Friday, February 22, 2013

The Moab Red Hot 55k, oh and it was (a) hot (mess).

So, basically part two of my story goes something like this: I came, I ran, I sucked. (anyone know how to say this in Ancient Greek?).

I knew the race was a giant crap shoot from the beginning. Between having mom duties for the weekend and being ill, I didn't exactly set myself up for success. Although, my motto in ultrarunning is to deal with the hand you've been given. And that's what I did.

We travelled up with Shea Tinder and Norah (a very very cute two year old). Shea was super nice, kind, amazing to watch Alexander while I ran and did all the obligatory running things. So much gratitude here.

Race morning I woke up pretty out of it. I hadn't been sleeping all week, and I just felt wrecked (and, ah-hem, feverish). Whatever though, I'm an stubborn as they come, and I opted to race. Screw it, what else was I gonna do, right?

I lined up an the start line and met some of my Adidas teammates that I hadn't had the chance to chat with before. Then all of a sudden, it was go time. From step one I felt sluggish. I tried to tuck in behind the infamous Mr. Ian Torrence, but soon everyone faded away. I sucked air uphill and my lungs were on fire. Yuck, yuck yuck.

I rolled downhill fast, trying to play catch-up, but unfortunately, that would be my day - just hanging on to what I could. When I got to the second aid station, I wanted to drop. But, that's not how Paulette 2.0 rolls. I've learned that even the bad days teach us something (was today gonna teach me that I was a dumbass for running?).

At some point, I stopped feeling sorry for myself and just ran fast. I was clocking 7 minute miles on those flatter section. In my head, I though - maybe, I'd catch someone. I passed people, making up for the time I spend sulking between miles 9-15. But my groove just didn't last.

Here's the dumb part. After rolling fast, I started feeling feverish, hot, cold chills. Basically my body went all schizo. The last 10 miles of the race was just plain awful. At one point I so hot I went shirtless, and the next second I was freezing. Just plain dumb.

So finally I rounded the corner and sailed downhill to the finish line, thinking - thank god I'm done!

Big kudos to all my teammates, Emily, Trent, James, Josh, Ian, and Brian. Those peeps brought their A-game and went big. AdiUltra represented, and it was cool to be there. I wish I could have brought more than my D- game, but soon.

The race was awesome. The views were epic, and the after party was bumping! Chris Martinez puts on a good show. A win for the ultra community!

Next up Old Pueblo 50!! Game On!!

Friday, February 15, 2013

This should be blog worthy..Racing Sick?!?

So goes my week.

Monday -
Visit desnist for tooth pain. He suggested I follow up with an Endodntist and said the words "root canal."
Visit Dr.  for a yearly physical. Blood drawn, but the nurse had a rough time finding the vein. End result, fun bruises on my arm.
fun run with BFF Sabrina in the Phoenix Mountian Preserve. It started off rainy, but oddly enough, it ended up very sunny. This weather is very kooky in phonenix right now. Clearly the highlight of my day.

Tuesday -
Visit Endontists. Emergency root canal.
Put shoes on and plan to run.
Lack of food and ammount pain derailed the run.
Call Mr. John and ask him to "pretty please" come home from work early.
Entertain said child while Mr. come home from work.
Eat mushy noodles.
Read Plato (not sure if I was coherent enough to read).

Wednesday -
Plan to run.
Decide I feel like crap.
Sit in bed and watch "spy"movies.
Go to class.
Run fever.
Come home.
Run fever.
Sleep very little. Try to read.

Thursday -
Wake up with fever
Teach class.
Visit Endonditist for follow up. All is okay, despite the fever.
Attend office hours.
Attend class.
Feveroushily pack, plan for the trip.

Friday -
Wake up feverish again.
Shop, laundry, and clean.
Pick up Alexander.
Drive to Flag.
Pick up Shea & Norah.
Drive to Utah.
Arrive at Hotel at 11pm.

So, I made the choice to run the 55k. Should be super interesting. I'm stupid, I realize this, but maybe I'll surprise myself.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Proverbial Question

When people meet me and get to know me better, they learn of the different mes. I wear alot of hats; I run in a couple of circles.

I'm in grad school right now. It's amazing how people (instructors, other grad students, administrators) see grad students as being very, and in turn, how singular grad students present themselves as singular- notice I didn't say they they are; rather, there's a fiction many grad students create, possibly to make themselves appear professional, possibly out of fear. I once tried to keep up this fiction, but it's difficult; in fact, it's damned impossible and frankly not important. The mes start surfacing. Someone in class learns I'm a mother. Then, funny, a week later three other mothers come up to me and say, I have a son too! Odd. Why would I be hiding that I'm a mother?

(My favorite people in the world! Why would I hide these guys!!)

In another week, someone learns I have a full-time (and a part time) teaching gig (most of the grad students are funded with TA ships that give them a stipend for teaching 1-2 classes a semester). Then's they start with the "wow," how do you do it?

But, as many of you know, we haven't even gotten to the crazy part. I'm an ultra runner. I train approximately 12 hours a week and run races upwards to 100 miles. First when people learn of it, I get the script of questions that people run through when wrapping their head around the idea of ultra running. Then, people start to put it all together think I'm crazy because on top of full and part time work, full time Phd student, and raising a child (with my BF who happens to work 70+ hours a week, meaning I'm the parent on call most of the time) "in my spare time" I run lots and lots of miles over terrible terrain and often in shitty conditions (re: summer heat in Phoenix). 

Then there's the proverbial question "how do you do it all?" It's the hardest question to give a full and complete answer to. I don't have a professional nanny nor is my son's father (my boyfriend) around a ton. I have friends that can help and do (and they are AMAZING), but I try to be careful when I ask them because I hate to feel like I've overburdened friends. Family members are around, but increasingly "unavailable" on the weekends (my parents have wage-labor jobs and work on the weekends) when most people put in their long runs. Seriously too, asking someone to watch my kid while I run sounds selfish, and there's that whole mommy guilt thing that goes into even getting up the nerve to ask someone.

As far as my work, I have a great schedule. I make nothing in my job, and in turn, I get a good schedule and am blessed with the ability to take/pick-up my son from school most days. My work, however, happens beyond the classroom. I'm a college instructor, so I may only be "on campus" for 20 hours a week teaching, but as we all know, teaching doesn't stop in the classroom. Then there's that who full-time grad student thing. 

Okay, I'm already tired of reading this, and frankly it sounds like I'm whining. That's not my intention here. This is the best response I have, though when people ask me that question because my other response, when truly thinking from a logical-logistical side, is "I don't know."

(grey hairs just thinking about this)
This week I zeroed out three days, and I'm in full on training mode. After beating myself up with WTFs? and OMGs? and doubting myself, I had to sit back and say shit happens. Shit happens in life, shit happens in school, shit happens in work, and hey, guess what if you don't think shit happens in 100 miles, then you are lying!!

Some of the best, most resilient ultrarunners are people who are able to roll with the punches. I've yet to have a perfect race or a perfect training week, nor do I think I ever will. Obstacles come up in all races, and it shouldn't be a reason to stop or quit or even stop trying.

I guess this is where sifting through my busy life helps. Living in the moment and deciding what to to about the task at hand is a good skill to cultivate. I'm faced with decisions and obstacles everyday, and this, for me, is all a part of the ultra training. 

So instead of getting all stressed out and reciting all my life commitments when someone ask me "how do you do it all?" maybe I should just say because "I have to, and because I want to."

(and come on, regardless of what's going on, the end of a run is deeply satisfying)

 (And at the end of every rainbow (running adventure), there's always coffee!! screw pots of golf)