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Creepy Crawlies & Critters 10k trail run 2015 race report.

First "race" of 2015! Er.. second RUN of 2015! Maybe a little non-ideal.

I took January completely off running. Zero miles. I was hoping that my heel pain would just magically go away if I didn't run, but alas it really didn't. So if it's going to hurt anyway, might as well run, eh? (And maybe look into other solutions to fix it. Maybe. But mostly just start running again.)

I returned to running on 2/1, with a slow and dismayingly sore-inducing 3 miles. Right around that same time, I also won a free entry to the last race in Trailhead Running's 2015 trail run series! In.. a week. They had a 5k and a 10k, and I figured since I already knew I could run 3 miles, why not give myself something to work toward (in a week), and sign up for the 10k? Which I did. I figured I'd run maybe 5 miles on Tuesday, 3 miles on Thursday, and then be good to run 6 on Saturday.

And then I got sick, and ran exactly zero additional miles the rest of the week. I felt well enough by Saturday to do the run, but I felt fairly ill-prepared, having run a total of 3 miles in the past ~40 days.

I had no goals other than to finish the 10k, and preferably not fall or injure myself. And I achieved all of those goals!

What? He was right there in the middle of the path.
Um, okay, so I started a little dramatically. But Tom was right there in the middle of the path taking pictures!

Pam and I started together, and ended up running the entire thing together. We just spent the whole time chatting and catching up and amusing the people around us with our nerdy, endless banter.

Pam.. is desperately trying to give me bunny ears?
I had no idea Pam was trying to give me bunny ears. PAM!

The course was lovely, not technical, and full of volunteers, most of whom were also friends, so it mostly went by really quickly. Well, except after 2 miles, I was already tired and a little sore, and mentioned to Pam that 5k really seemed like a delightful distance.

Pam shoving me into the cones as we came through the first loop.
Pam got really shovey as we came through the first loop.

But we finished the first loop and didn't question heading out for a second, and had just as much fun on the second loop as the first (but with a bonus stop for hugs and chatting when we came across Jody, doing her first trail race).

Fun! We are having it!
Fun! We are having it!

Overall, I had a lovely time. I was ridiculously sore for only having run 6.2 miles, and for only having run it in 1:12, but it really just shows you how quickly you can lose fitness if you don't use it.

Love this shot that we had no idea was being taken!
I love this shot that we had no idea was being taken!

Fortunately I also know from experience that it comes back really quickly, if you're consistent. And hopefully now my illness is over, my hiatus is over, my motivation will return, and I can pretend to be a triathlete again.

Jazz Spock! (What? It's a thing.)
Emily, Pam, Amy and Betsy celebrating their completed 10k with some Jazz Spock!
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Run Like the Wind 2014 race report (again), this time the 6 hour version.

(Technically I already did Run Like the Wind in 2014, since 2013's edition was postponed until March of 2014. But I decided to do it a second time!)

As mentioned previously, I signed us up for a couple of training races, in preparation for Matt doing the Rocky Raccoon 100 in 2015. I looked at what was available, picked a race in November and one in December and figured that would be perfect. I didn't, however, notice that one race was at the end of November and the other at the beginning of December. Which is how I ended up accidentally running a 50k, then two weeks later, running a 6 hour run. Oops.

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Thundercloud Turkey Trot 2014 race report.

I didn't really notice when I signed up for Wild Hare that it was less than a week before Thanksgiving. When I noticed, I thought, "Eh, I'm just doing Wild Hare for fun, and the Turkey Trot for fun, so not a big deal."

Turns out, 31 miles, even for fun, hurts afterward. (And duringward.) Especially with the addition of a sea of slidey mud.

But I can't not do the Turkey Trot! It's the only race I've done every year since I first started doing events (for a while the Rosedale Ride held the same honor, but I failed that several years ago), and it would be my 10th anniversary! So I signed up.

I had my doubts when I still had to descend stairs very slowly and deliberately on Tuesday, but by Wednesday my quads felt a little better, and I knew at the very least I could run/walk the Turkey Trot. Or hoped I could.

On race morning I parked near Zach Scott Theatre, figuring I'd warm up to the start line, and that would be my test as to whether my legs would even work at all. Good news is: they did! I felt very slow and my quads were sore, but I was able to ambulate successfully to the start line.

I chatted with Josh in the start chute, happy that I'd convinced myself to underdress rather than over-.. the temps in the 50s made a lot of people wear long sleeves and tights, and with the late start and the sun shining down, it was definitely shorts and short-sleeves, or even sleeveless, weather.

