One Week Out

I don’t quite know how to best express my feelings toward my next race. I’ve made it no secret I’m tired from this summer of racing. I’ve loved it mostly. I love running, I love most of the people, I have fun in my day-to-day weekly training.

But I would be lying saying I’m not ready for a break. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m ready to reassess and see what I want to do next.

If I want to do anything next. Because you know, a 100K race is a lot for me. A lot of time to process, a lot of time to think about things and of course, a lot of time to get injured.

My ankle still isn’t at 100% and it’s concerning only because this race is gnarly. If it was a road race or easy trails, I’d be fine. However, rolling the ankle this time might be a significant problem. Guess I’ll just try to be safe you know?

Rather than dwell on what I wish was better or my tiredness, I’m focusing in what’s good and what I am looking forward to.

1.) Roads. Yup, I have ran on a trail twice since CT50 and almost rolled my ankle again. Not gonna test that out again till race day. However, running on the roads has been excellent. I’m just going to ride this train until it stops.

2.) Shorter Sunday runs. I do love spending a good day outside on the trails, but the past few weeks I’ve been doing shorter Sunday morning runs, finishing with time and energy to do other things on Sunday. It’s long enough, but not too long. I like that I don’t have to plan nutrition and water, because I’m lazy haha

3.) Exploring new options. DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY RACES OR EVENTS ARE LIKE, EVERY WEEKEND?! With the tunnel vision of my triad of summer races, I don’t really pay attention to the fun 5ks, charity runs or other weekend things because I have a focus. SWEET JESUS THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS! That’s kind of fun to see, just running stuff to do it, to connect. Not training for it. Cool bro.

4.) Spending more time on the bike. Indoors. With my book. I am embracing this. Fight me.

5.) Finishing 100k. I am really excited about testing my body in that way. I still don’t know if I can do it, but I’m sure as hell gonna try.

At this time next weekend, I’ll either be dead or have run 65 miles.

Until then, peace.

Bleh I’m tired

This morning was another one of those days that prove fitness is a state of mind. I slogged through 7 miles not feeling super great.

How I am going to make it through 65 next weekend, I don’t know. Potatoes, Tailwind and a good crew.

Speaking of crew, I am having two of my friends help out during the race. I have no real idea what that means, but mostly I’m looking forward seeing people and then spending 20 miles with one of them at the end.

To be honest, trail running isn’t exciting me right now. Running is still fun and challenging, but I’m ready for a break after Twisted. Im at peace with where I’m at. I don’t want to run anything longer or crazier. I just want to take a step back and enjoy the stuff I’ve done this summer.

I had a great day off on Sunday. I ran, read for 3 hours, met my friend Ashley for lunch, read some more, cooked, just did whatever I wanted. It was just what I needed.

I’ve decided to keep all my jobs. I just had a freak out moment there when I didn’t get a day off last weekend and I was really looking forward to it. After all, having three jobs helps justify my new road kicks…

I’m already looking forward to this Sunday.

Recent Eats

I’ve had a lot of baking and food success lately, so indulge me (if you don’t follow my IG stories, I’m @gazzellie so LIGHT IT UP!)

Pancakes are still happening, but the other day I actually made them FROM SCRATCH! Truth be told, I usually use a box mix that I just add water to, then if I want to add anything, I add it afterwards adjusting the water levels (zucchini is wet y’all!)

I remember loving the blog Chocolate Covered Katie for some things. It’s hit-or-miss for me, but I got lucky this time. She has a banana pancake recipe perfect for one person. I decided to try it, and what do you know, it WORKED!

The topping is really simple, raspberries mushed and maple syrup mixed in. I’m fancy.

These pancakes were from a mix, but I added peanut butter powder to the batter. This actually worked as well! It added a subtle nutty quality and I might do it again. Adding some chocolate chips might be fun too next time. One thing I haven’t tried mixing in is protein powder. I have vanilla, cookies and cream and salted caramel flavors right now, and TBH I’m scared to commit to that. So probably wont for now.

I had great aspirations to make something cool this morning, but there was a man using the kitchen, so I settled for two bananas with peanut butter and raspberry chia seed jam/sauce. I didn’t hate it at all.

The other night (actually it was last week but whatever) I made Buffalo Chickpea Dip from my friend Britt’s Blog Leaves of Kale. She made this for a get together we had a few years ago at Tamerlaine Farm Sanctuary and I think I ate it all. I put it in my tacos, on this salad and dipped chips in it. MAJOR FAN GIVE HER SOME LOVE!

