Thursday, March 4, 2010

Thursday Thoughts: Some Pictures are Worth a Few Words

Saturday, February 20, I headed for Jackson to do my first 20-miler on the Falling Waters Trail. This was the same trail on which I ran my stellar half marathon PR (1:43:01) last October. The day was cold (19 degrees) and brilliantly sunny and I was in good spirits. I ran the entire length of the trail from Jackson to Concord and back. How convenient that it's 10.2 miles one way! I even negative-split the second half, pulling out 8 sub-9:00 miles in a row to finish in 2:58 for an 8:55/mile average. I was pleased.

Mile 15 of 20 on the Falling Waters Trail in Jackson.

A week and several snowstorms later, I peeked out my window Saturday morning with the futile hope that the 13 inches of snow on the ground might have magically vanished overnight, leaving me bare, dry sidewalks and streets on which to run my 16 miles. Sadly, this was not to be. I conceded defeat at the hands of the elements and knew my only course of action was to run the miles on a treadmill. I ran the mile to my gym, ran 14 miles on the treadmill, and ran the mile home. It was dreadful. There are no words to describe how awful running 14 miles on a treadmill are. By mile 3 I was ready to quit. The thought of 11 more miles made me want to cry. I devised a plan to ease the pain: break the distance into four 3.5-mile segments and take some kind of break after each segment. That helped a lot. I went to the bathroom, walked and ate Gu, drank some water. Nevertheless, the final 2.5 miles felt like a death march. I was just so done with it I sped up the treadmill until I was running a sub-9:00 pace just so I could GET IT OVER WITH FASTER. Finally, FINALLY, I was done. But wait, there's more! I had only run 15 miles. I STILL HAD TO RUN ONE MILE HOME. And you know what, folks? That one mile outdoors was easier than the 14 which preceded it.

Thirteen inches of snow on Friday means I'm not doing my long run outside on Saturday.

The very next morning I was inside the Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit, staring up through the glass ceiling of the atrium at this:

70 flights, 1,050 steps.

Yes, it was Climb Detroit time again! I participated in this event last year and had so much fun I came back for more. I want to thank especially my run-blogger friends who donated to my stairclimb fund: Redhead, Mike Fox, Zoomylicious, Mr. Loser, girlrunningaround, and JoyRuN. Thanks to you I totally crushed my goal AND helped my workplace team be the number one fundraising team this year! We raised over $8,000 for the American Lung Association.

I surprised myself by turning in a time of 11:02, which was only 9 seconds slower than my time from last year. Despite my nearly identical time, competition was much stiffer, and I finished 12/65 in my age group and 27/212 for women.

I prepare by scratching my arm.

Today for lunch I met one of my favorite run-bloggers and all-around awesome dude and great friend Spike. Not only that, I finally got to meet the one and only Redhead who is braving the tail end of this Michigan winter to hang with Spike for a few days. I am happy to report that 1. Redhead is indeed as funny and effervescent as she is on her blog and 2. They really are the cutest couple ever. I was very sad when I had to go back to work.

An epic run-blogger meetup!

Finally, when I stopped at the New Chelsea Market after my group run tonight, I saw this bottle of Malbec and knew I had to get it for the sole purpose of taking a picture and posting it here:

Sure to make Nitmos and Spike squeal in terror. Clearly, llamas are taking over the world.

SIX WEEKS to Boston!


Robert said...

So, when are you going to do ESBRU? :-) Glad your stair climb went well.

MM said...

That's a lot of snow!

Nitmos said...

Does the bottle spit at you when it is opened?

Filthy animls.

bunnygirl said...

Llama on the label...someone should write a jingle!

I was just telling a friend this morning how exasperated I am with winter, and we don't even get snow. You're probably beyond ready for spring! Hang in there.

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

How convenient that it's 10.2 miles one way!

O, sure! Make your poor, long-suffering readers do the math to figure out how far you ran round-trip!

You're very cruel to the mathematically-challenged among us, Sarah (D-MI)!1!

There are no words to describe how awful running 14 miles on a treadmill are.

Sure there are. Try these:

"Running 14 miles on a treadmill is awful."

Feel free to use them, and by "free" I mean I expect payment every time you do because they are my Intellectual Property just as Conan O'Brien's Teh Masturbating Bear is NBC's. I sure wish that were mine because it must be a gold mine! It's got everything! Bears! Masturbation! A guy whose first name can't be spelled without "onan"!

Anyroad, my point is, great job on the run and the re-conquest of Mount DEE-troit.

Viper said...

Is the snow finally starting to melt up there? Good job on the stairs. Cheers to Llama wine.

shellyrm aka jogging stroller mama said...

"Llama llama mad at mama" that's the book I just bought for my littlest! funny llama wine!! I can read it now, llama llama whines for mama. There's the next title!

You have got loads of snow too! I am tired of white!

Sun Runner said...

@Robert: Never!

@Nitmos: No, but it was REALLY hard to get the cork out. I don't know what that means...

@GQH: I will never have to pay you royalties because I will never run that far on a treadmill again.

Also, 10.2 x 2 = 20.4.

@Viper: Yes, it is. FINALLY. I'm waiting for the hammer to fall, though, you know? There's another blizzard lurking...somewhere...

jen said...

Great pics! Nice job on the 20, the treadmill long run (GAG), and the stair climb. You're on a roll. 6 weeks!!

Morgan said...

It was soooooooo great to meet you! Yay! (I seriously think this was like the millionth time I've said that! LOL!) Also, the Llama wine is hilarious and I can't stop drooling over those sweet potato fries from lunch! Do you think they could fed ex me some?

Excellent job on the stairs race, so awesome you guys raised so much AND were the highest fundraising team! Congrats!