I started fairly far back, knowing I wasn't going to be running as fast as normal, and so there was a bit of dodging and weaving at the beginning to find some open space.

And then I just ran as fast as I could convince my legs to run. The uphills were tough, with the aforementioned full sun, but they were much more pleasant on my sore legs than the long downhills, which tortured my poor left quad.

I never looked at my watch, just ran by feel. And I never ended up taking any water from the three water stops, because I just didn't feel like negotiating with the press of humanity that tends to surround them. And before I knew it, I was rounding the corner onto the bridge, heading toward the finish line.

43:51 (8:46/mile)

Definitely the slowest Trot I've had since I really figured out how to run faster. But I wasn't convinced I could run sub-10s on those tired legs, so averaging 8:46s made me really happy! And picking it up as I warmed up, in addition to having most of the uphills be at the beginning, gave me a nice progressive pace run, THIS time in the right direction!

9:05, 8:52, 8:35, 8:23, 8:17

Wouldn't have figured my legs had an 8:17 in them less than a week after running a 50k!

2004: 52:24 (10:29/mile)
2005: 52:45 (10:33/mile)
2006: 47:54 (9:35/mile)
2007: 44:35 (8:55/mile)
2008: 39:48 (7:58/mile) (suspect it was short)
2009: 40:59 (8:10/mile)
2010: 36:35 (8:05/mile according to official time) (definitely short)
2011: 40:29 (8:06/mile)
2012: 38:58 (7:48/mile)
2013: 39:45 (7:57/mile)

Glad that I decided to go out and give it a try, and happy 10th Turkey Trot anniversary to me!
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Warda Wild Hare 50k trail race 2014 race report.

Matt was planning on doing the Rocky Raccoon 100 miler in January, so I picked out a couple promising training races he could do, one of which was the Warda Wild Hare 50 miler in November. We did this race in 2012 and really enjoyed it. And I figured since I'd have a lot of time to kill, and hey, maybe I'd do the Rocky 50 miler in February, I'd do some distance while I was there, too. I did 25k last time, but maybe I'd step it up and do 50k this year!

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Rogue Rescue Run 5k 2014 race report.

Still continuing my "do fun things after Ultraman" initiative! It's been too hot to really get the dogs trained up to run 5k, but we got some extra walks in with the sorta-kinda cooler sporadic days of Fall we've had, between the inevitable resumptions of Summer. We figured they could at least WALK 5k, even if we didn't think they could run the whole thing.

Because the course starts on the road leading in to the venue, we were asked to get there no later than 7:30am. The race didn't start until 8:30, so we milled around, met other dogs, had a tiny donut hole (Hilda was so distracted that she wouldn't even eat her tiny donut hole fragment. Enzo was perfectly happy to eat hers, too.) And just generally completely wore the dogs out before the race even started. I don't think they realized this wasn't THE event, and that they needed to conserve some energy.

At 8:30, the non-dog 5k went off, and then the dog 5k started just after. We set off at a nice, easy pace, Matt with Hilda and me with Enzo. They were so excited! Enzo was trying to run way too fast! They could do this forever! Yay!

Around mile 1.25, Enzo realized we weren't going to run for 1.25 miles. We were going to keep going. And he decided he was done. He started slowing down. Then walking. We'd try to get him enthusiastic again, and sometimes he'd break into a trot again. For about 30 seconds. Then walk again. We got some water at the halfway aid station, which gave a brief second wind, but then the slog resumed.

Around mile 2, he started walking even slower. The volunteers at the turns were all very supportive. I mean, seriously, the little guy just looked DONE. Tongue hanging out. Head hanging down. Long legs trudging along.

To be fair, even though it was maybe 80 degrees, the course was completely treeless, and the sun was very present overhead. So it was tough conditions for a little undertrained black greyhound.

Didn't even realize someone took a picture of our chaos as we neared the finish line! Thanks Chris MacCleod!

As we neared the last turn, Enzo got a little burst of energy from the people cheering on the side of the road. Poor Hilda wasn't really getting any cheers, because she looked fine. It was all in support of tired little Enzo. A little kid, who'd presumably finished his race, fell in with us, pacing Enzo. He kept glancing back at him and making sure he didn't get too far ahead. It was adorable. But then Enzo had to walk again.

This is one Done greyhound. So glad someone got photographic evidence.

