Sleepy Hollow-Terra Linda Open Space

I never run with my phone or a camera, because that’s just weird to me. But, last night I was doing a short easy run on the hills above my house and I always say how cool it looks, so I thought I might as well show and not tell.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get running until 5:30 p.m., so it was dusk and not good for taking pictures. Or, maybe it is good for taking pictures and I just need to learn how. I’ll put that on my list of things to do right after everything else.

The Terra Linda-Sleepy Hollow ridge view.
The Terra Linda-Sleepy Hollow ridge view.

I live in a valley at the base of a bunch of open space. If you go over one hill you’re in Lucas Valley (where George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch is, btw). If you go over the other hill, you’re in Sleepy Hollow (where streets ARE named after the Washington Irving story, fyi).

This trail connects the main trail to the other ridge. Obviously.
This trail connects the main trail to the other ridge. Obviously.

There are no roads that go through really, though, unless you drive all the way out to the freeway, down and back in. But, you can run or walk or bike over the hills – which is sometimes faster. This is my pet peeve.

The story also goes that the street was supposed to go through and it was supposed to be an extension of Highway 580 and it was supposed to go out to subdivisions that were supposed to be erected where the Pt. Reyes dairy ranches are now. That would have been crazy and worse than having to drive an extra 15 minutes every time I want to get anywhere — though ask me how I feel if I ever have to emergency evacuate.

Because of that oddity, it also means I have short-cutted through the open space more than one evening.

One time, after Justin and Steve and I had a few too many margaritas at Marinitas on the other side of the hill, we decided that instead of getting a cab for the 15-16 minute drive or walking the seven miles the long way around, we would just walk over the hill. In the dark. It took about an hour.

Here’s a fun fact about me: I hate being in the woods in the dark and I have terrible night vision (really, I have terrible vision, period, but contacts don’t help seeing at night).

Justin said that nothing would attack us, because they’d hear us coming, so I made everyone talk and yell the entire time. That is my foolproof method whenever I end up stuck biking over the hill in the dark or miscalculate how long my run will take me in the evening — which happens an unfortunate number of times.

This is the trail Justin and Steve made me walk over at night. With scary animals lurking in the bushes.
This is the trail Justin and Steve made me walk over at night. With scary animals lurking in the bushes.

Unfortunately, I forgot to do drills when I got home and I forgot to run more. It was all a bit of a disaster. Then, I cuddled with Floyd and tried to actually make some money for the day.

And, just because this is the best picture of Floyd ever and you should admire my unfiltered skills as a photographer – even though I was actually trying to get him to take a picture nosing with me:

Floyd the Cat is the cutest cat in the whole world.
Floyd the Cat is the cutest cat in the whole world.

Help! I Feel My Motivation Leaving

With it being the most depressing day of the year this past weekend, maybe it’s no surprise my motivation hit a low — prompting a long email to Coach Mario with analogies about how my motivation was still being revived from its near death and is now a small, weak little bird that needs to be nurtured to grow strong.

Last week was busy and after the mile repeats from hell and TRX on Thursday, I had a hard weekend too. Friday was an hour run with some fartleks at 5K pace (which is like 6:00-6:07 for me – which is really goal 5K pace). I dragged my legs around the sanitary district ponds for seven miles and tried not to throw up on any birds in the wildlife sanctuary. Saturday, Floyd and I took it easy, watched TV, made cookies, and re-read Ender’s Game, because why not.

The whole point was to run marathon race pace on tired legs on Sunday. I had the tired part down, no problem. It was the other part I was worried about. So, I rode my bike around China Camp and then headed out for a run that was supposed to start easy and descend until I was running marathon pace (7:00-7:10) for the last 30 minutes.

Apparently, I haven’t run off the bike since whenever I did that sprint triathlon last summer, because with my legs feeling all jello-y I didn’t realize I was running quickly. And, since I don’t like to slow down once I’m running a certain speed for a whole host of psychological reasons, it got sort of stupid fast and then I just hung on. Suffice it to say that 6:50 is not my marathon pace.

While I was happy to (sort of) nail another workout, I could also feel myself coming unraveled around the edges, which was a little annoying, because I’ve been running fast — if fast isn’t enough to keep me heading out the door, then what is? Since I do all my workouts by myself more or less, this left a whole lot of “me time” to examine why I just wanted to lay on the couch and watch TV.

How to stay motivated?

I don’t know if other people struggle as much with motivation as I do. I certainly got the impression from the cadre of girls I knew in triathlon that they always felt awesome! and grateful! and just happy to be out here! and you have to stay positive!

Maybe they really did. Maybe by saying that they made it true. Maybe the lack of that is what separates me from being really good. I have heard over and over again that the best athletes don’t have to be pushed or motivated, you just have to hold them back. But, if, as an athlete, you know that to be true, can you simply will it into being?

I’m not unmotivated, per se. If you piss me off, I almost certainly am going to want to beat you. It’s more that I just start to drag my feet on my way out the door. And, that slowly has been getting worse and worse.

Floyd likes to head-butt.
Floyd likes to head-butt.

Almost every morning, Steve gets up before I do and lets Floyd the Cat out. And, then, whenever I’m ready to get up, I just push the bedroom door open and Floyd runs in and jumps up on the bed and wants to nose me and headbutt me and lay on my face. He pretty much won’t get up for 15-20 minutes, until eventually I’m like: ‘Floyd, we’ve got to get to work. We have a lot to do today.’

