Ups and Downs

Friday was an unexpected rest day.

Now that school is in session, my planned rest day is Monday. I have class starting at 9 am and don’t get home til 8 pm, so it’s not a day conducive to working out. I don’t like the situation because I like having the flexibility to slack off when I feel like it, rather than on a schedule, but I guess I’ll have to take two rest days in a week if that comes up.

Friday was an unexpected rest day because I went out to start my car to let it de-ice a bit and fell down the four concrete steps from the door to my yard. I didn’t realize that the stoop would be icy under the awning and stepped out confidently into the warm air, only to completely lose my balance on the invisible coat of ice, tumbling down the stairs. I actually rolled down them, rather than sliding like I have in other stair-related incidents in my life. I kind of wish I had a video of it because I am sure I looked ridiculous. I wasn’t hurt that badly (just some bruises) but I had some stiffness in my back (which could have been from sit-ups from Thursday) and some random twinges, so I chose to take the day off.

Saturday I felt good, apart from the bruise, and it was a beautiful day (any warm day in winter is beautiful, even if it is cloudy), so I drove to Hartley Nature Center. There’s a trail map here. I enjoyed running there last fall, although the trails I typically ran on are groomed for classic cross-country skiing, so I chose to stay off them. I tried out a new trail, the Guardrail, which is not shown on the trail map I just linked to. I should probably look around the interpretive center and see if there’s a better map, but I spend most of my time on the Guardrail trail wondering if it was a loop, an out-and-back, or part of a larger trail. I wondered if I was actually going around in circles or possibly getting farther and farther away from the nature center. It turned out I was not, but it was a bit nerve-wracking. I ended up running just under five miles, a lot of it at a pretty slow pace. My GPS was acting kind of funky and giving me 19:xx paces when I was flying down a hill and quicker than expected paces when I was walking, so I was having trouble gauging how things were going. I was also fairly cautious because the last thing I wanted to do was fall again, especially if I fell on my already-wounded right side.

The Guardrail trail is actually pretty nice and I would like to run it again soon. I planned to do a full trail review but I’ve already forgotten my thoughts about the trail.

Sunday I was really struggling to get moving. I got up, had a bagel and cream cheese, and got dressed in my running clothes, but I couldn’t get my butt out the door. I kept stalling. I was having an “I hate being slow” moment. Even a few miles at my sloth-like pace ends up being a major commitment. There’s no such thing as a “short” run for me, time-wise. I can’t fit a run in at lunch or between classes; it’s not worth the hassle for a measly 1.5 miles. I want to be at a point where I can put in 3-4 miles and have it be over like *that*. That is a long way off.

I finally got off my butt and headed out, running along Skyline to Chester Creek Trail. This stretch of Skyline Drive has some of the best views (I should have brought my phone to snap a pic or two), but I also don’t feel safe running on it because it doesn’t have a sidewalk, and just before the bridge over Chester Creek, there’s a nearly blind curve. I end up running on the wrong side of the road at that point because I am concerned about being struck by a car coming around the corner. I had to kind of sprint (relatively speaking) across the bridge because half the sidewalk was under construction and blocked off. I hate road running.

I wanted to do a trail review of Chester Creek Trail from the Skyline bridge down to 4th St, but in order to do that, I would have had to slide down on my belly like a sea otter. It was horribly icy, and even with my shoe chains on, I didn’t want to risk it. One slip at certain spots along that trail and I’m falling over a cliff. I was really bummed because I like that trail and because I wanted a little extra distance. Instead I had to circle back home and didn’t even get to three miles.

Monday I got out of class about an hour early, and decided to forgo the rest day by running an uneventful 40 minutes on the treadmill. I managed to run an average pace of 15:33 with an average heart rate of 142 bpm, so I guess I’m improving? That should be a pick-me-up after Sunday’s crabbiness, but I’m mentally drained. I also won’t get a chance to run outside until Friday, thanks to work and a meeting, so I’m disappointed about that. I’m going to need to end this post before I complain about something else.

To end on a high note: I have no lingering effects from my exciting tumble down the stairs on Friday.

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