Thursday, March 31, 2011

Vibrams + Audrey = Joy

Running and I had a little "honey-moon" moment today. "Le'me esplain...no, le'me sum-up" (that's a quote from the Princess Bride) if you don't know that line, I'm going to assume that you grew up with cable TV and owned more than 5 VHS - just a guess.

But I digress...back to that honey moon moment.  You see I have fallen in love with running.  I never got a ring and there was no ceremony.  But I did get a healthy body, a SANE mind, clarity, joy, energy, passion, perseverance, endurance, and much more.

After I got married, people would say things like, "well, you just wait till the honeymoon phase is over." or  "oh, well you're still in the honeymoon stage" - It always ticked me off! - Did people honestly think I'd care less about my husband in a few months or years...ummm...that's why I married him. I believe I did say, "for better or worse" yes...that rings a bell.

So now back to my running relationship.  I've always loved it but I've definitely had times of LOVING it and times of DOING IT.  Lately, it's been more of a chore than a joy - winter can do that.  But today, I slipped, no, not slipped - squirmed, tugged, wrestled, my feet into my Vibram Treksports (which I've owned since November but never had an opportunity to try out) and went for a run. 

See full size image
Running felt new and fresh.  I felt alive and at peace.  My foot falls were quiet. It was just me and running.  One of those ahhh... moments.  For that reason it was a honeymoon moment and the fact that I only ran 1.25 miles because it's not wise to go too far too soon in Vibrams, or barefoot.  So it was a short lived special moment that reminded me of why I initially fell in love with running. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

There's a First For Everything

I have a FIRST to announce. I'll give you a second to guess what that might be....did she win her FIRST race? (No, I've already done that) is it her FIRST call-back from a Survivor Audition? (No, Jeff Probst obviously doesn't follow my blog yet) was it her FIRST eyebrow wax (nope, I'll be on my 2nd).... ok, give up????


I got a DNF at my race on Saturday. Don't gasp, a DNF (Did Not Finish) is not the same thing as a DD (Dishonorable Discharge). So I'm safe, I'm not in danger of a prison sentence and I will most likely still be able to get a hired if ever I need to. They only damage done was to race record and my ego.

Since it's rude to throw out juicy tidbits like, "I got a DNF" and not follow them up with the rest of the story, here it is.

Jadon and I woke up at 3:50 a.m. on Saturday morning. My feet still hurt some but I was feeling hopeful about the possibility of running the Antelope Island Buffalo Run 25K. After a quick shower and packing running clothing for every possible temperature, season and natural disaster known to man, we got on the road by 5:00 a.m.
Jadon's 95 layering options

The drive from Kemmerer to Antelope Island is about 3 hours, which Jadon and I always enjoy. Talking, listening to music, eating breakfast, drinking coffee. I kept eyeing the digital temperature on the Tahoe...14...19...22...26...32 (good to see it break freezing)...32...32...33. By the time we drove up to the race start it had actually warmed up to 38 degrees. I started feeling a bit more hopeful.

the Sunrise on the way there

Antelope Island from a distance - notice it is the only place with snow...that would be the way life goes.

After layering up according to the weather, filling water bottles, counting out GU's and chews, and taking multiple trips to the porta-potties (if you're a runner you understand this) we were ready to run.


Waiting and the starting line


the starting line

The race course heads directly UP the mountain, no warning, or warm-up, just UP! I felt good though, hills are my strong point and I powered past a lot of others runners. I even began to entertain the idea that I might possibly "place"- at least in my age group.

I'm passing her, not vice versa




Eating on the run - not sick yet!


The first 5 miles were fun…powering up hills, cruising down hills. The first aid station was at mile 5. We carry our own water so we cruised right passed it. About ½ mile passed that aid station E Coli, Salmonella, or some similar villain attacked me. I stopped and walked trying to calm my stomach, no use. I headed for the nearest rock, knowing I was about to loose my cookies….I mean….chews. I puked in the middle of the road at a previous Marathon and it’s not an experience I wanted to repeat.

When it comes to the food poisoning the flu or other such situations there is always a calm after the storm. You think, “wow, now that the crud is up and out, I actually feel better.” That’s how I felt. My options were to turn around and walk ½ back to the last aid station or continue on 6 more miles till the 2nd aid station. Having never quit a race and feeling a bit better I decided to keep going.
Antelope Island is deceivingly bigger than it appears

About 2 miles later I greatly regretted that decision. At that point I could only walk and not even water would stay down. I trudged up the endless switch-back portion of the course wishing I was dead but having no choice but to continue. Jadon, being the best friend, perfect running partner and not to mention fabulous husband, stuck with me.

The more dehydrated I became the slower my walking got. Eventually I experienced the “back of the race” something I’ve never been apart of before. People who were attempting to run their very first race, people who were walking the entire course, older individuals etc. began passing me. I have to honestly admit that was hard a pill to swallow. I’ve always done well in races. Winning, or placing in my age group or at least being toward the front of the pack.

At mile 9 you can see the aid station and it looks close. It might as well be a mirage though because it’s still 2 miles off which feels more like 10 miles when you’re sick. My feet felt like lead and all I wanted to do was curl up in a ball and cry, but I had to keep moving. I offered a few weak, “way to go” and “keep it up” to passing runners.

