Not really, it was Friday, but originally I wanted that post title and only a picture:
This morning, Jake and I woke up at 4am to make the Kite Lake Triple in its second year. We wanted to meet everyone at the coffeehouse before but took too long to get ready and turned back at one point because we forgot things. So we arrived at the trailhead at 7:30 and waited for the 8am start.
It was crazy flippin freezing even at the bottom of the hill and I ended up wearing every single piece of clothing I recently bought for winter running. Had I not, I know Jake might have had some things to help me, but holy hell am I so glad I got everything I did and that STP delivered SO quickly.
I wasn't sure how the cold would affect my lungs, especially after Thursday's failed attempt at running in it. But surprisingly my Buff was enough to warm my breath and I didn't need to use Jake's crazy mountaineering balaclava.
READY. SET. GO!
I decided to jog to where it got super steep, you can almost see it in the picture above as that peak was number one to climb, Democrat. About 2000 ft elevation climb to over 14,000 ft. Pretty much walked the entire time up and had to take quite a few breaks from my calves burning. My shoes did really well with steep cliffs and all the rocks. But we hit some slippery river rocks and patches of ice and it was a matter of slipping as gracefully as possible. The trail was almost all entirely rocks which was really hard for me to navigate down even though I usually rock at technical terrain and downhills (still have to work on my knees though).
At the top we received our first token. One token per peak which was entered into a raffle at the end for a lot of cool shit.
Then we had to climb down the same way and up to the next peak, Cameron. It was step down and again steep up. Jake stayed back to take pictures, but I rad ahead and waited for him at the top. We also had to climb the side the wind was blowing from and some gusts felt like they would topple me over, and at times it was through some of that ice pack snow, so there were mini heart attacks along the way thinking I'd fall off the cliff face.
After Cameron, Lincoln was straight ahead (hidden behind when looking from Base Camp) and Bross to the right. Lincoln was a pretty easy climb and I was able to run until it got steep and a little too snowy. Also on the side of strong winds, the side of my face was so numb and cold on the way up. And when I'd stop jogging, I'd get dizzy. For some reason I forgot to copy those pictures of the trail that Jake got, but I bet he'll post on his blog: here (it's currently under construction, but he said he'd get it up and blog about the race tonight, so hopefully so!)
I had to wait quite a while for Jake to catch up here. He was taking lots of pictures. But once there, we did our picture taking and I took off. I was sick of waiting at this point, so I told myself at Bross, I'd take a selfie and race downhill to the finish.
My selfie was here because we weren't allowed at the top of Bross for a long dumb reason I read about online just now, this was the turn point to start heading down. I missed the token here because I had no idea where it was at and probably ran right past it after hearing it was down the trail a little. At this point, the wind wasn't bad but there was quite a bit of snow and parts where it was only wide enough for one foot. Though it was powder and my shoes seemed to be okay in it, I was going a little too fast for my skill and slipped a few times falling all the way to my ass. The rest of the hill was not only steep as shit but gravely/rocky and it didn't matter what shoes you had, you were going to slide down surfing style.
Two ladies passed me here and I was shocked, because it never happens. But then I passed about 5 people and felt okay after that. I knew time was getting close though so I really pushed. More trips and falls, especially with ice, but finally we got to a point where the wind was blocked and started to warm up. I took off my Buff finally and felt a little more balanced so I trudged through faster. I was soooo happy when we finally hit normal technical single track dirt and really ran after that. It felt amazing!
Finally hitting the starting trail, crossing two rivers (without falling into water each time woot!) I hit the tent and called my time: 3:33. Awesome! The limit was four hours and all I cared about was finishing under that! I had no idea how much I'd b able to run and I even had it in my head that it was possible I couldn't do more than one peak. I mean, this was my first attempt at an altitude climb because before today, I'm pretty sure Mammoth was the highest I'd ever been at 11,000 ft. And I went to run it! Wasn't able to do a whole LOT of running, but whatever, I've only started this trail running business 3 months ago! I'm proud of myself and how exciting will next year be when I've got a year of running under my belt?!