Despite the cheers, Enzo kept walking slower and slower and slower. Matt and Hilda were hanging back with us, and Matt and I were telling Enzo he could do it, just a little further. Then at the mile 3 marker, with 0.1 miles to go, Enzo decided he was just done. No more. And he stopped. And the second he stopped, Hilda took that as a sign we were done, and laid down. Meanwhile we were blocking the finish chute for the people who actually wanted to finish the race. So we got everyone back up and moving again, and trudged ever-so-slowly across the finish line.

Yay, dogs!

Of course, then we had to trudge even more slowly back to the after-party, where our car was parked. We stopped by the water bowls to let the dogs get some much-needed water, and Hilda stepped straight into the baby pool full of ice and water and watermelons that was notably not already full of dogs or dog debris, and thusly probably was not intended for dogs, and we got a dirty look from the human in charge of the pool. Oops. We made Hilda get out before she flopped her entire shepherd down in the icy water, much to her dismay.

Then a slow, slow, slow trudge back to the car. Honestly I was a little worried about Enzo. He was so worn out. More tired than I've ever seen him. And when we got home, he just completely crashed.


But then 2 hours later, he woke up and was just fine! And wanted to know why we weren't off doing fun dog activities, like maybe another 5k!

Our splits, which give a very clear picture of how Enzo's race went:

Proud of my fuzzy little children.
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Capt'n Karl's Reveille Ranch 10k run 2014 race report.

Matt has been doing the Capt'n Karl's 60k night trail race series this year. The races start at 7pm and each is an hour+ outside of Austin. The first two were during Ultraman training, where I had to wake up around the time Matt would be arriving back home, to go run, so I didn't go out with him. The third was the Saturday after we got back from Ultraman, after having been away from the dogs for 2 weeks, so we decided it would be wisest for me to stay home with the dogs while Matt went and ran.

But for the last race, I was finally going to be able to go out and support him! And I owed him big after Ultraman, so I was really pleased to be there.

4th and final Capt'n Karl's 60k night trail run in the 2014 series!

Of course, with a three-loop course, that's about one minute of seeing Matt each loop, and then 2-3 hours of hanging out in the dark. Aaaand since they also offer a 10k race.. hey, why not?! So I signed up for the 10k to kill some time.

I have a shaky past with night trail running. I don't love it, and I'm not good at it, so I haven't really done a lot of it. But the 10k started at 7:30pm, so it would be light to start, so I'd only need to use my headlamp for part of it.

Evidently it would also be rainy. Typically these races are 105 degrees and intensely humid, but there was a lot of rain in the area, and it just happened to hit the race area in the last half hour before the 60k started. Heavy, pouring rain, thunder and lightning. It started after the pre-race meeting, but at 6:55ish, they had another impromptu meeting to say that the race was going on as planned, on time, gather ye, for we start in 5 minutes.

The 60k folks headed out right on time, splashing through the mud and rain. The rain slackened a bit after a while, but then right before 7:15, when the 30k race started, it picked right back up again and poured. I figured the same thing would happen for the 10k, but it slackened again and was just a steady, normal rain at 7:30.

At about 7:25, as I meandered my way to the start area, it hit me that I was going to run a race. I mean, I had no intention of "racing". My longest run was one week before, and that was 6 miles. So I knew I could run 6 miles! But I'd done no speed work, I was averaging 1-2 runs a week, and my head wasn't at all in race mode. So I was just going to go out and see how I felt.

I lined up next to UltramanFriend Sabrina, and we were off. I had no idea how fast Sabrina ran, so I figured maybe we'd run together, but then it turned out that Sabrina was running much faster than I could. I tried to hang for a minute or so, but it was intensely humid, and I was immediately struggling for breath and panting. I knew I couldn't maintain that for more than a few minutes, so I fell back and just settled into my own pace.

I continued to breathe hard for the entire race, though. I figured I'd let my body dictate how fast I ran, and if I had to fall all the way back to just walking, that was fine, too. But I felt good running, and pushing a little felt good, too. We wound through the woods and the smooshy-but-not-really-muddy ground, and then we got to the dome. Oof. Slick rock, and lots of steep up and down. Treacherous footing in good conditions, and now the rock was completely wet. I made sure to watch my footing, and walk when it was extra steep with no breaks in the rock to brace my feet. I splashed through a lot of puddles where I couldn't see the bottom. I slid a lot. I turned an ankle once, but it wasn't bad enough to stop and walk, and it faded after a minute and never bothered me again.

Mostly I just had fun. I love running in the rain, and the front had dropped the temps from the mid 90s when we'd arrived to somewhere in the 70s probably. It just felt good.

