Thursday, October 31, 2013

Updates & Halloween

The Choice 5k on the 19th was swell! We had a small but exciting turnout and are eagerly looking to develop a much larger event for next year.

I ran an excellent A&S tourney at an Amtgard event on the 25th and have been getting very positive feedback from the entrants. One person showed up three hours after the cutoff, I denied her entry, and she has been bitching and moaning and trash talking me ever since.

We had an office party and costume contest on the 30th, so I agreed to dress up with my department as nerds.

And today I wore the costume I've really been excited for. I got a lot of compliments on my outfit, but no one recognized the character.

I was on track to hit my October goal of running 70 miles until I missed my long run on the 27th because of a headache, leaving me with 18 miles to run in 4 days. I did 4 on Monday, 4 on Tuesday, 3.5 Wednesday morning, 3 Wednesday night, and 3.5 this morning to finish out the 70. And now I want to sleep for days.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Virtual Races

Who's a fan of virtual races?
Virtual Races are events that you sign up for online and can run or walk on your own time within a designated time frame (usually a month). Some races are free or charge a modest registration fee to support charities; some offer medals, bibs, and t-shirts.
So far, I'm very fond of the US Road Running virtual race series. They host monthly races and additional holiday events and team challenges. They have pretty sweet medals that they will customize with your name, race distance, and finishing time on the back.
This is the September medal I got. I'm also waiting on a Dr. Who 50th Anniversary Fun Run medal in the mail from a different organization. (You still have time to register!)
Some of the benefits of virtual runs are the opportunity to get a few friends together to run/walk your favorite trails, no race crowds or pressure, and you can split up the distance over a few days if needed.
Has anyone done virtual races or want to recommend any?

Choice 5k Race Bibs

I'm picking up bibs today for the Choice 5k! Time and money are tight, so I threw this together and sent it to a print shop. It may not look like much, but it's unique to our event and will make a nice souvenir for participants.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Shoulder injury

Last Friday I was throwing around a medicine ball like I've done before, and doing some burpee/pushups with 5-pound dumbbells, when my left collarbone twinged painfully. I'd finished my intended sets and was about to try for one more, so I quit and moved to the elliptical, easily pushing hard on the hand bars.

I forgot about it until the next day when it twinged again as I reached in my closet. It had been quiet all that afternoon when I'd been sword-fighting and doing difficult, draining, shot-block drills. It's been generally uncomfortable and mildly sore since then.

I've been trying to take it easy, skipping upper body workouts and trying not to panic about Spartan Beast training. I can feel a knot just below the clavicle but can't do anything about it. Today it twinged again, much much worse, when I reached into the fridge, and now it's radiating pain throughout my shoulder as I try to breathe through and blink back tears. Less than ideal for getting any work done.

So now it looks like I probably need to see a doctor. I broke my collarbone as a kid; it's lumpy and uneven compared to the other, but I never paid it any attention before and don't know whether there's been any change. I can't afford to see a doctor and am really unhappy and upset about this.

I feel like a failure because my body is seemingly too weak for moderate intensity workouts and because I talk about listening and being kind to your body but have failed to do so. I like to try to push myself to exhaustion, not injury. Logical brain knows this is nonsense and that this injury is just a fluke; Jerkbrain is being Jerkbrain.

The silver lining is that running is still on the table.

Arbor Hills Nature Preserve

I set out in brutal 90% humidity on Sunday to get in a two-mile trail run, roughly 7.5 miles, I think. It was my second run at the Arbor Hills Nature Preserve, and my first time solo. This is a gorgeous 200-acre park with both paved and natural trails, and I definitely recommend it. The hills are mild compared to Cedar Ridge but still much steeper than anything around my neighborhood.

 I hit the Outer Loop Trail and got a bit lost and distracted on the Trestle Loop Trail, so I stopped my watch, sat down, and enjoyed the scenery and cool air for a few minutes.

I fell in love a little bit with a guy with a beautiful dog I kept passing throughout the run. I eventually found my way out of the Trestle Loop and back onto the Outer Loop. Once I finished, I turned around and ran the Outer Loop back the other way . . . up the hills.

I may preach to others to be kind to their bodies, but my mantra this day was "Just fucking do it!" whenever I wanted to walk, which was frequently. Going the other direction, I found the gorgeous Riparian Forest and trekked back and forth through there for a while.

