This week did not start out so great. On Monday I had to cancel my classes at the community college to put my car in the shop due to an accident. I thought I could just drive around until I was ready to get it fixed, but I was wrong. The tailgate wasn’t closing properly which meant there was a constant high pitched beeping noise. Norm took me to work at the elementary school and picked me up so I could get my rental car. The only upside to all of this is that I love my rental car!
So Monday became a wash. By the time I got home I was exhausted and still had work to get done. No running today.
I usually run after my 8am class at the college, but I had volunteered Enzo to take pictures at the Purim Festival at the Cheder. Little did I know he expected me to go also. It was fine, I ended up working one of the booths, but it meant I had to move my run to the afternoon. I was suppose to attend a training at the community college, but I decided to skip it t be able to get my run done. I ran 8 miles on Tuesday super easy. With no race plans I am finding it hard to have any motivation to run any miles at all. I am also feeling really stressed about money and some decisions that I have to make. Stress always makes me run like crap. This run ended up being more about stress relief than anything else.
Tomorrow is Purim and I have to deliver 56 Shalach Manos today! In reality, they should be delivered tomorrow, but I am not driving to every student’s house. Shalach Manos are gifts that you send on Purim. You only need two ready to eat foods. I tend to go a bit crazy and do some foods, a drink and some gifts. I have always given to the whole school, but this year the school is the biggest it has ever been. Knowing that this is my last year at the school I decided to continue the tradition and give to the whole school.
I put together really nice packages from the students in my class. The rest of the school is getting a pretty basic package. I had found these scarves for my girls that I really wanted, but I could only find three, In between the community college and the Cheder I was hitting up every Target I could think of to find one more scarf. Success! But I also needed to stop at Safeway to get candy bars from Israel. My students only eat Cholov Yisorel and Pas Yisorel (think of this as extra special kosher dairy and wheat) so I needed a trip to the kosher section. Because I live close to the central Phoenix Orthodox community our Safeway has a pretty amazing Kosher section.
After school on Wednesdays I stay with one of the students for an hour. By the time I get home it is after 5pm. I should run, but I don’t. I also should be going to a Purim party, but I don’t.
I head out for my run, but I am just feeling like there is no point. Again, with no race plans I just feel totally directionless. It doesn't help that the 2 races I really wanted to do I had to decide against because of the expense of traveling to the races. Plus, there is a race I really want to sign up for but again with the travel expenses it might not happen. It’s actually not terribly expensive, but a very long drive. I hate to admit it, but these 13-hour drives are really starting to take a toll on me.
I got to about mile 2 and really just wanted to go home. I managed to get myself to mile 3 before turning back to the house. But as I got closer to the house I made myself make little turns here and there to add on miles. In the end I managed to get my planned 10 miles done. Sometimes this little trick of letting myself turn around works. I really hate to not run my planned mileage. Although it has been known to backfire too.
Girls night! My girl group likes to try new things. This night we went to aerial yoga at Elevate. It was so fun! It was a restorative aerial yoga class. If you want to try aerial yoga, this is the class. Not a lot of upside down and you stay close to the ground, but super relaxing.
I actually felt great today! The kind of day where you feel like you can run forever. The weather was perfect, the trails were empty and I was loving running. Until out of the blue my ankle started hurting. It went from nothing to pretty painful. I turned off the trail to get on the road and made my way home. By the time I got home I could barely put weight on my ankle and moving my foot around really hurt. Luckily, it was one of the things that disappeared pretty quickly.
I had the day off from the college and the Cheder. I thought I would get so much work done, but I was wrong. I basically spent a lot of time texting to make running plans for the weekend. And looking at races.
Nadine and I had plans to run together. I took her to my favorite running spot out by Mt. Ord. It’s always fun to run some miles with a friend. This is my most favorite spot to run. I don't get to run here as much as I would like because I don't feel comfortable running here alone. I am always happy when someone will go out there with me to run.
Back home I decided to sign up for the race I wanted to do in Colorado. Norm and I had discussed it decided that it was too much money right now. But I couldn't get this race out of my head. So I signed up for it and didn't tell Norm. The race is called Running Up for Air Colorado. They recently held this event in Utah and Jamil had run it. I was so jealous, but now here is my chance. I will be running on a 2.7 mile loop for 6 hours. I am not only excited about the actual race, but I am excited to visit Evergreen, Colorado. We haven’t been here yet and I love to check out a new small town. I found the cutest Airbnb that isn't going to cost much. I had told Norm we could make an anniversary trip to make it sound more appealing.
