BMC50K: Six Weeks to Go

I’ve been hesitant to write, because I don’t want every blog post to be a rehash of “OMG I’m so nervous I won’t be able to do this but I’m going to be optimistic and do my best.” Seriously, even if I’m the only one who’ll ever read this, I don’t want to keep writing that.

The sun is out today, which is a much-needed treat. Besides the ridiculous amount of snow and freezing rain we’ve had this winter, we also haven’t seen the sun as much as we usually do. I can handle the endless cold; endless cold, endless grey, endless “how is it possible there’s still snow on the ground in February?” combine to be too too much for me. There’s a reason I fell in love with the east side of the Cascade Curtain, and it has a LOT to do with our weather. 300 days of sunshine: that’s what I signed up for, not fog and grey skies and temperature inversions.

I think I’m finally at the end of this cold. It occurred to me yesterday that I hadn’t taken any drugs – that’s a good sign. I ran in the morning. The weather forecast prompted the court to delay our start until 10 a.m., which gave me plenty of time. The calendar called for seven miles, preferably with some rolling hills. I ran in the Desert Wind neighborhood as it fits the bill with rolling hills. They’re not impressive hills, but I ended up with 300+ feet of elevation gain over the course of my run.

I ran 5.77 miles, rather than 7. I’m okay with the shorter run because of the conditions. I started off on old, crusty snow. The lesser-travelled streets were in the best condition (for running in YakTrax): compact snow. The hills had been plowed & treated; there, the snow was snow & slushy in places. I ran right behind the plow, and that was the worst. There, the snow was soft, like loose sand. That stuff was hard to run on, but I could console myself with the reminder that all this running on snow will make me faster on dry trails.

My pace was good for this run: during all but the last two of my run intervals, my pace was 13:09 or faster; most of the time, I was in the mid-12’s. I challenged myself by intentionally going on a path I knew would require me to re-gain elevation.

Tomorrow brings a 20-mile run. That distance may still be beyond me, but I’m going to give it a shot. I’m hopeful I can run Owens Road up to Beck. I’m really weary of running on asphalt, and that road should be plowed. It’s sure to be a muddy, slow run. My only concern is that it’s an out-and-back, and if I bite off more than I can chew it could be a long, hard trip back to the truck. On the other hand, it’s all downhill on the way back, and going out means I have to make it back. I’m looking forward to the test. I’ve mapped out a 17-mile run; if I’m up to it, it’ll be easy enough to tack those missing three miles onto this run. If not, I can always add them to Sunday’s scheduled 8-mile run.

Today is a 2-4 mile recovery run. I set my alarm for five, in the hopes I’d do the run before work. (I’m definitely a pre-work workout person — I love getting in out of the way and having the rest of the day to bask in the post-workout satisfaction.) At five, I decided I’d rather sleep a little more. I initially planned to skip the run altogether and make this a rest day, but I’d prefer to get some movement in today. I debated running at lunch, but there’s still so much snow on the side streets that I think I’d prefer to run on the bike path. So, bike path after work it is – despite my grumbling about all this running on asphalt.

I’m also trying something different with my diet. I haven’t logged my food intake in a month. I’m still weighing myself daily to stay on track, though. The good thing? I’m down about five pounds, which is what a month of “dieting” would produce. This week, I’ve gone back to Matt Fitzgerald’s Diet Quality Scoring. The first two days, I managed scores in the 20’s – impressive! Wednesday was kind of a disaster, thanks to two meals with simple carbohydrates. I’m finding this system is making it easier to avoid temptations: I don’t want the minus points! We’ll see if this helps me do a better job of making healthier food choices.

Yesterday, on a lark, I tried on an adorable wool suit I bought last year, despite it being too small. While I can’t claim it fits, I can button the jacket and zip the skirt. I still need to get rid of some of my excess belly before I’ll be comfortable wearing it, but I’m delighted. That’s the kind of motivation that makes walking by the peanut-butter M&Ms a little easier.

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