To end this photo dump, I was in heaven with this bowl. Curried kale salad is on the bottom, topped with Ithaca Hummus (lemon dill), Tofu Khan and RANCH CORN NUTS! It was great, I hope we get more of the kale salad at work soon because YUM.

Last night I made quinoa, so I’ll be eating that for the next few days. I also have tempeh marinating in a peanut sauce that just needs to be baked off. It’s looking like a few good meals are ahead of me.

I want a weekend damn it.

I’ve been thinking about quitting one of my jobs. I have three. And yes, two of them are very part time, but I can’t honestly remember the last time I had a weekend off.

Two full days. Of doing whatever I want.

Sure, when I went to Texas, that was a good few days off, but it’s different you know? Having an open two days in a town you’re familiar with, just doing whatever.

It sounds luxurious to only have two jobs. It sounds like a fantasy to not work everyday. How did this normal thing because so elusive to me?

Part of the problem is that I genuinely like my jobs. I could never dream of leaving CTB, it’s family. The gym is awesome because I know everyone, it’s not much work and I get a lot of benefits. Working for Agava is cool because I get to be artistic and also work remotely.

Each job fulfills some criteria so that I’m not bored.

I think I’m just burned out on work a bit. Mostly though, I want a fucking weekend. Or two days off where I don’t have to be somewhere at a certain time. Bingo. That’s it. For a few days I don’t want to be accountable.

Last weekend I was supposed to have a day off on Sunday, but I ended up going in to help out. It was ok and I’m not resentful, I got 10 hours of sleep that night so I was chipper. However I do think I need a day or two off here soon or I’ll really burn out.

The problem again, I love my job, I love my coworkers, I would do anything for them. Including come in on my days off.

The gym shift, from 9-12 on Saturday morning nags at me simply because I take at least one shift off a month for a race or run, it’s a bit annoying to work late Friday night and then run, and have to be somewhere the next morning. It also makes the day feel like a work day. So the rest of it I am getting groceries, or doing other productive things that seem not as fun.

I can’t really explain it. Maybe I’m being a baby.

If I do stop working at the gym, I plan to keep it secret for now. I don’t really want my boss at CTB to know (yet) that I have Saturday open. I love her, but I know I will get called in even more than I normally do. That would defeat the purpose of ending my gym shift.

I feel a bit more financially secure right now, after checking my bank account. Winning some money at Cayuga Trails helped, and I feel like I am in a good position to not work as much. When I win money at races, which I hardly ever do, that money goes to loans or gas for my car so I don’t feel guilty traveling or see family or friends (yes this weighs on my mind). I try not to spend recklessly. I cook now at home a lot more instead of buying food. I enjoy that almost as much as my breakfast sandwich on a biscuit 😉

What I need to do is talk to my boss at the gym. I’d still like to help them out if they need a sub (like I’m doing right now) or even stop in on Saturday evening when I have time to stock towels, clean up a bit and make sure things are ok. I just don’t want to work the 9-12 shift on Saturdays anymore.

I want a weekend damn it.

The blank slate that is a finished race

Good news, I think my ankle is mostly healed. It had a lot of bruises and was tender for a while, but they are subsiding and I should be able to stop using my ankle sleeve soon. Good riddance to that because it’s starting to get gross and I haven’t done laundry since the race.

As my last race gets closer, I’ve tried to stop myself from thinking what’s next. I’m favoring road running right now, with trails sprinkled in. It feels right and I feel happy, that’s what matters to me. I do want to reflect on what this summer and the triad has been for me. It’s been a long training and racing cycle. It’s been fun and I’ve learned a lot but it’s been long. I am tempted to think about what’s next, but also I want to have that mysterious “whatever” period after the race too.

Mentally, thinking about what may be next, but not committing helps relieve myself of the pressure of racing. It helps to know that even though I’ve trained hard for my races, there will be others. Other races, other runs, more times spent running with cool people and in cool places. That is exciting. Finishing a race is always great, but having an open book to what is next is also quite fun.

I’ve been running getting back to consistency while not really pushing anything. I don’t see the point in anything other than a few tune up workouts before races day. A few hills, strides or 400s. To rev the engine without putting myself further into debt.

My crew (my friends Danielle and Jeff) are beginning to plan how to best help me at Twisted. I really don’t know what I am doing, so it will be a learning experience for all involved.

Until then, pancakes, easy runs and enjoying the end of the training cycle.