As we neared the aid station at mile 11, I asked Jadon what I should say. I had yet to learn the proper way to drop out of a race. Should I throw up my hands in surrender? Should I just collapse to the ground? Should I attempt to be diplomatic and explain that I had thrown up 3 times, I was severely dehydrated, on the verge of hypothermia and should possibly consider stopping. As it turns out I didn’t need to explain myself. Other runners had notified the people at the aid station that there was a pale, sickly looking girl headed their way. As soon as I rounded the bend, I was met with, “Are you the girl who is sick? Here, come sit down” They lead me into a tent, sat me down, covered me with blankets and starting monitoring things, heart rate, pulse, temperature, coherence…did I know where I was? – “Yes, I knew where I was; I was on Antelope Island attempting to run the cursed race I swore I’d never run again last year” ….and so on! Then they made the verdict. Yes, I was sick. Yes, I was dehydrated. Yes, I need to quit.

At this point I was relieved. I knew there was big DNF painted on my forehead but I really didn’t care. I was loaded into a truck and driven to the end of the race. It was over. I had to walk around the finishing line and ask the kind race volunteers to cut my timing chip off my shoe, explaining that I didn’t actually finish and so I couldn’t cross the line. They were a bit confused but bent over to cut the chip off and still handed me a mug for “finishing” – very kind of them.


Post race - Brooks Cascadia -Yes, we have matching trail shoes...No, that does not carry over to the rest of our wardrobe


So, that’s it! That’s how I DNF works, you get sick or injured and you call it quits. At first I was devastated and as we drove home I told Jadon, “I’ve only quit 2 athletic ventures in my entire life: I quit the basketball team in college because I’m no good and I only went out for the team to impress Jadon when we were dating, and now I quit the Antelope Island Buffalo Run 25K” His response to me was, “Well, welcome to the rest of the world.” - He’s right! I’m not the first person to get sick and drop out of a race or any other venture. Its ok, I can learn from it and come out stronger for my next race….which is in….2 weeks….YIKES!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Coming Out Of Hibernation

Hello! I'm going to go ahead and welcome myself back to this blog, "Welcome back Audrey! Glad you could make it, better late than never!"

Now that the formalities are out of the way; on with business.  When I started my other blog http://www.theaudreyrossway.blogspot.com/ which is dedicated to being a Personal Trainer and not just a "personal" blog, I stopped blogging on this blog (Aud's Odd's)

Well, last night I had the epiphany that every once in a while I might like to just mindlessly chatter away instead of being profound and so I've decided to go ahead and write on both blogs. So here begins segment 2 of "Aud's Odd's"

In case you're unaware I really have issues with March.  I just don't like the month.  It's suppossed to be spring but in Wyoming it's a soggy version of winter.  It's like cold gravy - gag! It's almost the only time all year that the Wyoming sky decides to act like the Mid-West and turn gray and lifeless.  Also, it's insanely long - as if 4 wks of misery isn't enough; March goes and tacks on an extra week.  Thanks for that March. 

Last year in an effort to make March exciting Jadon signed us up for a trail run on Antelope Island.  In all honesty it was a very nice gesture on his part - Thanks Jadon!  But it turned out to be a very miserable race.  I'd been sick the weeks before and hadn't been able to train farther than 7 miles.  Needless to say a 16 mile intense trail run didn't feel to good on my 7 mile legs.  Oh and then there was the fact that it was freezing and my hands became numb around mile 4 and I could no longer feed myself because my frozen nubs of fingers wouldn't open the darn Lara-Bar wrappers.  Long story short - I ran the last 3 miles fueled by anger at Jadon for ever signing us up for such a miserable race.  But then as life goes in my ridiculous brain, 2 hours later I was telling Jadon that if I trained better I could kill the race next year! - can you say "Glutton for Punishment"? 

So now it's March again and guess what I'm going to do on Saturday.  That's right - Run the 25K Buffallo Run on Antelope Island.  Well, I'm going to attempt to "run" it.  It may end up being a crawl.  Jadon has agreed to carry me or "wheelbarrow" me down hills as well. The reason for the "attempt" to run is because I injured both feet last week.  Yes, BOTH! One would have been alright, I'm pretty good at hopping, but BOTH! Really?  I got/contracted/caught/gained (I'm not sure the right way to say it) Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome in both feet.  In layman terms - I pinched a nerve in each ankle which leads to shooting pain, tingling, and numbness in the feet - lots of fun. How did I go and do that, you ask?  Ummmmm....."how didn't I do it sooner?" is the real question.  I have a real finess for getting injured in the most obscure ways, and it's a wonder this didn't happen 3 years ago. 

Anyhow, the chiropractor adjusted my ankles and said I should be good to run by Saturday if I stay off my feet till then. So, I've followed "doctor's orders" and I've only been swimming this week, which is not much fun.  I detest cold water, clogged ears, and drinking chlorine.  But I've done it anyways, and I might actually be getting better :-) 

Come Saturday, Jadon and I will drive to Antelope Island at 5 a.m, I'll get all geared up go pick up my bib# and act like I've been training hard for this race (ba..ha..ha..ya right) I'll line up at the starting line, tell Jadon I'm going to win, and then start running!  It may be a test of pain tolerance more than anything, which will be entertaining for Jadon since according to him I'm the most funny and witty when I'm irritated and cynical.

So, if you happen to be awake at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning think of me and my 2 numb feet and pray that they magically fix themselves and carry me gracefullys up and over the many hills on Antelope Island.