At about 1 hour, 45 minutes, I was BEAT. But I dutifully tromped up the last hill and ran one last small loop, determined to finish. It was little more than a glorified speed walk, done slowly. Ultimately, I was amazed at the strength I still found in my legs to carry me up all those hills and across so much distance for a whole two hours. I can't wait to work harder and longer next weekend.

I tested my new Gooseberry hydration pack, Under Armour tee and matching runderoos (which are too cute and I really want a pic of me modeling both), and GU watermelon chomps. I'm pretty happy with all of them. It took me a whole hour to figure out how to hack the hydration pack since I was working so hard for tiny sips. I bit the mouthpiece and used my hands to pull the pack straps forward, squeezing the pack against my body and using the force of physics in my favor instead of trying to suck against the direction of gravity. The chomps have a lighter flavor and are easier to consume than Gatorade chews, which get stuck in my teeth pretty badly.

All in all, it was a good run.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Cobras and llamas and bears, oh my!

I got to go to the Sharkarosa Ranch on Sunday, Oct. 6 to see lots of cute animals. It was a gorgeous, cool day without a cloud in the sky. The drive way up to Pilot Point was tedious but definitely worth it with friends.

First we saw Cody the Cobra.

There was a petting zoo with lots of cute goats, two rabbits, a big pig, a sheep, a llama, and a camel. I didn't know camels could be so soft! There were all sorts of lemurs and other monkey-creatures napping in their enclosures. Two two-toed sloths did what sloths do; that is, sloth.

A wittle wallabee was all by himself on the far side of his pen. The kangaroos lazed through the afternoon, as well as two deer: a male and female.

This majestic creature was in an accident as a youngster and healed oddly.

There were two sad-looking bear rescues doomed to listen to "Bear Necessities" playing on repeat in their enclosure. And here is a link to the full album (30 photos).

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Street harassment is never funny.

A member of a running group on Facebook posted that she pulled up in her car beside a runner and badgered the runner to stop so she could ask, “Do you know Jesus?” She later commented that this never happened and was only a joke.

I'm not laughing, either.

I commented, “I don’t find anything funny about harassing runners, for any reason.” After several others’ comments and her trying to explain it, I asked “Is a joke funny that has to be explained?” And one of the lovely self-professed Christians who though it was fall-off-her-chair hysterical told me to “shut the hell up” and ‘gtfo.’ 

These people are *awesome,* and I keep nearly rage-quitting the group, but my mere presence and measured responses cause them so much consternation that I think I’ll stay awhile.

Street harassment is never funny.

I credit my atheism to Christians.


I don't typically talk about food because I am very strongly anti-diet-minded* and find that the mere thought of trying to eat healthier or cut out sweets is a surefire binge trigger. I used to count calories in college, and it made me an obsessive, neurotic, hangry beeyotch, because I'd heard so much about the number of calories a woman is supposed to eat, and those advertised numbers are all for dieting and never for health. It's absolutely amazing to learn how much I'm really supposed to be eating. Though individual metabolisms vary greatly, an Internet calculator told me that for my gender, age, height, weight, and activity levels, I need ~2,300 calories per day. That is so much food!

I really like food. I discovered Health At Every Size late last year through The Fat Nutritionist's blog and very seriously took to heart the practice of intuitive eating with an emphasis on permissiveness, meaning I get to eat whatever I want whenever I want as much as I want and trust my body to tell me when enough is enough. It means that sometimes I eat a little too much and feel too full, and sometimes I eat too little and have to make an extra meal. I get to enjoy food, all kinds of food, without fear, guilt, or anxiety.

Few things piss me off as much as food moralizing and comments about "earning" or "deserving" treats. You don't "earn" food; you require it to sustain life! Our relationships with food, as a society, are fraught, and I am hellbent on finding my way to normal eating, eating that doesn't rely on calories, grams, points, or earnings, eating a variety of enjoyable and life- and health-sustaining foods that support mental, emotional, physical, and social wellness.

One obstacle, though, is that I don't cook. I don't know how and don't have an interest in it. Sure, cooking is super fun and easy for lots of my peers, but it's not really something I enjoy. It takes a lot of time, planning, and preparation. It means I eat a lot of frozen foods, fast food, and cereal.

In the last six months, however, I've learned to use my roommates' slow cooker to make one helluva spicy turkey chili and bumble through various soups and stews with edible success. I dine out once or twice a week and always get a to-go box for the leftovers, which frequently are enough for another two meals.