I was carrying one handheld water bottle and one gel, and I figured I'd just wing it as far as whether I ate that gel, or whether I refilled my bottle. I figured I didn't really need to eat for a 10k run, but I found myself putting forth an effort that wore me out faster than I would have expected. So I ended up eating the gel maybe 4 miles in, but never refilled my water, which was sufficient for the time I was out there.

Eventually I got past the miles of slick rock, and was back in the wooded dirt area again. The sun had gone down at this point, and people had turned their headlamps on. I came up on two girls ahead of me, and decided they were running a good pace, and I'd stick with them. Motivation #1 was not having to watch both my feet and the trail for markers to make sure I was going the right way. They say not to be a lemming, but I was totally being a lemming. And motivation #2 was the fact that the light from 3 headlamps is MUCH brighter than the light from one. Another girl pulled up on my heels and seemed happy to stay there rather than pass, so we were a train of at least 4 (I couldn't tell if there was anyone else behind the person behind me).

The girl at the front of our train was running at a pace that was just slightly faster than I would have run on my own, probably, but it felt good to push a little. As we passed the last aid station, and knew we had a little over a mile to go, she started picking up the pace. I considered just letting them go, but I really didn't want to be on my own in the dark at that point, so I picked up my pace, too. I was having to breathe pretty hard to hang with the girl in front of me, and she would fall back a few times from the lead girl, so I think she was having to push a bit, as well. But it was fun, racing outside of my comfort zone in the dark in the woods.

We all stuck together in a train until we got back to the lake, where the path opens up a bit. The lead girl picked it up more, and we kinda all got a little strung out from our train. I was trying to be cautious, because this path was full of divets and little puddles of unknown depth, but I tried to push as hard as I could, knowing the finish line was just around the corner. As we turned a bend, the girl in front of me tried to go the wrong way, and I yelled at her just as some spectators did, and I went the right way. She passed me again (I was glad, because it would have felt weird to finish before her after following her for so long), and we all finished in the train we'd been in for so long: 1:12:35, 1:12:37, 1:12:39 (me), 1:12:40. I ended up 10th woman overall (of 65).

I feel really good about my run. I pushed, I got to run in the rain, I didn't hurt myself, and I got to see a lot of friends out there.

AND I'd finished before Matt came through on his first loop, which was one of my goals. When he came through, I helped him restock, and then went back to the car. I knew I had 2-3 hours before he finished his second loop, so I thought I'd get dry and try to sleep some. Which.. didn't happen. Well, I got partly dry, but I couldn't sleep at all. Finally I wandered back out to be social, and then Sabrina pointed out that it was time for us to start watching for our spouses again. Her fiance was also running the 60k, and we were both making ourselves available as pacers for their last 20k loops, if they needed us.

I had mixed feelings about that at this point. I was tired. I was kinda tired of being wet. I had just run, at a decent effort, the longest run I'd done since Ultraman, and adding another 20k would triple my longest run. I hadn't really done a great job of post-run nutrition and hydration. And did I mention I was tired?

But I also really wanted to be there for Matt. He was so selfless and so integral to my Ultraman success, so if he needed, or even just wanted, me out there, I was ready to go. I put on a dry shirt and socks (and my soaked shoes), strapped on my hydration pack (since I'd need more water than just a handheld could carry), and sat down in our little transition area to wait.

Chad, Sabrina's fiance, came through, and she asked if he wanted her to pace him. He said he actually was feeling really great, and was in a groove, and he didn't think he really needed a pacer, but then you could tell he felt bad in case she wanted to go with him, and they kinda did this little awkward dance around the subject. Finally it was decided that he was good on his own, and he headed out, and Sabrina celebrated that she'd be able to get some sleep now. I expected to have a similar awkward conversation when Matt came by. I wasn't really sure I wanted to go, but I wanted to be there for him, but maybe he didn't want me to be there, but felt obligated to invite me along, since I was already prepped to go, etc. I was hoping he'd just be honest, and if he needed me, I was on board.

The rain had tapered off while I had been trying to sleep in the car, but after Chad started his third loop, it suddenly started to pour again. Sabrina and I fled to the pavilion, but I stood right at the edge, so I could see the timing mat, and watch for Matt. And within a minute, there he was! And as he ran across the timing mat and saw me, he said, "Ready to go?" And so it was decided.

I chased after him back to our stuff, and switched out his nutrition and bottles and he drank his mini Coke. Then we were off!