I think Jake came in over a half hour after me. Because he was over 4 hours, he didn't put his tokens in either. But when a woman came in at the end of the raffle, they told her to put in the [poker]chips, so we did too! We didn't win anything at the end unfortunately, but we did get a shirt each!!
After my half marathon, I took Sunday - Tuesday off for recovery. I'm not sure if I needed that many days, but I figured I'd play it smart and reduce chance for injury. Especially since I still don't know how to go downhill without hurting my knees.
So I ran Wednesday and Thursday. Both about 5 miles, and both in South Valley where my very first trail runs began. Thursday I tried to meet up with the Denver Trail Runners but got there late due to a house fiasco (a roomate discovered something icky we all felt we needed to deal with).
Then Saturday morning there was a nice early A.M. run with DTR and so I decided I'd try again. This time I made it early and had a lot of fun in White Ranch Park with the few people crazy enough to wake up at 5:30am to run these beautiful hills.
Sunday I think I took it easy again because I wanted to run on Monday with the Rocky Mountain Runners and I figured I'd get back into my old routine with Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday runs. I also expected to add in Wednesday this week since my RunKeeper app has added a short run those days now.
Well all of that kind of went haywire after Monday's run. The RMR group met up in Boulder around 6pm and because it was raining and thundering pretty bad, only 4 of us showed up to run. We figured the rain would subside soon since it never lasts too long and started up our planned 6 mile route into Chautaqua Park.
My run was basically hell the entire time. I was actually having a lot of fun because everyone running was so nice. But I was definitely the weakest link and kept everyone behind. The storm never eased up and by the time we reached the top it was dark and gross. Our main goal was then to get down as quickly as possible because we were running through a river on a very steep slope and a lot of technical rocky terrain. Our only light source was the lightning strikes, which were actually fairly frequent, but with it so hard to see, I was kind of just tumbling down rocks and jumping hard, which did not help my knee issues.
By the time we got to the top, I absolutely fucking hated anything uphill. And by the time we reached the bottom, I felt the same for anything downhill. Everything sucked and my mental state was completely wrecked by the time we got to our cars. Had I not been with a group, I probably would have opted to stay at the top of the hill and cry myself to sleep.
I came home shivering and soaked and luckily Jake was prepared to take care of me as he physically put me in a hot shower and made me tea. I felt better after warming up in the shower and woke up Tuesday fine as could be. I still took the day off from running, though, knowing my knees needed time.
Wednesday, however, is when problems occurred. I woke up at 4am to go to work and it felt like I didn't get ANY sleep except for the 10 minute snooze I gave myself when my alarm went off. I downed two cups of coffee to no avail and just generally felt sore throughout my body and zero energy. I thought maybe I was getting sick or maybe Monday finally caught up to me, but I just didn't feel right and became more miserable as the day went on.
My 20 minute drive home from work at 4pm was absolutely agonizing and when I got in, I went straight into PJs in my bed and curled up with a movie. I stayed there all night, getting worse and worse. I tossed and turned that night, and half the next day before finally getting out of bed and being a normal person.
And that's all it was. a full 24 hours of feeling like absolute crap and now I'm fine.
Yet this weekend Jake and I are going to do 4 of the 14ers in an 8 mile race and I'm just now dreading it because of the latest weather we've been having and I just now realized that 14,000 ft of elevation means it's going to be cold and possibly snowy, and omg what did I get myself into? At least this race is no pressure and I hope to at least climb to the first peak before feeling out my body and if I'll be able to do more.
**UPDATE ON 14er RACE**
I meant to post this blog post days ago but kept having trouble with the pictures. So now there's an update on the 8 mile race we were supposed to do.
It was postponed. To this coming weekend, Saturday the 21st.
This Monday's run weather was the beginning of some crazy weather in Colorado, so a lot of roads are washed out, flash floods everywhere. And the race got affected. It keeps monsooning so I don't even know if this weekend will happen, but we'll see. Sucks because training is kind of out the window too. We'll see how it all goes I guess!!
