Race Report : Twilight Trail 8K

Thursday I ran the Twilight Trail 8K. I’ve done this event a few other times. 2009. 2010, 2011 and 2012, but no report in 2012. Couldn’t tell you why I missed last year. 2011 I called my “best” year since I finished in under 50 minutes. Other years I cleared around one hour. Back when I thought finish time was the most important aspect of a race and thought it proved if you were ‘doing well’ or ‘improving’ from year to year. Spoiler alert, I finished in 1:07:55 this year loved it anyway!

I arrived for the 7 PM race around 6:40, I had planned to arrive much earlier, but I used BING for directions and it sent me who knows where and on a wild goose chase. Bad experience. I finally came across the area and was surprised at how many parking spots remained. In years past, you had to park across the street and/or down the way, unless you arrived massively early. I assumed sadly this meant not as great of a turn out for this year’s race. It was in the low 60′s (rather chilly compared to the usual weather) which made for GREAT running weather. There were years it was in the 90′s and everyone was dying of heat stroke or something. Maybe because there are more races constantly popping up people backed off? Maybe because the 100 miler happened closer to this event this year? Maybe because of the Gay Games so people were already tired and spent money? Who knows.

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Either way I slipped easily into parking and went about my business of collecting my bib and using the facilities. I ran into my friend Kelli, then caught up with her again at the starting line. It was nice to play catch up. We were both a little worried about our performances due to not being in a regular routine and the ever so common “I have a pain here” runner issues.

Funds from this race help benefit the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center. Since the park only allows so many people on the trails at a time we have a staggered start. With a $ 5.00 donation you can “jump up” a slot This race has an interesting wave start. Based on your age you begin at varying times either at or after 7 PM. The first people back will win. AKA you get a handicap if you’re not expected to be as “good” as the people behind you.

Twilight Trail IS a trail race. You start by zigzagging through a grassy field, which makes you question everything about life and your choices. Then you enter the woods where you have to cross a stream. Some people tippy-toe on the rocks, I go into the water. After you finally start to get your footing again you have to go up a MASSIVE muddy and rocky hill. I don’t have the elevation, but FitBit tells me it was the equivalent of 20 floors, which Google says is roughly 200 feet. Then across some rolling hills. The first 1 – 1.5 miles are ROUGH. I made it to the water station after countless attempts to run after stopping and cursing myself. My watch said it had been 21 minutes. It took everything in me not to feel discouraged. Here is an elevation chart from a previous year.

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I missed the marker for mile 1, but I saw mile two! I passed it around 26:20 and was THRILLED. I found my positive vibe again and a more “flat” part of the trail for a mile. I listened to some music and took off. I cleared the next mile in about 13 minutes. Along the way I saw a beautiful hawk swoop from tree to tree in the woods. So much better than Netflix. Haha. Around mile 3.5 to 4 I wanted to slow down or quit, but that’s when my friend Pete showed up. I expected him to blow past me, but we run and chatted. Up past Squire’s Castle and over the last part of the rolling, rock, muddy hills. He did take off in the grassy fields of doom though. I pushed it as best as I could and managed to come across the mat at 1:07:55. VERY HAPPY.

My pretend goal was less than 1:30:00 and my personal goal was 1:15:00 to keep a 15 minute pace. I finished with a pace just under 14 minutes per mile, and I LOVE it since the end and beginning are so rough, it means a few other miles were less than 13/14 minutes! Mom even told me before the race not to be so hard on myself, and I would probably be surprised as to what I’m still able to do. It certainly makes me wanna get back into training mode a lot more.

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So once again, thank you Kate for a fabulous event. I especially loved double-fisting some watermelon slices the size of my head. I will be back again next year!

When it Rains it Pours

I woke up this morning and went to check-in at Weight Watchers. I was pleased with the amount of weight I’ve lost and pleased to know it wasn’t the result of some fluke, but hard work lately. That was the last good moment.

This weekend is not at all what this weekend should have been according to the plans I made last week. I should be spending time with my boyfriend who was supposed to make the drive up from Oxford. Instead, the last time we actually “spoke” in real time was Thursday night. We usually text throughout the day, but apparently he isn’t feeling well or something. It’s really the icing on the cake that not only do I not get to see him, but we aren’t speaking right now either.

After WW I went to have my car looked at, and as it turns out the transmission is shot as well as something to do with the emissions. WONDERFUL. Check engine light has been there a while, but know it’s smelling like gasoline in the car. Basically I get the super fun choice of buying a new car or replacing the transmission and guess who just has all the money in the world to deal with that right now? I could just keep crying…. And yes I’ve now received this same answer from 3 different places, so it is official and needs done ASAP if I don’t want to be completely sans vehicle. I just paid it off this month too, I can still taste the fantasy I was having about what to do “without a car payment”.

