So much to think about and do before next Saturday. Cayuga Trails came up so fast this year. I feel like I just ran MOTG and here we are.

Granted, there isn’t that much time between the races, and normally I’d never sign up for races so close…but that’s part of the challenge of the Triad this summer. After Cayuga it’s a few weeks to Twisted Branch, my main focus of the summer.

After the events of this past weekend, I took a look internally at what I think I am capable of. Sitting here now, tired, a bit sore and emotionally fatigued, I have readjusted my goals. At Cayuga, I want to have a good time. At Twisted, I want to finish.

I was talking to a friend the other day and I wish I’d not heard stories about how tough Twisted is. I think it is preventing me from giving myself a chance. I have never signed up for a race before without believing I could do it. At Twisted, I was unsure but confident I would make it out alive. Right now, I’m on the edge of doubt. I really wish I hadn’t listened to people share their experience. How the race changes people. I don’t normally get psyched out, but I can see myself headed in that direction.

Therefore, I have adjusted my goals to help me enjoy the rest of the training and the race. I will try hard, but my goal is first to finish. To enjoy the 60 or so miles mostly, and just be happy getting out there. I have some friends crewing and pacing, which I am thankful for. Seeing their faces will be a huge boost. However, the bad experience I had on the trail last weekend, although nothing to do with the course, weighs on my mind.

I have done what I can to stop thinking about it, but it’s proved difficult. I don’t want to get into that mental space on the trail. I am confident these feelings will pass, as they’ve already started to fade and I feel lighter and happier. However, they still come up at the most random times. All I can do is keep working on me, enjoy the training and help myself out.

To be honest, I’ve taken this as an opportunity to try workouts or things I haven’t had the chance to try in the past. I am taking initiative to get myself where I need to be. Might I fail? Sure, but I don’t do this to win or be perfect, I do it because it’s hard, I enjoy it most times and the suffering makes me feel alive.

Next weekend at Cayuga some pretty great girls are coming to play. Sabrina Little and Sarah Keyes, both fantastic runners are showing up and I plan to learn from them. I am going to school next Saturday. These opportunities do not happen often on the East Coast, so I am taking advantage of their knowledge and experience. I can’t wait to get out there and have my ass handed to me.

I’ll be so much smarter the next go around.

Yesterday I ran with a new friend I actually met at FLRTC the day before. I felt some soreness in my foot, so I knew I needed a new supportive shoe. Nothing fancy. I got the Brooks Ghosts and Brooks Revel off the men’s sale rack. While I was there, a dude came in and I remembered I saw him earlier that week on the bike path. We got to talking, found out we run at the same time, so we met up yesterday. I didn’t plan to do 14 miles, but it felt right. I’m happy to have found a new training partner.

Today I ran a really easy 7 miles at six mile creek. My legs were tired, I have some outer shin discomfort on the right side, so it wasn’t that hard to go super easy. It’s funny how the night before a super easy day, I am ready for some “blissfully easy” miles…and I end up sore, humbled and well, it’s just not what I expected. Workout days sometimes feel easier you know?

Speaking of workouts, I did my first solo workout on Wednesday. I did 8 half mile uphills with the downhill recovery in between. My legs and butt were burning by the end. Hill work is one of my favorites when I am relearning how to judge speed, simply because they are completely effort based. I also remembered to use my lap band, so if I do another set before Twisted, I can judge how I am improving (or recovering).

Since there is so little time between Cayuga and Twisted, I really think most of my training will be recovery focused. I will only do workouts if I feel up to it. Cayuga will be the last true workout.

Food has been really good lately. Really good. I have made a lot of rice, was blessed with pesto and hummus from my work, and have been trying to get a bit creative. I tried a pineapple turmeric hummus which I really enjoyed. I made pesto roasted potatoes in my air fryer. I finally bought corn nuts, so of course I’ve been putting them on my bowls as a crunch.

Breakfast cycles between yogurt bowls and pancakes. I’ve been using a vanilla protein powder in the bowls, which I think has been helpful in my recovery from workouts and races. I do feel lighter lately and eating more produce has definitely been good for the digestive system if you know what I mean.

My struggles in my diet basically involve hydration. I’m trying, it’s just a struggle. What I have implemented is drinking half a bottle of water before my run each morning. Some days I just get up and run. However drinking the water during the night and before I leave is proving beneficial. Whoa who knew right?

Today I have a complete day off, so errands and laundry will get done. My sister is working for my mom today, so I’ll go see her this afternoon. We’ve got a lot to talk about.

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