I just need to TALK. I have a lot of rambling in my brain that I need to get out. Some for organization, some to vent, and mostly just to remember my thoughts.
I have been pretty much unemployed since we got back from Africa in December. I really expected to have something good by April at the very latest. Yeah, that didn't work out so much. Thankfully I've had friends and family give me a crazy amount of help, and food stamps since July, and some luck with a few temp jobs here and there. I would honestly not have survived had it not been for Boulder Boulder, Mark at TGA, and now DR Photographics. While I'm not getting the hours or pay I really need at DR, it's better than nothing and keeping me afloat. I have no idea what I'd be doing without it.
Right now I'm excited to be able to apply to about 3-5 jobs a day (on my days off that is) and while they are simply admin jobs, again, it's better than nothing .And at the moment I have been out of my element for so long that I've completely lost sight as to what I even want to do as a career. I feel more and more passion toward health and fitness and the possibility of opening a Raw Food Cafe. However, I think it would be ideal to have an IT job that I've been looking forward to from my uncle that starts at 60k. That kind of money is far more than I need and would allow me to save up enough collateral for a solid small business loan within a few short years. And maybe a nice used car to boot.
But it doesn't seem like any of those IT jobs will ever come through. I think I look underqualified, despite the fact that I am so quick to learn I doubt I'd have any trouble catching on whatsoever. But we'll see. This Monday I have two interviews, one on the phone for a 30k-40k position, also fine enough to save up money (let's hope I qualify for the upper range of that). And the other I don't know if it is in person or on the phone, but it's only part time with the upper range I should definitely qualify for at $15/hr. Being part time means no saving money, but at least I can start paying back some people who have helped me. It may not be the happiest job for me, but I will take it with pride and gratuity.
My Life and Wishes
I don't need much to survive. I have some pricey habits, but when I look at the rest of my friends or a lot of other people, I realize it's not really that bad.
I like my fine yarns for knitting, but have been successful in the past on Etsy to get at least the yarn cost back, which is all I really care about. It's been hard lately because places like Forever 21 sell scarves for like $2. But maybe some people will find me again and realize paying much more for quality goods is worth it. Hard in this economy though, even I'd rather pay the $2 than even make myself something custom. But I have been craving creating lately, so who knows, maybe the part time job is better for me to have more free time to do that.
And I have fallen in love with trail running. Though I almost have everything I need, the only other thing I've wanted is a wind jacket from REI. Buuuut I haven't been able to afford it of course. And now living in Colorado and really not wanting to give up running in the winter, I'm thinking about buying some winter running gear. But that means new $80 shoes, some $75 pants, layers of fucking shirts and jackets, probably a few pairs of $20-$40 socks. The list goes on, hats, gloves, garters, etc. So that's fun.
But it's like, why can't I just have a good enough job that when I go to Target, I can buy a $40 chair without wondering if I'll overdraft? Why can't I go get my hair cut regularly? Why can't I see something at the grocery store that I know Jake would like and get it without feeling guilty about it? I really don't have that many desires, but as of now, spending $2 on coffee seems superfluous and dangerous. How sad is that? All I want is to be able to go to a store and see a Patagonia shirt on clearance and think "Yeah, that's reasonable." Can I please just own one Patagonia shirt? Or a quality yoga mat for once? Or a Nalgene bottle? A decent phone case? I feel like I'm not asking for much. But then again, I could just be a first world brat whining about menial things.
Okay, I'm done venting
My next post will be more positive, I promise.
I'd like to experiment with some raw recipes I've created and hope to post.
I'd like to knit more and sell on Etsy (starting to be a good time of the year)
I'd like to finally blog about my kitten Sir Benedict Cumberbatch, Duke of Meowchester (#dukeofmeowchester on Instagram)
And I want to talk about being a yearbook photographer and the odd things I've noticed about humans.
The day after my birthday, I embarked on my first half marathon ever. I hadn't even ran more than 11.5 miles before that day. And it was a tough one, though I'm glad I did it, because it turned out not to be as hard as I estimated. 2000ft elevation gain, the first 4 miles involved the first 1600 of it through many small hills and one killer hill I overheard dubbed "The FU hill." It made sense why.
