Training: Better Late Than Never

The run was brutal but the view was lovely.

I never quit got around to writing my usual Sunday night training recap this week, mostly because I was a zombie by the time we got home from our weekend at the coast.

Let’s start with Tuesday night and hills, hills, hills. And did I mention the hills? Our coach had the great idea of making us run up the ridge and then up and down the rolling hills without breaks. It was 92 degrees outside, and the 7 PM sun was shining directly in our eyes, making it seem that much hotter.

Needless to say, it was the kind of run where we did more walking than running. No, not walking. Slogging.

I got up to the top of the ridge, took some pictures and decided to see if I could use the downhill run to generate enough momentum to power me through the next uphill. (Answer: no.) But the funny part was that as I tore down the hill, I closed in on my mentor from last year. Her head whipped around and she looked panicked. “Did you see a snake?” she asked. She couldn’t imagine that I’d accelerated so much without ┬áreason — like running from a snake in the dry underbrush!

On Wednesday, I went to Pilates, and it was the coolest Pilates session ever. Mercy has been doing a great job of stretching me and undoing the running-related tightness. This week, she was armed with these awesome little heatable, lavender-scented pillows and guides that help shift your body weight and draw attention to different muscles, all while feeling so good and relaxing. It was like spa pilates. Spalates! I swear that my weekly intensive stretching keeps me going.

On Saturday, the Team was scheduled to run at Lafayette Reservoir, previously mentioned here. I love the reservoir, but we were trying to head down to Santa Cruz at a reasonable hour, and by the time I drove 45 minutes to Lafayette, ran for an hour, then drove home and showered… well, so much for reasonable hours. So I put a request out on the local moms’ club chat and found another mom to run with me. Yay! We didn’t go quite as far as I would have gone with the Team — 50 minutes instead of 60 — but it was absolutely worth it to have a new running buddy.

I walked up and down this hill four times.

In hindsight, it was a good thing that I didn’t run more, because Santa Cruz is a very hilly area. You park alongside the road, at elevation, and then you hike down to the beaches. We first went down with the kites, but it wasn’t long before the Tiny Kitchen Assistant and his friend wanted the bag of sand toys. Back up the hill. And a hat. Back up the hill. Oh, and snacks. Back up the hill. By the end of the day, my legs were plenty tired.

On Sunday afternoon, armed with new, more kid-friendly kites that they could fly on their own, we trudged up yet another hill. This one was inland (warning: mountain lion habitat) with a great view of the fog-lined coast and the artichoke fields.

All in all, between the sun, wind, salty air and physical activity, I came home exhausted, but good-exhausted.

The Tiny Kitchen Assistant heads downhill, fog and fields in the distance.

In other training news, the start of school means that I’m also walking 1.3 or 2.6 additional miles per day as I deliver the kid to school in the morning and sometimes walk to meet him in the afternoon. Not a big deal, but it definitely adds to the weekly mileage totals, or would if I remembered to set my Runkeeper before leaving the house.

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