Sunday, June 9, 2013

Week 2: DIYS Summer 100 Challenge

Day 8. Monday, June 3rd
My drive home. San Fran ~ 4mi from my house
Today is checkout day at school. The Powerhouse Fire is still burning. The current situation:

Total Personnel: 2,185
Size: 29,584 acres
Percent Contained: 40%
Estimated Containment Date:
Monday, June 10

San Fran is still closed, so I went down Bouquet, checked out of school in 10 minutes and hit the gym. 10 minutes on the row machine (1200 meters), full arms and abs workout and 70 laps in the pool. No running today. I am still coughing up ash.

Day 9. Tuesday, June 4th
Fire containment is at 60%. Size: 32,032 acres. However, San Fran is now open to residents only. My lungs hurt, but the sky looks clear. I put on my running clothes and then spent the next 45 minutes willing myself out the door. Managed to get 5k done. PR again. Yay! (not hard to do when one is so damn slow to begin with). 3.06mi/33:57.


Day 10. Wednesday, June 5th
No smoke. Today is all about getting my animals home. First the dogs. So glad to have them back. Decided to hit the gym before getting the horses. Wonder if that is the first time there was a truck and horse trailer in the parking lot of L.A. Fitness? Got in a great workout. 10 minutes on the row machine (1200 meters) and really powered through my arms and abs. Did 70 laps in the pool, 10 warm-up laps (5:58), then 10 with kickboard, 10 with fins, 10 with pull buoy, 10 with paddles. Every 4th and 8th lap was a speed lap. Then did 10 underwater dolphin kick laps and 10 more cool down laps (5:47). I am feeling this workout. Then headed to Simi and brought my horses home. Life is good.

Day 11. Thursday, June 6th
I really don't like running. I have never liked it. I did not ever play basketball because it involved too much running. My softball position: catcher. The only time I ran was when the bat made contact with the ball and then that was just an adrenaline rush (.700 batting ave. I made contact a lot). But I am one for commitment and hitting my goals. And running 100 miles in 99 days is one of the goals of this summer. I am not counting hiking miles. I am counting running miles.

So today, like every run, my self talk goes like this. Self: today is a running day. put running cloths on. So I decide which compression clothing to put on. I lace up my shoes. Then I sit back down. Self: GET UP. so i get my hydration pack and my cell phone and start doing dishes. Self: Walk towards the door. Open the door, close the door, turn on the music, hit GO on Endomondo. And I am off. Once that timer is going, I have to move. Once I start moving I have to keep moving because, well, Endomondo is recording this. So I ran Spunky Canyon again. Beat Tuesdays time by a few seconds and even ran a bit further: 3.12mi/33:53.


Day 12. Friday, June 7th
Rest day. Tomorrow is the Gladiator 6k Rock n Run in Irvine.
Irvine, CA. 17 obstacles, 3.5 miles. Let's DO it!

Day 13. Saturday, June 8th
I like to win. I like beating old records. Mine. I like the way it feels. I have always been this way. When I played ball I was aggressive. I attacked the ball--from behind the plate and at the plate. I still gives me a thrill. When I bowled.... the same. And riding horses. And now, OCRs.

Irvine. 7:50am. It was overcast and a bit cold. I didn't sleep well the night before. Too excited. And here I was, standing in front of the course. 8:30 heat. 2nd heat of the day, ready to go. Endomondo on. Music on. And off we went over several hundred tires. Easy. Then a stretch of land. I found my pace and played silent tag with a woman who would race ahead of me and stop to catch her breath (this went on the entire course. I just trudged at my normal slow pace). Onto the sandbag (40#s of rice actually) and through some muddy trenches. Mile 1 done: 12:37.

Mile two had the arctic plunge, telephone poles over a mud pit,  through tubes/pipes, in and out of dumpsters and over walls. Also a tire carry. Only thing hard in there were the dumpsters. 14:49 for that mile.

Then everything I can't do was in front of me. Monkey bars: 10 penalty burpees. Stump jumps: 20 penalty crunches. Rope climb (got 1/2 up twice. was so muddy and heavy, i just couldn't get it): 10 more penalty burpees. A 310 foot trench of mud that I couldn't get out of. Saw a guy who couldn't get out either and held his foot so he could push against me. He turned around and gave me his hand. We both got out. The cargo net: easy. Love those. Then the highest, muddiest, steepest slanted wall I have ever seen.