My biggest concern with pacing Matt was obviously that he runs roughly twice as fast as I do. However, he'd already run 24 miles, and he knew how fast I run, so I was trusting that he wouldn't have invited me along if he thought I'd be more liability than help.

I trotted off in the lead, basically blind because it was raining so hard. But the reflective markings that marked the course were fabulous, and even in the rain we never got lost. Well, there was one time where Matt went off course DIRECTLY OVER a piece of caution tape, but I immediately got him turned around and back on course. I figure I proved my usefulness at that moment, even if nowhere else. Who knows where he'd have ended up otherwise.

I led for a while, trying to listen to how close behind me Matt was, so I could make sure I wasn't outpacing him or slowing him down. After a mile or so, Matt took the lead, so he could set his own pace, depending on how much his body hated the current terrain, and he stayed in the lead the rest of the time.

And we had fun. He was hurting in a lot of places, so we walked a lot, but walking was the wisest thing you could do in most cases. It was so wet out there, and it was dark, and it was steep, slick rock, and it was just dangerous. So I was happy that he walked when he knew it wasn't safe to run. But we chatted and talked about how my race had gone and how his had gone so far, and we enjoyed the ridiculous weather. Oh, and we played "Woo Guy or coyotes?" There was a guy yelling, "Woo!" periodically throughout the night. We thought it was another runner, but we couldn't tell where he was in relation to us. Depending on how we felt, we often wooed back. But then sometimes the woo would continue on, in a warbling fashion, and those were coyotes, not Woo Guy. Sometimes it was hard to tell which was which. (We later found Woo Guy, and he was the volunteer manning the last aid station!)

So Matt and I ran when he could, walked when it was smart or necessary, and made constant forward progress. My mission was to get him across the finish line in one piece, since that finish line was all that was standing between him and a belt buckle for finishing all 4 races.

I was glad to be there for him. We saw very, very few other people out there, so it would have been a long and lonely last loop for him. And it was fun to get to spend time with my favorite guy, in the dark, in the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere, in the rain. And I gotta say, it's a lot less stressful to be there with him and know he's okay, instead of sitting back at the car, waiting and hoping that nothing has happened to him.

Meanwhile, just to show what a great guy Matt is, if there was a particularly high shelf on the rock, either up or down, Matt would navigate it, then stop and hold out his hand to help me up or down. He knows those things are harder for those of us with short legs, and even though it's his race and I'm there for support, he's always there for me, as well.

Well, until the end. After we passed the last aid station, he started to recognize where we were, and knew we were close. He started to pick it up a bit, and I couldn't hang with him. Sure, he'd run twice the distance I had, but the fatigue was starting to set in for me, trying to run (or run/walk) 18 miles a little over a month after Ultraman. I had already told him that if I were ever slowing him down, he needed to just go, and I reminded him of that here. And he did. As much as he was hurting, being that close to the finish line gave him another gear, and he took off to finish.

And I immediately regretted not having grabbed the spare headlamp from him, because mine was fading fast. Or my vision is just so bad that depending on only one headlamp of light is hard. But I had to slow down even a little bit more because it was so dark and hard to see the ground in front of me. But I slogged my way back, and found Matt to congratulate him! So proud. So glad I could be there to support him after all he's done for me.

And so tired. We got home just before 7am, fell in bed, then woke up around 9am, because our bodies were so confused about what time it was.
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Holy crap, you guys, I rode a bike.

I rode my bike 261 miles in August.

Ultraman Canada is 261 miles of cycling.

So, yeah, I kinda dragged my feet a little, getting back on the bike.

See, I meant to ride it earlier!

First it sat in the box, disassembled for a long time. Maybe 2 weeks. Then we finally took it in to have it reassembled. They had it for another 3/4 of a week. Then we got it back, but they hadn't put the wiring harness for the power meter back on, so then they had it another day. Then I remembered that my last ride before Ultraman, with my normal tires, I'd gotten a flat, my spare tube was the wrong size, but I'd still used it, so I needed to change my rear tire. That obviously took another week. Then when I changed it, the new tube had a defect and it immediately flatted again. And after one final change, I finally had a fully assembled and presumably functional bike. In the garage. Do you realize how hard it is to transport a bike from the garage into the living room and put it on the trainer? Takes at least a day. Maybe 2. And then I celebrated finally putting in on the trainer by not riding it for another day.

Today I FINALLY got back on the bike. I'm hoping to be on the bike more in September. Maybe for less total miles, even, but at least for more than 2 total rides, like I did in August.