I also started buying sandwich fixins to try to save money on groceries, even though sandwiches are SO dry and boring. But there is a panini press in my office, magically transforming dry and boring sandwiches in to hot, melty goodness.

As an endurance athlete, I recently rekindled my love for bagels and have been enjoying the hell out of them for breakfast most days. Say what you want about gluten-free, low-carb, no-dairy diets, but I have substantial daily caloric requirements to meet. That's not to say that I'm counting calories anymore; I'm eating when I'm hungry, which is frequently. And you know what? I've been maintaining my weight all year (even with increased mileage for Savage and Spartan training) and getting faster and stronger all the time

You should eat in a way that makes you happy and feel good. Dieting doesn't do that for me; I like and choose to eat anything and everything I want.

*"A panel of experts convened by the National Institutes of Health determined that "one third to two thirds of the weight is regained within one year [after weight loss], and almost all is regained within five years." More recent review finds one-third to two-thirds of dieters regain more weight than was lost on their diets; "In sum," the authors report, "there is little support for the notion that diets lead to lasting weight loss or health benefits." Link

Monday, October 7, 2013

Rugged & Raw 10k

Saturday morning I ran my first 10k trail race! I had run the course once before for training two weeks prior when we happened to get a cool snap, and it was glorious.

Pre-race: Let's do this.

Saturday morning's promised storms failed to make the event, so I ended up slogging in much hotter weather than I'd trained for in grueling humidity and finished several minutes slower than the last time.  The cold front didn't move in until roughly my last mile and a half, and it brought me a second wind. The official clock put me at 1:47 total, with a 17:16 pace. The training run was 1:44, and my goal was 1:40, but considering the circumstances, I'm OK with this.

My head wasn't in it this time, and the back half was truly brutal. I felt very strong through the first half, which is the easier part of the trail. There's a particularly fierce hill near the midway point and lots of steep climbs and descents after it. There are no hills in my town, so it was a helluva struggle for me.

Post-race: Hiding the pain

But I finished in one piece and view this as good preparation for the 6-7 mile Savage obstacle race I'm running on November 23. I finally have the motivation to incorporate hills and trail running into my training on a regular basis and am scheduled to do a training run with a friend tomorrow at a local nature preserve. Its hills are kinder but still difficult for me.

Major kudos to the event staff. This is Rugged & Raw's third year, and the race is capped at 200 runners. For such a small event, I was thoroughly impressed. The trails were marked wonderfully clearly. There were two aid stations on the course in addition to the one at the start/finish, and they all had water, Gatorade, AND Gatorade energy chews, which have been my product of choice so far. The swag bag included a sweet tech tee, a cool rubber bracelet, a package of energy chews, a package of wheat flatbread, and a couple of small product samples. Though I typically go for medals, I was perfectly happy with the shirt and overall organization.

I just found the overall race results. I placed 89th out of 101 10k runners and 43rd out of 53 women 10k runners. It's not good but not last. I'm eager to see how much I can improve and will try to fit this race into my calendar next year.

The Rugged & Raw 10k/20k race supports Back on My Feet, an organization that uses running to inspire self-sufficiency and independence among the homeless population and to help them find employment and housing.

Science and Music

I had a fun-filled, jam-packed weekend.
Friday night: Science of Music at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science!

Perot exterior in the early evening light

I sat in on some lectures in the theater but enjoyed the incredible acoustics of the theater itself more than the material presented. Two scientists discussed the use of sound for analyzing geography and other data, which is inherently very interesting stuff. I could tell they were passionate about their work, but I giggled inwardly because they are researchers and not very good at simplifying everything for a lay audience, so it was a terribly dull lecture, unfortunately. I'm glad I went.

I got to play a violin and a trumpet! UNT music students were there with instruments to share and glorious bottles full of antiseptic for use between uses.

I'm a lefty; this is weird.

I attended with a friend and really enjoyed the rare opportunity for some solo time with her. She sat in for one more lecture while I wandered the other exhibits. We briefly saw a dance company warming up but never happened to see their improv performances that night. There was supposed to be a silent disco, but it included people in fancy clothes walking around with headphones while looking at the minerals hall instead of dancing. I got no headphones, but I like the cool rocks, and at least this area was quiet.

Cool rocks

There was a pretty cool, creepy, dark video about the use of sound in video game development, specifically how the audio designer filters out high tones when your character drowns in order to simulate the sound of being underwater so that you will sympathize with your character, though you should be thoroughly desensitized to his dying by that point in the game.