This wall about killed me. I got halfway up and fell face first into it and slid down. Shook myself off and reassessed the wall. Lean back, feet under you...... I tried again. Same results. I stood there fully defeated when two marines appeared at the top. They called to me, "you can do it!" I called back: "no, I can't. I am going around and take the penalty burpees." They would not give in. So I faced the wall, grabbed the rope and stepped on a nearby rope for traction. Got halfway up and could not move either my hands or feet. The guy on my right was saying, "give me your hand," but I just couldn't let go. The guy on the left was saying, "you got this." I willed my hand off the rope and up and before I could think I felt his solid hand around my arm. CONTACT!!!! Now the other guy was telling me to let go of the rope and he reach for him. I gotta tell you, I have walked up the last three slant walls like I owned them and this was not like that at all. I was starting to slip back and I didn't know if the guy on the right was going to be able to hold on to me if I lost my footing completely. I thrust my left arm out and wham! the other guy had my arm. Now I would love to say they pulled me up and over, but it wasn't exactly like that. They were pulling and I was grabbing..... their shorts, their legs, the top of the wall. When I made it over I felt exhilarated. No other word for it. EXHILARATED.

After that, the fire was nothing.

Total time: 1:02:28.8. AG: 5/68. Overall: 358/3063. I am THRILLED. Total distance: 3.52mi.


Day 14. Sunday, June 9th
REST DAY. I am bruised and battered. Cleaning the house and getting ready for my road trip.


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Week 1 of the Dirt In Your Skirt Summer 100 Challenge

Monday, May 27, 2013 -

Monday, September 2, 2013

I decided to take on this challenge after carefully considering whether or not I could even complete it. I am like that...... I have to figure things out.  I pulled out the calculator and added up the days of the challenge--99 days. Hum, I can do this. And so it begins.

California Poppies
Day 1. Monday, May 27th
Yeah, I already fucked this up.  I did a 6 mile trail run yesterday that doesn't count. Today I rode a very brutal 35 miles on my bike, in the wind.

Day 2. Tuesday, May 28th
Hit the gym today on this last "teaching" day of the 2012-2013 school year. Oh yes! I did a 10 minute warm-up on the row machine (1100 meters) and my full arms and abs work out. I swam 50 laps in the pool (1250 meters). I am whipped. No miles towards the challenge today either.

Day 3. Wednesday, May 29th
REST DAY. Been going strong for the last five days straight. Had to do a fasting blood test anyway at 7 A.M. First day of finals. Still no miles towards the challenge.  Not off to a very good start.

Day 4. Thursday, May 30th
Issuing finals, day two. Also graduation night. So between the two I hit the gym. 10 minute warm-up on the row machine (1120 meters), full arms and abs workout, and 70 laps in the pool (1750 meters, just over a mile). I had never been to the gym at 2pm on a Thursday and I never will again. It was full of people. UGGGGGG. Had to wait for just about every machine and the pool was two to a lane. Yeah, never again.

Thursday night, dropping into Green Valley
Left the gym at 4:30 to head for food and then graduation but noticed 15 missed calls. Long story short, Green Valley was on fire. One of my worst fears. I looked towards the north and my heart sank as a huge plume of smoke was coming from my mountain. I made a few calls and headed home. Needless to say, no miles towards the challenge today either.

Day 5. Friday, May 31st
Last day of school. Long night of not-so-good sleep. We had mandatory evacuations which weren't really enforced. They lifted it two hours later. I did get the dogs off the property and hooked up the truck and trailer. We never did catch all four cats.  Another day of no miles towards this challenge. This is not going as planned.

At the end of the run. Smoke in the sky.
Day 6. Saturday, June 1st
Fire is up to 3500+ acres. However, it is moving with the wind--southwest, away from Green Valley. I put on my running clothes and my compression calf guards, grabbed my hydration belt and iphone. Before I could really think, I turned on Endomondo and my music and my feet started hitting the pavement. I ran southeast, away from the fire. The sky was blue. It was already hot, 88 degrees at 10:15. I told myself if my lungs started hurting, or the heat got to me I could turn around and go home. But as my blood started pumping and my legs started moving I stopped thinking and kept running. At a mile and a half I turned around. Now running northwest, I could see the plume of smoke if I lifted my chin. I just kept my head down and kept moving. It paid off. My fastest 5k yet--34:58. All three miles under the twelve-minute mark. I am so happy.


Day 7. Sunday, June 2nd
The fire exploded yesterday and grew from 5500+ acres to 19,500+ acres (~30 square miles). I had to unload 15 bales of hay (1500 lbs) out of the bed of my truck so I could hook up my trailer and haul my horses off the mountain. I am back up here now, just me and the cats, ready to leave if the fire crests either of the two mountains currently between us and the active fire. They are saying containment of the fire will not happen before a week from tomorrow.

Needless to say, the air quality is terrible.

The fire as of Sunday morning, June 2nd. The crosshair is the location of my house.