Saturday, March 20, 2010


friday night, as i was getting ready for bed, my roomie, ellen, said, "hey boo- how far are you running tomorrow?" i said, "i'm not sure let me check my schedule."

and then i realized i was going to be running 20 miles.

so saturday, i ran 20 miles (on march 20th- whoa). yes, im spoiling the ending- i completed the full 20 miles. this is going to be a beast of a post, so get comfy because this is not for the light of heart... okay i dont know how that really fits in here, but i felt like saying it.

riiiiight..... so about my running adventure.....

I woke up around 9 (ish). Talked to my man on the phone for a bit. Got up, put on my capri spandex and my t-shirt. I made the breakfast of champions- honey bunches of oats and scrambled eggs. I gathered my "running stash" and put some vaseline on the top of my sports bra line to prevent chaffing. (For some reason, that is where my skin gets most irritated. vaseline is great at preventing this) Below you will see my stash. Its pretty sweet, and there is an angel puppy who insisted upon modeling.

I took my delicious stash out to shelby farms for a day of epic running. I started out at the beginning, as most people do.
The first part of the run is across this hill (its not steep at all, but it is a hill none the less) and you run towards the entrance to the woods (the better part of the run). Well, as i approach the entrance, i see this:
and i'm thinking, "OH NO! there has been a rock slide or a murder thats going to be on SVU!" so i approach this mess to read the sign, which says:
facelift? how do you give a trail a facelift? so i think for about 2 seconds and decide that this whole facelift thing can suck my.... i mean, is for the birds... and go right through that caution tape- throwing caution to the wind (HAHAHAH)- and proceed on the trail, interested to see what this whole face lift thing really means.

as i was sneaking through the trail, breaking the rules and otherwise being a bad ass, i heard some yelling. And i was immediately afraid i had been hunted down by the rangers for my second misdeed at shelby farms (remember i had gotten escorted back to my car bc i was in the park after sunset?). However, it was just a bunch of boy scouts getting rowdy in the woods. for what? i dont know. but they were running around having a good ole time.

along the path, i figured out what the facelift was. they were putting in some gavel and such in certain places to prevent mud build up. all in all, a good idea, but no reason to keep my from running my trail. i made a mental note to break this whole "facelift" rule the next two times i looped around. (AND I DID! bahahaha. i'm such a rule breaker)

after you get out of the first woods part- you run past this lake. it's pretty cool. take a look.
The reason that i have these pictures is that on my third lap around, i decided to take my camera- for moral support and for something to keep me busy while i trudged along. it was very helpful. On that third lap, i saw this deer poking out from the bushes!!!
This picture shows you just why this trail is so great for running.
Pretty daffodils!
About two miles in, you get to what i like to call, "THE HILL OF DEATH." this pictures doesn't quite do its steepness and depth justice, but at least you can see it. For some reason, the placement of this hill just about kills me every time i run it. My last lap around, i let myself walk up it. its that bad, or i'm just that bad at hills.
After you go up the hill, you run for about another half mile and then you hit the fun part. THE DOG PARK! see picture below. this part is one of my favorites because it always gives me a good boost of energy.
Thought i would show you some pretty flowers.....
Now this is probably my top favorite part next to the secret passage. This old abandoned car. How it got 3 miles into this trail, i dont know. but it is pretty cool.
the car is to your right and this rando building is to your left. so cool right?
This is about half a mile further along. It took me a good many tried to get luna to walk over that bridge the first time we ran this trail. but she LOVES to jump over that fallen tree in the background.
This little bit of awesomeness is right about 4 miles in. I just love it.
This "robert frost" split in the road is right before the secret passage (which will be shown in full detail at the end of this post. its kinda fun to take one side or the other depending on my mood. they split to go around those trees and meet back up on the other end of them.
This picture shows you one of luna's fields. I usually let her run free right around here. you can imagine her majestically bounding from side to side, jack rabbit running wherever her little heart tells her to go.
This is the last mile of the trail. I always love to see this mile marker.
But i think i love seeing this one the most.
So after the first six miles, i turned around to add two miles on (run back to the 5 mile marker then back to the 6 mile marker). I decided to add these two miles (for all you non-math ppl out there- 6 miles times three loops equals 18 miles plus two equals twenty).

On my way back to mile 5, i passed three girls. Well, im a competitive soul, and once i turned around i decided it wasn't okay for me to not beat them. SO i picked up my pace and blew past them. In hindsight, that was a bad idea because it kinda sucked the energy out of me. Oh well, it was worth it to pass those biotches runnin so damn slow.

After mile 8, i stopped to go to the bathroom. I ate a mini cliff bar. I refilled my water bottle. And i ran on. This time, i rand the course backwards, you know to spice things up a bit. Not backwards like, not being able to see where i was going, but like starting at the end of the trail and going to the beginning. On this loop, there were like a million people on bikes and i had to jump out of their way alot. Oh yeah, and there were 3 people on HORSES. no wonder i kept seeing horse poop along the trail.

By the time i i finished this loop, i had run 14 miles. i was pretty tired. my legs already hurt. my calves were tights. my feet were sore. Sitting on the toilet was a blessed relief. This time, i ate some Gu and refilled my water bottle again. I discovered that i like the combo of half water half gatorade in my little water bottle for the trail. I knew this last loop would be pretty painful- thus the camera for the pictures you see above.

Well i was right, i hobbled along. One thing i learned is that even going down hill can hurt when your joints and muscles are are tender. The only thing interesting about these 6 miles, other than the pain, was around mile 4 when i ran past this Asian couple. They must have been in their 40s or 50s. Keeping in mind that they are FOUR MILES into the trail, they were wearing polo shirts, ironed khaki pants, WHITE tennis shoes, and sweaters tied around their shoulders and they had a little frufru dog. I was so bewildered by this couple that my mouth kinda gaped open in surprise...

and then i swallowed a bug. yep, a bug flew in my mouth and i ate it. it kinda tickled so i took a swig of from my water bottle. then i coughed up part of the bug. i guess i just needed a little extra protein for the last two miles. a little bit after this bug incident i came to my favorite part of the run- the secret passage. and i have a special little video for you!

After the secret passage, i just had a little ways to go . Around mile 5 of the trail, these bikers rode past me and asked, "have you been running this whole time?" i said, "yes- i'm at the end of 20 miles!" well there wasn't quite an exclamation point in my voice because i really wanted to kill anyone who interrupted what little will power i had left. but i put on a happy face and pretended like i did mind their disruptive intrusion into my running zone. I actually saw those same 3 bikers at the end of everything in the visitors station. they were fairly impressed that i ran 20 miles, and well, so was i. The last mile was really painful. I was barely shuffling along- searching my ipod shuffle for any song that would give me a good rhythm to run to. The last 1/2 mile i had "you cant stop the beat" from the musical hairspray which, oddly enough, had the perfect beat and perfect message.

20 miles. DONE!

When i finished, i stretched a little, hydrated a little, and started snacking on a peach and cliff bar. When i got home, i could barely get out of my car. I was so stiff and in more pain than when i had finished. Fortunately, i had an angel waiting to greet me at home.

and then, i hopped into this. the hot tub is perfect for after a long run. i can't even begin to describe how much this saved me.
This is the big fat blister/callous on my left foot. Its kind of a beast. Sorry- my feet are ugly because, well, i run alot.
I also forgot to wear sunscreen and have a sweet farmers tan (actually its a burn) you can see the lines below. its pretty red.

You can also see the line on my calf if you look closely. its about an inch below my jeans. Luna also wanted to be in this picture.

Well, that is the end of my story of 20 miles. I hope you enjoyed this beast of a post.

Ultra love.

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