But, who wouldn’t rather stay in bed with the cat?

To stay “motivated” – if we want to call it that – training has to stay ‘fun.’ And, I am incapable of lying to myself, so don’t try. For me fun is:

– long runs on trails
– long rides out to Stinson or West Marin
– with friends – though I suppose I need to get friends first
– strength classes, because they’re always entertaining and there’s other people
– hard workouts with people

The common theme here is: I need to get some people to train with. So, the invitation is now open. Who lives near here, is about the same speed, wants to do whatever is on my training plan for the day, fit around my schedule?

Yesterday, I went on a ride with Ilyce and we stopped to eat lunch at Good Earth. (Apparently, saying you ‘used the Good Earth hot food bar’ is not the right expression, by the way.) And, then I went to Nate’s strength training class with the high school mountain bike team. I totally owned those high school boys too. That was fun.

Taking an Easy Day

Floyd asleep in my lap.
Floyd asleep in my lap.

I needed an easy day today, what with being exhausted, so Floyd and I are watching TV all day. Our favorite show is Law and Order. We might make cookies too and put away the clean dishes. And, maybe work on our novel.

Things I Did This Morning to Delay Running

I had a workout this morning that I was not looking forward to. It was 2 x 15′ at half-marathon pace. In theory, if you can run almost an hour-and-a-half at a certain speed, you really ought to be able to do it for 15 minutes, twice, with a break in between. But, that is just not how that shit works for me.

I’ve also been feeling pretty awful since the whole flu/passing out thing. All of which means I was not crazy excited about this workout.

Here are some things I did to delay running:

  • Eat breakfast (I never eat breakfast before a run)
  • Figure that since I ate breakfast, I really ought to give it time to digest
  • Answer emails
  • Take the car to the shop
  • Read shit on the internets
  • Decide the cat looked like he wanted to go outside and should probably be taken for a walk [Side note: Our cat goes for walks. Floyd even has a leash and everything. So, I didn’t just make that up to avoid running. FYI.]
  • Decide my Garmin really needed to be charged more. I wouldn’t want it to die while I was running.
  • Since I was waiting for my Garmin to charge, I should probably check some things off my to-do list.
  • Check things off the to-do list
  • Make copies of announcements that really should be posted on the bulletin board
  • Print and mail a form that I said I’d do this past weekend
  • Send some more emails

Eventually, I went for my run. And, I nailed the workout. Only almost two hours after I originally intended to go.

Stomach Flu or Food Poisoning? Who cares when you’re lying on the bathroom floor.

Apparently, my phone takes panoramic pictures. Who knew?
Apparently, my phone takes panoramic pictures. Who knew?

Yesterday, Steve and I went up to Bodega Bay for fun. (FYI, the Bodega Bay Lodge is like my favorite place. Super fancy, super nice, but not that expensive and lots of deals – our deal included breakfast and wine.)

Fun was had. As you can see above. We walked/hiked — I mean, really, how does hiking differ from walking? — around the coast. Then, we got our wine tasting on. Turns out it is totally safe to walk along the side of Highway 1 to wine tasting as long as you’ve attached a bunch of bike lights to your coat. And, no the irony of possibly being hit by a driver while avoiding driving and drinking was not lost on me.

Then, we had an over-the-top dinner. And, then, I got really, really sick.

At first my stomach just hurt, which seemed logical given how much I had eaten and drunk. But, then it hurt A LOT. And, then, it quickly turned very ugly. I spent the entire rest of the night being violently ill. And, since passing out is my body’s solution to everything, at one point I threw up so hard/much I passed out on the bathroom floor.

Steve found me at that point, laying face-down on the floor.

The thing about passing out (in case you’ve never done it) is that as you come to you have some senses and can hear people and feel the ground under you, but you can’t quite put it together quickly and you can’t move. So, I could hear Steve saying, “Kelly, can you talk? Can you hear me? Should I call 9-1-1?” but I couldn’t respond and then I thought, ‘Well, no, I guess I can’t talk.’ In those 15 or so seconds while I was coming to, I also became very concerned that I might not be wearing pants. I don’t know why, maybe because I couldn’t feel them? I was wearing pants – thank God – but that story about the woman being found dead on her bathroom floor without any pants on kept flashing through my mind.

Here are other things I thought while being sick all night:

  • Besides being a terrible idea and bad for you and all that, bulimia really doesn’t seem very practical. There’s no way if you’re throwing up that frequently, you wouldn’t make a mess.
  • Ugh, maybe I’m pregnant. That would be so typical, if no one ever said how bad this whole being sick thing was. I actually feel bad for Kate Middleton now.
  • Nope, definitely not that.
  • How come Steve isn’t sick? (I then ran through a catalog of everything we had eaten in the last 24 hours.)
  • What if this is like that CSI episode a couple weeks ago where that girl died from ecoli?
  • What if it’s like that Law and Order episode where that woman was poisoned by mushrooms on her salad? Why would someone want to poison me?
  • I wonder if I can get my money back for all that expensive food and wine.

Now, I’m at home and sleeping on the couch. And, definitely no training today or tomorrow. Floyd gave me a hug to make me feel better.

Floyd the cat is the best.
Floyd the cat is the best.