Dear Diary #1: Trusting the Process

Booty climb out of Tennessee Valley, two minutes before I twisted my ankle. #NoFilter

I’m enjoying a cup of dancing water at my favorite coffeeshop, after a whirlwind of up-and-downs this week. It started poorly. Frustration at work left me anxious and not able to sleep or eat well, and it certainly put a toll on my training. I had 1.5-mile repeats on Wednesday morning, and it was by far the hardest workout I’d done in this cycle. The Fort Mason hill, as short and small as it may seem, spiked my heart rate very early on, and I spent the rest of the workout trying to keep it under control (barely). The headwind quickly turned the flat fairytale of Crissy Field into a gradual incline. I was not fully recovered from coming off a big week. AND BLAH BLAH. But I finished. DONE IS GOOD! The recovery run next day wasn’t any better. My legs were giving up, and we weren’t even halfway through the week yet!

So as I woke up on Saturday morning warming myself up for the meat-and-potatoes long run, all I could offer was a pre-caffeine, post-lobotomy stare. I was not excited. I wanted to bail on the planned route in the Headlands.

If, and only if, I had not promised my friend to take her on her first trail run..

Had so much fun in the Headlands (w/ Linling).

And then something unbelievable happened: I cruised through the hills. The fatigue was gone. The heart was pumping efficiently. I felt fresh and strong. Right before we veered into first decent, I was still in shock, and thought the good feeling would fade away at some point, if not soon. But it never did. After the second climb, I knew it was going to be a banner day.

WHO SAW THAT COMING?

Sometimes all I need is a little bit of love, a lot of courage, and a spoonful of #TrustingTheProcess.


Week 6

TOTAL MILEAGE: 42+ miles
TOTAL ELEVATION GAIN: 2500+ feet

Ten things I can never do without #1: Coffee.

Fueling

<rant> Living in a health-conscious city that is San Francisco, it’s nearly impossible to demolish a Mission super burrito without feeling the judgemental stares of your co-workers and friends who think you eat too much (YES, they even suspect there’s a never-dying tapeworm in my stomach). Mindless eating is bad, I get it, EXCEPT when it happens before and during my runs. I shovel food (mindlessly) into my mouth.. not in a hopeless attempt to fill the endless void where my dreams once resided, but because I need to throttle down the eating processor for other things: the wind, the hills, the whining hamstrings and screaming quads. The playlist. The heart rate monitor that keeps falling off (very annoying!). Or “Why is Ben still trying to talk with me? Can’t he see that I’m having a heart attack right now?!”. Or that shirtless, thunder-thighed, six-packed dude flying by. Any of them is more important (or mentally-stimulating, or something) than the question of what to eat. </rant>

That is a long-winded way of saying that I’m dialing in my fuel routine for critical runs so I don’t have to think about it. Ladies and gentlemen (but most likely just future self on race day), may I present to you my tried and tested fuel rituals:

  • BEFORE: Coffee. Plain bagel with peanut butter and strawberry jam. Did I mention coffee? This is my five-star, old-fashioned CMB.
  • DURING: Tailwind. Tried fueling my long runs with tailwind only for the past few weekends, and it’s been a pure love affair. This shit works. I just ordered a whole bag of their green tea buzz flavor!

I’d switch up pre-run food a bit once in awhile but at this point I’m pretty settled on Tailwind. And by ‘switching up’ I mostly meant:

%s/peanut butter/almond butter

Recovery

Despite how well my long run went yesterday, at mile 10 I twisted my ankle (because my life is never boring). Yup, it was the left one (aka the one I injured during a lead fall a while ago and left with stress fracture). These bastards always circle back to haunt you, don’t they? This morning it still felt a bit painful and fairly stiff, so I cut my run short. I’ve got 48 hours to put it back in order! I’ve ice-ed it, and I’m wearing a (very fashionable) pair of recovery socks right now, and I’m thinking maybe some Delirium Tremens could help too?