I had been on the fence about running Mountain to Fountain 15K. I love the race, but I had zero idea how I would do. Now that I had signed up for this race I need the money to pay for the Airbnb. So I took the gamble and signed up for the race with the hopes of making a little money.
Norm and I got up, had some coffee and packed up for the race. An 8am start is pretty awesome. Pre race I really wasn't so nervous. I just had no idea how this was going to, but some how this made me less stressed. I really wanted to run under hour, but there was really no plan.
Before the race I am chatting with Hayley and she tells me that she has lost her car key. It might be on the bus. I tell her to text Norm and tell him to try to figure it out for her. He’s just waiting around doing nothing. I also tell her not to worry. We will drive her to her house if she doesn't find the key. I also tease her and tell her that I am good friend and will be happy to stay with her while she calls an Uber.
I start up front and immediately fall in behind one of the runners in the elite field. She is running about a 6:30 pace on the climb out to the road. I know I have gone out too fast in the past on this part and paid for it so I let myself stay behind her and try to keep the pace relaxed. A couple times I move to the side and we are next to each other, but this makes her pick up the pace and I fall behind her again. As we turn onto the road and start the down hill part I find that I am sometimes running faster than her and move to go around her. Every time she moves in front of me and starts throwing her elbows out or she picks up her pace to keep me from getting past her. At one point she moves in front of me again as I try to pass her and I lose my patience. “I don't care if you are ahead of me, but seriously!” She replies, “Oh, I didn't realize, sorry.” But I am going to call bullshit on that. She clearly knew what she was doing. We keep running together for a while. I hear her tell a guy who passes us that she hasn't been running for a while. I get it, she is probably much faster and she probably isn't thrilled that some old lady who isn't in the elite field is running as fast her. As this is all happening I am trying to be strategic, but also smart. I know I have run faster on this road out of the park, but the goal is to win money and right now I am in position for that. I don’t want to push it too much and blow up. I decide to push a little harder and find myself pulling away from the lady who has been annoying me. I keep pushing and tell myself not to let her catch me. I know the toughest part of the race is coming up. I am pleased to find myself catching a few of the guys on the course and passing them. My water cup grabbing skills are still on point. I make it to the 10K mark under 40 minutes and I am happy with that. The last big climb, I tell myself to take it easy so I can push it the last 2 miles to the finish. But I could not get the speed I wanted those last 2 miles despite the downhill. With about a mile left I am finally pushing my speed and happy with my pace again, only to hit another climb. It wasn't that bad really but it felt like Everest. After the climb I struggled to get my pace down to the low 6 min pace again and it became clear that I wasn’t going to finish under an hour. I pushed as hard as I could and finished in 1:00:37. This put me in 7th overall and 2nd masters. You won't hear me say this often, but I am really happy with the race. I didn't train for this, I didn't taper for this and I am really pleased with my results. Oh yeah, and that girl throwing elbows, she finished behind me.
No word on Hayley’s key. I get my award and Hayley gets her beer for her team. We head to Starbucks for some coffee and food before we make the drive from Fountain Hills to Buckeye. If you don't live in Phoenix, let me explain this to you. It’s the farthest east point that can be considered Phoenix suburbs to the farthest west point of Phoenix suburbs. We often joke that Buckeye is East L.A. We get to her house, grab her key and drive back to Fountain Hills. On the way back I drive. Norm isn't feeling good and I drive much faster. We take Hayley to her car and make our way back home.
My mileage ended up really low for the week, but my climbing actually wasn’t too bad. I decided to let it go and start again next week.
Brandi and I decided to try an all levels aerial yoga class on Sunday afternoon. The other class was really relaxing, but this class was a ton of fun! There was a lot of laughing. We got to go upside down a lot. I don't know that I want to practice aerial yoga all the time, but it is definitely fun for a change.
Time to shift my focus to climbing. I signed up for Crown King. If I race it or run it with Hayley I haven't decided yet. We will see how the next two weeks go. Most likely it will be a game day decision.