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It didn’t really become “official” until today, but my phone is a piece of crap. Apparently people can’t get through to me using the “call” feature and my voice-mail isn’t consistently working. Apps shut off randomly and the phone doesn’t always allow the keyboard to work. Texting seems to go through…but again it’s when the keyboard works. I have Verizon and I have an unlimited data plan (yippie) however they did away with the unlimited plan. In order to buy enough data to cover what I used, but plan would go up about $30 a month! OUCH. Plus phones still aren’t free with an upgrade. I don’t know how long I can go without a phone though? I’m about to find out, because I’m not exactly drawn to caring or replacing it right now….just being angry

On Facebook I complained about my computer not working, but that’s been an ongoing issue. Luckily I have an iPad which makes browsing OK, but man I can’t run a successful blog without a computer or smartphone! Right?

When I finally arrived at home I noticed a large amount of bees. I thought I noticed this earlier in the week too. I sat in my car and cried over the stress of the day(s) and watched the many many bees. Sure enough they have created a home in the siding of my place. Just another lovely piece of stress. THANK GOD I rent and once I stopped crying I phoned my landlord and told him what was going on…and mentioned my phone isn’t working so please keep trying if there’s an issue. He called about 4 hours later and said he would be out Monday to take care of things. At least ONE thing is moving in my favor right now. Ha.

Last, but not least. I received a call from my Mom this morning. I put this last because it honestly trumps everything else. One of our family members passed away in her sleep overnight. She had been sick for a while, so in a way I am personally thankful she is no longer in pain and it isn’t a complete surprise. It still is a bit of a shock though and absolutely a loss. Even if my heart doesn’t go out to her, it goes out to the other family members who lost her and are feeling the impact. As I said on Facebook, it puts everything else into perspective as to what really matters, but at the same time it doesn’t take any of those other issues away.

I’ve been asleep most of the day, but too much sleep leads to nightmares. I’m too sad/upset/irritated to focus on any hobbies, my family is all clearly dealing with things and as I mentioned before the boyfriend is not at my disposal. Anyone else have coping ideas? I’d go for a run, but I raced Thursday and I’m limping still for some reason.

Thank you all for always being there. I promise a week of race reports, the smoothie post and so much more fun stuff in a few days. Please hang with me a few more….

Speak Up About Depression

Last week I slipped it in how I’ve been struggling with my depression again, and I always feel so fake when I talk about it. For some reason I feel guilty, like I am not experiencing it “that bad” or I’m not doing it in the right way. It’s always been a struggle for me to put into words what it was and is like for me when I go through various ebbs and flows.

If you are willing to read it, I think Hyperbole and a Half did a wonderful job of putting it into words in this comic. Especially the part where she starts to feel better, so random and without explanation…

Family will tell me they don’t think I’m depressed. Friends will tell me they don’t think I’m depressed. Maybe I’ve learned how to hide it all these years? It’s something I’ve always felt was a part of me, and something I always believed I needed to keep hidden and secret.  As if I should feel ashamed for not being “perfect”. Having gone through so much in my life I am used to people telling me I am strong and capable, perhaps somewhere along the line I decided being depressed negates all of that and it would mean I’m not so great at dealing with it all as everyone always imagined?

No offense to her, but I very much remember (as I remember it anyway) reading the book Prozac Nation and falling in LOVE. It was the first time someone had so perfectly explained it and I was really excited for my Mom to read it. I thought maybe she would finally “get me”. She read the book and said something to the effect of the main character being a brat and how the Mom should have just made her get up. I think that was when I decided I could never expect her to understand.

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WAIT THOUGH! That was when I was a late teen. Somewhere along the way my Mom and I both learned different things and now she is one of my biggest supporters. She “gets it” and I don’t have to explain it to her. So if you’re in that boat with someone right now, don’t give up hope…there is a chance things will shift in the future. I call her just to cry about nothing and everything. She checks in on me to make sure everything is OK and makes plans with me when I’m ready and allows me to cancel when I’m not.

I wasn’t planning on this being a “my history” post though…so allow me to jump ahead to my point.

Last week I hit a place where I knew it was seeping into all areas of life and I broke down and told my friends, told my coworkers, told my boyfriend and the internet what was going on and why. It was terrifying and it was freeing. It wasn’t a cop out, it wasn’t an excuse, it was the truth. Like it or not, it was the truth. I have been going to counseling for almost 1.5 years and it helps. What doesn’t help? Keeping it a secret, pretending it isn’t there, or hoping it will go away.

In the last few days I have felt the weight of the world lifted from me and I started to function again. Somehow not feeling like I had to “fake it”, not telling myself I was on display, allowed me to let in the good. In the last few days I have started to see happiness and goodness. I have started to see me.

Depression sucks. Suicidal thoughts are terrifying.

The world lost a great entertainer today. Social media mourns. Someone lost a husband. Many lost their friend.

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I don’t know if Robin Williams was in treatment. I don’t know if he was supported in his decision either way. I can tell you this…there are people out there who want to try to help. Depression and other mental illness is real. There is a National Suicide Prevention Hotline.

1-800-273-8255

If you or someone you know needs help….do everything you can to get the help. I’m not saying it’s cure or the best solution, but it’s something.

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