My journey back in other sports is going better. I've been swimming 1-3 times a week, and getting some stamina back. I rejoined UT Masters for the new semester, so I'll hopefully drag my ass back to that. And I need to remember that maybe I don't need to do the full 4000 yards the first swim back.

Running is coming back a little slower. My first few runs were just sad. They didn't feel good, and they were very slow. I decided I wanted to run longer this Saturday (6! Miles! Woo!), but my hamstrings and ITBs felt so incredibly tight, and I was having heel pain, so I broke down and actually rolled out my legs Friday night. And hey, what do you know, my run on Saturday actually felt really good, and was back to my normal long run pace. I'm going to assume that was an amazing coincidence, and continue my normal rigorous schedule of never rolling my legs.

Meanwhile I have a "race" this Saturday night. I'm excited. I've missed going out to races. I think I've only done 2 races so far in 2014, and one was Ultraman Canada. That's just.. really weird for me.

It's a 10k night trail run, and I don't excel at any of those things individually, much less when you combine them, so I intend to just go have a fun time and support Matt. I owe him about 100 eons of support after Ultraman.

Or at least 100 miles of support, since he's planning on doing the Rocky Raccoon 100 miler in January.

I may do Rocky 50 the weekend after. Maybe. That's the only thing on my Maybe list so far.

It's been one month since Ultraman. I've done very little exercising, I've had no schedule, and I've eaten pretty poorly. I've slept in a lot. But now I think I'm ready to return to a bit more discipline. Plan out my weekly workouts. Stop eating out so much. Drop some of my post-Ultraman extra pounds.

My one good run has me super excited about running in the Fall. If only Texas Fall didn't start in November.
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Thoughts about Ultraman and life after Ultraman.

Stream of consciousness-style:

- When you do an Ironman these days, you're typically one of 2000-2500 people doing that race. During Ultraman Canada 2014, they had their 1000th Ultraman finisher (from any Ultraman: Hawaii, Canada, Florida, UK). I was the 995th Ultraman finisher. Total. Ever.

- I hadn't even thought about it until Melissa mentioned it, but my race number was 206. I just figured it was a random number, but it would appear likely that they started numbering at 1 during the first Ultraman Canada, and just keep going from the last number each year. The highest number in this year's race was 233. I think that means that only 233 people have ever competed in Ultraman Canada. That's somewhat unreal to me. I did something that only 233 people have attempted.

(Note: Further investigation through pictures of past Ultramans shows that the numbers may not directly correlate in past years, but I think the just-over-200-participants thing is still true.)

- And one final Ultraman thought (for now, at least).. the double marathon was my longest run ever. Previously my longest run was 50 miles at Palo Duro. I actually ran Ultraman's 52.4 miles faster than I ran 50 standalone miles at Palo Duro. Can't compare courses and days, obviously, but still interesting.

- And now .. life after Ultraman. It's weird. I'm not sure what to do with myself. I can't remember the last time I finished a big race and wasn't already signed up for The Next Big Thing. (That's a side effect of Ironman and how you have to sign up a full year in advance of the race.)

I'm going to do the 10k race while Matt does his last 60k Capt'n Karl's race at Reveille Ranch. And by "do", I mean "whatever my body feels like doing". Maybe run. Maybe walk. Maybe take 6 hours. I'll have nothing better to do, and a lot of time to kill.

And we're signed up for a 5k with the dogs, but that'll definitely be run-walk, since it's been too hot here to run with the dogs lately. They're out of shape.

And after that, I have no idea. I've only run twice since Ultraman and swam 3 times (all very short). My running is still about a minute per mile slower than normal, so my body is still recovering. I'm trying to be very good about letting it do that.

But there are a few runs that we have our eyes on, late this year and early next year. Maybe something to work toward.

As far as next year goes.. not the slightest of clues. Maybe someone else will mention something exciting at some point, and we'll glom onto their idea and do that. Or maybe it'll be a down year. Or maybe we just haven't found the thing yet.

In the meantime, I'm back to wanting to work out, but still struggling a little on finding the motivation to actually go out and do it. That's normal and expected. (And the standard "Texas in August" weather isn't helping.) But if anyone is doing anything and wants company, let me know. I have nothing but time these days.

- I'm growing my hair back out. I know people think it's cute. I acknowledge that it's cute. But I don't love it. And I expect I REALLY won't love the process of growing it back. I apologize in advance for the state of my hair for the next however-long, and for the complaining that results.

The End.