Saturday, December 12, 2015

Jackrabbit Trails

Woke up early again on Wednesday morning to go over to the Jackrabbit trails to get another decent run in. These are mountain bike trails. Lots of twisting an turning and little ups and downs, but it's still fairly fast running for trails. I decided to push myself a little bit to test things out. I felt pretty good the whole way. Normally a whole loop is about 10.5 miles, but I decided to keep it under 10 and skipped one of the trails I usually hit. It was still some sweet trail running since these trails are basically on a peninsula jutting out into Lake Chatuge. There are views of the lake most of the way. I felt really good injury-wise, but out of shape speed-wise. I took a 2-3 minute break at one point where the trail goes out to the lake. 
That far ridge is what I ran across the day before to Brasstown Bald

Trail by the lake
Strava normally cuts stops off my running time, but I would learn that it didn't after I was done. The run came out to 7.8 miles at 8:50/mi pace. I was really disappointed to see this, but I realized later on this included my stop at mile 6. I figured out my moving pace was more like 8:35/mi which made me feel a little better, but I was still a bit depressed about it. That wasn't the only reason, though. During the run, I noticed my injury wasn't bothering me at all, right side now was. In the exact same place as my injury, but on the other side!!! So, everyone who was so sure I was injured because I was racing "too much", what's your explanation for this one?! Racing too much? I think not. There's definitely something else going on. I have a screwed up lumbar vertebrae that showed up in my X-ray. I had no idea there was something wrong there, but it could explain why I'm now having issues on the other side. There are no sharp pains like I ended up with on the left side, but it very much mimics the earlier dull aches I had on the left side for a month+ prior to VT 50 when something suddenly happened. What seemed so simple is now becoming extremely complicated, and I think it's time for outside help... after Jan 1st. I've decided to just say fuck it and start my comeback until then, though. I just don't care anymore.

To top it all off, I developed a tooth infection during our visit, and my mouth was now throbbing in pain. For once, I wasn't being kicked when I was already down, and my mom's dentist happily called me in a prescription for antibiotics. I hate taking antibiotics, but it was to that point. I have a super high pain tolerance, but this got to the point of pain shooting across my forehead, so I had to breakdown and take ibuprofen to deal with the it. Fortunately, the need for ibuprofen only lasted 3 days, since I hate taking that, too. I just feel like a total mess right now, but I'm back running. At least I have that!!!

That afternoon, I drove my dad and John up Brasstown Bald. We parked in the lot and walked up the 6/10 mile summit trail. The last time John and I walked up it, it took nearly two hours. Haha. This time it was quick. John enjoyed the replica train in the museum, sitting in it watching the video about logging in the area. When he was done we walked back down to the car and drove home. Some day I'll make it back for the Brasstown Bald Buster race up the auto road. It's been on my list for years. It's 3 miles and super steep. Maybe next year?
My dad, John and me

John on Brasstown Bald

Sun rays

John in the train

My dad and the train
I had a hair appointment with my mom's hairdresser that evening. I hadn't had my hair done since July and normally would have gotten it done again in November, but I was so bummed in general that I didn't care what I looked like anymore. I decided I was just going to give up on it and hide it under a hat all winter. But my mom asked if I wanted to have it done while I was there, and there was no way I could refuse. I got the usual highlights and lowlights, but when it came to styling it, she said I had few options without cutting it short. So much of the hair underneath had been broken by ponytail holders that she couldn't really layer it. She gave it as much style as she could, though, and fixed it so nicely. I had never seen my hair look so pretty. I wish I could fix it like that again, but I have zero skill in that department. At least, she gave me a nice cut and color, so that it still looks ok straight.

The rest of the night I spent watching TV (HGTV again) with my parents then went to bed. I would end up waking up at midnight with excruciating tooth pain. I took more ibuprofen, but the throbbing pain didn't subside until almost 2am. We had another long travel day ahead of us the next day. I might as well have been back at work doing an overnight transfer. Haha.

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