Honestly, I should have stopped to take more pictures, but I really just wanted to run. However, Jake will have some footage in his short video, but not of the beautiful hills where the first 8 miles took place.
I came in 121st (9 better than I joked about on Instagram) and my finish time was 2:44 (16 minutes better than I hoped and almost an hour better than I predicted). My average mile was 12:36 and I was 26th in my age division (under 40 years old). So I feel pretty good about it. I mean, I feel REALLY GOOD about it. I really impressed myself and am so happy with my first trail halfer. I can't wait for the next honestly, and I think I spoiled myself inadvertently because anything less than 2000ft elevation gain will seem like I'm a cutting it too easy, lol. (Though in two weeks I'm participating in a free race that climbs 4 of the 14,000 ft peaks in 8 miles and I'm terrified of that one)
The climb was not nearly as bad as I had anticipated. In fact, I think I had a tougher time with Lair O The Bear though I did get sick shortly after that, who knows if it was already affecting me. Plus my mindset for going up steep trails was maybe less prepared? Anyway, it was a good climb and shorter than I expected. Though if it went on any longer, I could see myself getting pretty sick of it pretty quickly.
The downhill was extremely fun and my shoes freakin rock! I passed so many people going down (and was really impressed with how many I passed going up!). But seriously, going downhill is like taking drugs for me. I probably look like I'll fall any second and in fact get so caught up in it that I've lost some of my gracefulness, but it's still so much fun. There were some nice big drops too that definitely felt like parkouring.
But the worst was the last 5 miles. We got out of the cool mountains onto a flat boring track in the middle of a field and instantly so much hotter. I declined the aid station right from the mountain because I assumed I had plenty of water and really didn't want to stop. But when mile 9 came, I went for some water only to find almost none, and boom! Side stitches. Those mother effers. I stopped for a few seconds to work them out, already drained, and then continued before anyone could pass me. This was at the final "turn around" and also when a lengthy low grade incline started. Pretty much everyone who hit it began walking, and I decided that would be my walking point too. Finally there was a woman I was pacing and ran when she ran, walked when she walked. I was so sad I was going to be dehydrated and miserable for another 4 miles when I looked up and saw a shining beam of light - a third aid station I didn't know of! I stopped for sports drink refill of one of my flasks, ice to put down my bra, and a handful of gummy bears for a sugar rush.
Protip: Trail races aren't like road races. Stopping is like Nascar needing to change tires, pretty much everyone will do it at some point, so it doesn't really affect your time. Instead of wearing down and stopping for 5 minutes at one station, stop at three stations for 1 minute. Boom, 2 minutes shaved from your time.
That aid stop was totally a second wind, and honestly, I think it was the bra ice that helped the most. Soon enough two people were coming the opposite direction cheering us on and saying there was less than a mile left. Woohoo! I picked up speed (but soon dropped down when it felt like more than a mile) and then I was able to pick it (and my spirits) up again when I saw the parking lot, heard the cheers, and figured out we were so close! I felt like I finished strong and was so stoked when I saw I had finished in under 3 hours.
I met a lot of great people while running but really need to work on my social skills post race and make more friends. I think it will help when I start running with Denver and Boulder groups. And in looking up this race again I found another running group that seem a little more elite. I'll see what they say about me joining and get back to you on the blog about it.
I didn't stop much to take pictures, but it was a gorgeous fun trail and I think I'll force myself to enjoy it more next time, taking photos and resting in the process which might actually help me run faster overall, we'll see. I'm excited to train more and improve my speed. Maybe one day in the long future I'll actually win some awards =)
For more pictures, go to Erin Bibeau's page. It's mostly just the runners, but they're fun. I doubt she'd appreciate it, but because it's watermarked, here's one of me I don't hate =)
Well I keep hitting the same brick wall. And that is jobs and careers. I feel so lost and worthless. Unemployed (sans Seasonal Gigs) for over 8 months now. I have a degree. A science degree. I'm amazing with people. I learn quickly. I'm always upbeat, I never bring drama to work. I'm a peace keeper. People love to work with me. Bosses love having me around. So why can't I find anything?