Stuffed peacock in a hall of dead animals.

Stuffed cheetah in a hall of dead animals.

The Animals Inside Out exhibit from Body Worlds is also going on in the museum right now, with only slices of a giraffe visible in the lobby. The doors to the exhibit hall opened briefly as a teaser and I got to see the ostrich. It was too cool. The special exhibit costs extra, so I'll have to talk someone into taking me.

Horizontal cross sections. Giraffe hearts weigh 25 pounds.

Lobby interior at night

Exterior of the Perot at night.

Did you know the frogs outside light up? Neither did I.

Have I mentioned that the Perot Museum of Nature and Science is just about the coolest thing ever and that I've already been three times and want to go more several more to see Animals Inside Out and watch a science film in the gorgeous theater? It is, and I do.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Weekly training 10-6

This was a rough week. I think the prior week's 7-mile road run really took a lot out of me.

Tuesday, 10-1: 2.67 mi road run in 34:33, 12:56 pace around my neighborhood
Wednesday, 10-2: 0.67 mi track run, untimed, at my rec center (+burpees and weight machines)
Thursday, 10-3: 1.4 mi road run in 21:27, 15:19 pace at White Rock Lake
Saturday, 10-5: 6.2 mi trail run in 1:47, 17:16 pace at Cedar Ridge Preserve

Week total: 10.94 mi
Month total: 10.94 mi
September total: 46 mi
October goal: 70 mi
End of year progress: 35.94 mi (from 9-18 start)
End of year goal: 150 mi

I've also started walking the stairs at work once a day from the 1st to 20th floor and timing myself.

10-1: 5 min 20 sec
10-2: 5 min 11 sec
10-3: 5 min 14 sec
10-4: 4 min 57 sec

Friday, October 4, 2013

Is it cultural appropriation?

I was SO excited to find a beautiful Indian garment in my size and a good color for me at Goodwill this week. I can't wait to wear to the next Amtgard (medieval combat recreation and fantasy social club) event.

And then a few days later, I thought, Oh shit. Is this cultural appropriation? Am I even allowed to wear this? It's not as if I'm going to wear it to work or around town; I really only want to wear it at this particular social event where it would fit in very well, and another white lady costumer whom I respect has also worn Indian Goodwill garb there, but I don't even know.

I've worn cholis and saris combined with other garments to create awful bastardizations before, but now I know better and am going to try harder. (No, I don't expect a cookie or a pat on the head. This is my personal blog about my personal journey, and I try to use my privilege to raise awareness and teach. The issue of white legitimization of other cultures is a topic for another day.)

Not cool, Past Me.

So now I have some reading and research to do and need to examine my intentions.

It's clothing that is pretty and comfortable to wear and will protect me from the sun. It fits my persona of being a world traveler who has no set "style" but samples from different genres and sometimes cultures. My motivation is admiration not mockery.

It's an everyday object not sacred or holy. It's not half as ostentatious as the hot pink and turquoise piece I originally had my eye on. What the hell is this garb called? Maybe I should learn that. From Wikipedia:
Shalwar kameez, also spelled salwar kameez or shalwar qameez, is a traditional dress of South and Central Asia, especially of Afghanistan and Pakistan, where it is worn by both men and women. In India it is worn mostly by women. It is also worn by women in Bangladesh. Shalwar are loose pajama-like trousers. The legs are wide at the top, and narrow at the ankle. The kameez is a long shirt or tunic, often with a western-style collar . . .
Yay for learnin things! Tunics and loose pants comprise most of the garb worn at Amtgard, and this piece is a modern version of a historically accurate outfit. This garment differs from those used for specific religious and festival occasions.
The Shalwar kameez is sometimes known as "Punjabi suit," in Britain[3] and Canada.[4] In Britain, especially during the last two decades, the garment has been transformed from an everyday garment worn by immigrant South Asian women from the Punjab region to one with mainstream, and even high-fashion, appeal.[5]
In India, the garment was originally confined to the North, but as a convenient and modest alternative to a sari - and also as one that flatters practically any body-type - it has become popular across the nation. By varying the fabric, color and the level of embroidery and decoration, the salwar-kameez can be formal, casual, dressy, or plain; and it can also be made to suit practically all climates.
No one is profiting from my purchase except the poor in my community and the community of the person who donated the garment in the first place. Maybe my purchase is depriving low-income members of the culture from a needed garment. These gorgeous things do tend to sell quickly.

