff and I decided to run the trail backwards (run finish/bike start to run start/bike finish). That way we’d get all of the unshaded portions done early, and get to finish the last 4 miles in the hopefully cooler woods.
Well, as it turns out, we’ve discovered why so many of our local running friends run the trail in the wrong direction: it’s way easier. You get to run DOWN all of the steep hills we run up in the opposite direction, haha. Normally running UP hill is my training technique of choice, but in this heat and humidity it was simply about getting the mileage done.
While it hurt, a lot, I was surprised at how well I did. I felt strong (though slightly dizzy from the heat), and Geoff and I both marveled at how far we’ve come with running in this weather. Two months ago we wouldn’t have made it a half mile before quitting.
From here my training weekend sort of took a turn into the mom “do what you can with what you’ve got” mode. Thursday we were supposed to run 4 miles. Instead the boys and I got in 2 ish miles of trail intervals.
Want to have a great interval/fartlek partner? Grab yourself a 6 year old. They only have two speeds: stop, and SUPER FAST. I felt bad for anyone out on the trail that day looking for a moment of peaceful “Zen” running…because my kids were channeling their inner primal urge to YELL.
I’m so thrilled with how much my kids love to run this trail. Each time we go out, their endurance naturally gets better and we run for longer intervals.
Friday was supposed to be a rest day. I somehow convinced myself I had to be to work at 9:00 am, and RUSHED the kids out of the house to get them to camp on time so I could get to work on time. Imagine my surprise when I got there and realized, oh wait, I DON’T work. But now I had driven 30 minutes to get there, and figured turning around and going home would be a waste. So I hopped on the treadmill for 5 miles, then spent a good 45 minutes working on my hip mobility. Normally I wouldn’t run on a rest day, but I knew that there was a 99% chance I was going to miss the Saturday long run….
…and I did.
Saturday morning the kids and I hung out while Geoff dutifully ran his 14 miles. Then we joined our local running club for a beach social, where we all sat around enjoying the sunshine for about 4 or 5 hours. Life isn’t bad here on the beach.
Which brings us to Sunday. Again with kid duty, I was unable to get in a daytime long run. But after they went to their dad’s house Sunday night, Geoff and I decided to do another night trail run.
It. Was. GLORIOUS! The temps had dropped down into the 70’s, which was such a welcome relief from the heat. Though I can’t speak for Geoff’s fatigued legs, mine were ready to go and the first 7 mile loop felt effortless. At one point, I swear I heard something growling in the woods next to us. Now, I’ve run many a night mile up in Vermont, where we have bears, mountain lions (or catamounts, as we like to call them), coyotes, foxes, and angry fisher cats, with nary a flinch. Yet here I was in the middle of a very, VERY small plot of land, surrounded by large neighborhoods and major road ways, and I was convinced I had pissed off something large. It wasn’t until the fourth or fifth time I heard the “growling” that I realized what I was actually hearing was the rumbling of a fireworks show off in the distance. Heh. Good ol’ Myrtle Beach.
Our plan was to do the full 7 miles on the trail, then turn around and loop back for an added 3 to get 10 miles. However, once we hit the end of the trail and the parking lot, we were met with a few cars, at 10:00 pm, full of people who were clearly NOT there to run and/or ride. There were some “shenanigans” of sorts going on with items being passed back and forth on the hood of the car. I’m not one to speculate (yes I am), but I figured whatever was going on was shady, and we probably didn’t want to stick around for it.
We’re not in Vermont anymore, sadly.
My week ended with only 24.5 miles, as opposed to the 38 I was supposed to hit. With 16 weeks left in the training plan, I’m not *too* concerned about the distance (or lack thereof) yet. In fact, in retrospect it seems foolish that last week put me at 28 miles and this one called for 38. That’s a jump these legs aren’t willing to risk quite yet.
So, that’s it, for those following along. This week is supposed to be a cutback week, as in theory we are in week #4 (but if you recall, I totally missed week #1 with an awesome case of strep throat). With my typical M.O. of not following a training plan, this routine feels strange. Strangely good. And rewarding.
Remind me of this when I’m pulling 70+ mile weeks with back to back 30/20 mile runs in a few months.