And now it's been so long, I don't even know what I want to do anymore. I've completely lost sight of any career that would fit me. I keep being hesitant to go back to school because I don't want to spend any money, but if at 27 I feel it's too late to start a new career path, how would I feel at 35? 45? My dad started nursing when he was 50. Shouldn't I use that as motivation, realizing it's never too late to go back? So I rack up some school debt. Maybe one day the government will realize how much we're all suffering in this economy WITHOUT such debt. The consensus is the same everywhere I look - people of all ages with many different degrees can't find work. And there's some good advice being given, but.... but what? What exactly is my problem anyway? I don't even understand the situation I'm in/ And because of that, I'm depressed and have no idea what to do with myself.
Should I start a raw food business? What's the risk? You need money to make money in this case. I'd need an adviser for property management, an accountant for business finances. I can't afford any of that. Small business loan? How scary in this economy, do I really risk that??? And if it fails? I'll be just like my grandpa - big dreams and ideals and tons of failed attempts. I'm so sick of failure.
And all I keep thinking is how ambitious I was to change the world. But I had nobody to actually guide me into that role and just kept thinking it would just "happen." I keep watching these political TV shows, or my favorite Bones, and keep thinking "THAT'S WHAT I WANT." I want to be in government. A CIA agent. Or a political administrative role in the White House. Why didn't I go that route? All the nay-sayers. Yet I keep wanting it. Maybe I should see how to get into the Air Force. Yeah yeah, it's probably not what I imagine. Who cares. It's something.
Let's see if I can even remember all the good stuff that happened. And it's hard because there have been a lot of new cool things that have happened since that I'd rather write about. I have a lot of catching up to do.
Well, Alex, my baby bird, was generous enough to buy me a one way ticket out to California so that I'd have the opportunity to watch his graduation from UC Santa Cruz. I was so happy to go out there and celebrate with him. We both went through so much together there and to have him present on my graduation day meant so much to me, so I hope that's why he wanted me out there too. He invited my dad as well, and so I decided to fly into SoCal, hang out for two days and then drive up with my dad to spend a week there. My dad had been called down by his work the next day, so he was only able to hang out a short time, but he drove back up a few days later.
Then the coolest thing ever happened. I decided to enter my very first 10k Race, and it was a Trail Race at that! I was so worried about side stitches and even running 6 miles though I had twice completed that distance (and then some) not too long before. And my knee had been acting up and every part of my perfectionism had me nervous. But I rocked it! I battled my side stitches and even though at the end they hit hard, I hadn't stopped once, so nothing was going to make me give in! It was so much fun and I am SO HAPPY my first Trail Race ever was in my favorite place on earth!
By that time, Jake had driven in from Colorado. He went to San Diego first and then met me in SC for a few days before we went up to San Francisco. I was only able to see Logan and Patrick, but we did get to stay with Jake's friends Matt and girlfriend Lauren and experience a bit of Pride weekend prequel. We also met up with Christina a quick second at a nice bar close to where Cafe Gratitude used to me (RIP in SF). While I was sad to miss out on Raw cuisine, Logan and Patrick made up for it by taking us to Burma Superstar. I am now ridiculously obsessed with Burmese food.
After SF, we went back down t o SC to drop Alex off (he stayed with his girlfriend in SF) and then head to SoCal to visit with family down there. Dinner with my mom, ice cream with my cousin, and visiting the Cake Shop pretty much summed up our trip. Oh, plus movie night with my dad to see the newest Star Trek, as Jake and I have an unhealthy obsession with Benedict Cumberbatch.
On our drive back, we stopped at an Indian reservation to do a little trail run. It was a tough 3 miles being at 8000 ft elevation and all hills. But it was good to get out of the car like that.
I have no idea what to do with myself, so I try to blog to organize my head.
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