I read five pages of forum discussions on cultural appropriation, and all I can say is at least it's not fucking yoga, which I'm now more glad to have never liked in the first place. But one commenter did have this to say:
I think the difference is you specifically mentioned Native American regalia - which is different from wearing a salwar kameez or yukata because it is specifically sacred dress, and therefore less like eating a buche de noel and more like serving communion wafers at your party - it's not okay just because you got the little crosses just right.
Others think that using it for costuming is problematic because it's not a part of my culture. I have no inherited culture, so I'm not naturally sympathetic to the issue and have to work my way through mental contortions to even halfway "get it." I'll keep working at it and reading more and learning more.

All I can seem to find is more white people talking about what they think about cultural appropriation and no clear answers. Yes, it's appropriation, and inherently problematic, especially considering the history of British Imperialism. But I'm Polish, Czech, Italian, so does that matter? Sure, I could go ask some Indians about it, but no few of them are representative of the whole community, either.

Centuries of systematic oppression are such a pain in the ass.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Why is it so hard to find body positive runners?

A running group I belong to lists in its description that it will allow posting of personal questions, stories, advice, personal race photos and transformation photos. I’ve really been enjoying this group because it is overwhelmingly focused on running, compared to a running group I rage-quit a few hours after joining because it was all about weight loss.

Today a member posted an image from the internet that has used photoshop to enlarge the thighs and butts of two slim women running together and added a bucket of KFC fried chicken in their hands. I commented that the post deliberately demeans certain body types and food choices and is offensive and inappropriate to the group, and I have reported it.

The original poster is defending it, claiming she has a sense of humor and that I need to lighten up. I have both messaged the admin and tagged the admin in the comment thread of this post and really hope it will be dealt with. I can’t believe all the people supporting this image as a humorous post and attacking me for being a humorless bitch. UGH.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Halloween costume planning

So this is the first year since, um, middle school that I'm not doing a sexy costume. (I was an FBI agent in the 8th grade when I was into The X-Files.) There's no particular reason for the change except that I really want to cosplay Captain Mal. It's coming together really well.

I found a brown ladies' button up blouse and khaki pants at Goodwill. The pants are a bit too snug, but the style is just perfect, and we all love Capt. TightPants. (It's entirely possible that they'll fit better once I reach my goal of running 70 miles this month.) I ordered some generic brown boots from Groupon; they're not perfect, but they fit my budget. If I can find/afford better ones, I might get them.

Tan suspenders were kind of hard to find until I stumbled upon the magic Ebay search term: "beige." I found a pair I liked at the right price point and just got them in the mail. They're button suspenders instead of clip-ons, so I'll have to get buttons to sew onto my pants.

Toy pistols are a bit difficult to find, too. Stores only sell neon-colored guns these days, and the ones on Ebay were $20+. Halloween City had me covered for only $2.99, and I'm pretty sure we have an acrylic color in the household craft room called "Gunmetal."

I already own a brown belt and had resigned myself to making a holster and Browncoat from scratch, but I took one more look at Goodwill and chose a cheap brown purse to dismantle and repurpose and a "beige" raincoat with very nearly the right cut and fit. I'm going to (try to) dye it and make minor alterations: take in the wrists, add cuffs, make side slits from hem to bum, take it in at the waist, and remove the cincher at back.

I almost wanted a wig, but the perfect one at the store was $20 for a $5-quality wig. Not happening.

I will post updates once I complete the alterations. So exciting!

My Mud Running Journey, pt. 2

I mentioned yesterday the mud runs I've done. Now I've got my eye on the upcoming Savage and Spartan races. The Savage Race is 6-7 miles on November 23. It has what is probably my favorite mud run promo video of all time.

Having completed a few 4-mile mud runs, one of which on a sprained foot, albeit slowly, I'm not too worried about this one. It will be slow, but I will finish strong. I might be a little worried about my buddy's ability to train for this distance in time, but he's helpful for tough obstacles, and we really enjoy running together.

The Spartan Beast, however, is a 10-12 mile obstacle run on December 15. One friend did sign up with me, and a few months later she confessed that should wouldn't be able to train for it but still planned to go. Then she recently bailed altogether. I was immediately relieved because I'd been worried I'd be out on the course for 5 hours walking with her. But I've felt kind of anxious since then. It is a VERY challenging course, and I have injured myself at a mud run before. There are likely to be long, lonely stretches, and I've grown very accustomed to running with the buddy system.

So I'm planning as best I can and trying to think like a boy scout. I'll have a hydration pack with space for my cell phone safely sealed in a sandwich bag, extra energy chews, and—hell—a painkiller just in case. My RoadID with all my emergency medical information is on its way in the mail as we speak. Because it's a December event, I should be able to comfortably wear long-sleeved gear and worry only about sunblock for my face and neck.

Based on the video I've seen for this event, I need to acquire a sandbag to haul everywhere I go. I'm going to take a break at work every afternoon to go down to the lobby and walk up to the 19th floor and call it hills training. I've packed clothes to hit the gym after work today, but I don't know if I can make it a habit.

Here's hoping.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Choice 5k Fun Run/Walk

A few weeks ago I found out that the Life Walk 5k anti-choice event is being held on MY favorite running trail. I went to gripe on Facebook about the violation with the idea that I might go out and run my own 5k on the spot before the first wave while wearing a pro-choice tee. But I had complained to the Skepchick Quickies, a group of skeptic, feminist activists and runners, and within a few hours found myself organizing a full-fledged charity run counter-event.

The Choice 5k Fun Run/Walk will begin at 9 a.m. October 19 at the Oak Point Nature Preserve in Plano, from 5901 Los Rios Blvd., the parking lot on the north side of the preserve. There is no registration fee, and we are asking interested parties to participate locally and virtually and to donate online to Planned Parenthood, the Texas Equal Access Fund, and/or local women's health charities of your choosing.

Wear pink, wear orange, wear uteruses, wear costumes, make signs. We’ll have photographers. Bring your friends, your kids, strollers, and dogs. See the Facebook page (linked above) for site rules and event schedule.

I'm really excited to see this event grow.

Edited to add: Skepchick gave us a shout-out.

My Mud Running Journey, pt. 1

I've been mud running since 2011, though 2012 saw a long break from training and a complete lack of running partners. Here are the mud runs I've done so far:

June 2010 Boryeoung Mud Flats 5k (no obstacles, no solid ground, all mud)
4-16-11 Warrior Dash
6-5-11 Merrell Down & Dirty
6-25-11 Patriot Games
6-6-12 Gladiator Rock & Run
4-6-13 Hero Rush
6-1-13 Miles of Mud
9-7-13 Mud Factor

The Warrior Dash and Merrell Down & Dirty are my favorite two mud runs so far. The Warrior Dash was my first and was such a blast, was very well-organized, had unique obstacles, and had some of the best swag of any race. The Merrell Down & Dirty had a lot of Texas National Guard service members among its volunteers, including one shouting at us in his drill sergeant tone, "I want to see you smiling! You signed up for fun, so you'd better be having it!" It gave me a good chuckle on a long, hard slog between obstacles.

The Patriot Games, Miles of Mud, and Mud Factor were poorly organized at varying levels, frequently unsafe, and disappointing overall. Though I've heard that Patriot has since improved. These races inspire me to look more critically at upcoming events, to avoid inaugural races as much as possible, to stick to events with a proven record of epic awesomeness, and encourage my friends to do the same.

To that end, and to challenge myself, I'm looking at running the Savage and Spartan races before the year is out. And I'm moderately fearful and anxious about them, too.

11-23-13 Savage Race (6-7 mi)
12-15-13 Spartan Beast (10-12 mi)

I signed up for Miles of Mud to give myself a baseline. It was rough. Really rough. Four miles wouldn't have been so bad, except that I hadn't trained on hilly terrain, and that course had a LOT. The water stations were alright, but we were dehydrated by the end and there was no water provided at the finish line. We were very fortunate that I packed several bottles in my race bag and the car.

I'm now up to running 6 miles well enough on flat terrain, so I signed up for the Rugged and Raw 10k trail run next weekend to provide another training benchmark. I got to run the course a little over a week ago, and it kicked my butt. It was glorious, though. It's at the Cedar Ridge Preserve, which has some serious elevation (by this flatland Texan's standards) and gorgeous views.

I'm ready to add some hilly terrain to my training runs but am not necessarily feeling up to hill repeats. And I've been trying for weeks to get myself to the gym to start lifting but am lacking motivation. The obstacles will most likely be my downfall, specifically the rope climbs and incline monkey bars. I had better get on that.