50k Training. Finally.

I’m sitting in the comfy chair. In sweatpants. Drinking Irish coffee. Watching football. Reading books.

Icing my ankle.

And my hips. The swayless ones.

Remember how I have a 50k trail race next weekend?

Remember how I haven’t trained, or even run, at all since Iron Mountain?

Remember how I’m in this step competition at work?

Yeah, I know. I don’t pay that much attention to me, either. But these are all true facts. I looked them up.

I didn’t have to work this weekend. Or attend a race. Or a birthday party. And Goatfinder sent me this super accurate pic this morning.

So I started planning early last week how I could best ignore my ankle and just throw my body straight into as much pain as possible.

We all know the answer to that one, right? Where does one go when they want to say “fuck you” to their body?


So I made OT commit to a North Mountain Loop this morning.

That wasn’t hard. Y’all know him.

Except then Tiny Brazilian started planning her own little sunrise hike up Roanoke Mountain. And obviously I couldn’t not be included in that.

So I made OT agree to do that first. And then we’d hit up North Mountain after.

May as well see something pretty before facing down the world’s ugliest mountain.

TB’s plan, though…

She’s so cute.

Ok. We’d start at the last overlook before the mountain. That’s what she kept saying. Every time I asked for clarification.

There are three ways to come in to Roanoke Mountain.

So it stands to reason that there are three last overlooks before the mountain.

But somehow I’m the only idiot that couldn’t figure out where the hell she was talking about.

GUM SPRINGS, Sunshine!

I mean, you didn’t have to yell. I just needed someone to call it what it is…

Ok. So now which one is Gum Springs?

It’s fine.

I found it.

Now, I’m not sure what TB’s sudden obsession with firsts is, but she’d also decided we’d only hike to the first overlook on the mountain to watch the sunrise.

And I know y’all may not believe this, but I had enough insight to ask if we’d be on the right side of the mountain to watch the sunrise from the first overlook.

No, I know. I think it was less my understanding of geography and astronomy and more some supernatural instinct offering up a premonition. Which really is the more likely scenario.

My grandmother had the gift.

But I was assured that TB had done recon and knew what she was doing.

So we hiked the mile and a half up to the first overlook. And waited.

And waited.




I mean, that’s pretty.

But the actual sun…

Was wayyyy over on the other side.

It’s fine.

What would I write about if things always (or ever) went as planned?

Ran back down to our cars, and tried to convince a few folks to join OT and I at North Mountain.

No one wants to go to North Mountain, Sunshine. It’s the worst place in the world. Stop asking us to go there with you.

Well, as it turns out, OT and I didn’t want to go there, either.

So we rolled over to ODB to eat breakfast and develop a new plan.

OT kept throwing out trail names. And saying things like, “you know where…” and “remember that part of Conquer the Cove that…” And initially I would nod my head like I totally know where and absolutely remember that part. But then the fear that he would turn me loose in the woods without any guidance or supervision led me to finally remind him who he was talking to.

Let’s just assume that I NEVER know where or remember that part. Just tell me what place to tell Waze to take me to.

We landed on the new Hinchee trail. Out and back. Ten miles. New territory.

Now, I don’t need much water for ten miles on a 55 degree day. I really don’t generally carry water for less than 15.

But it was just me and OT. And I know how he works. If he’s suggesting 10 miles, go ahead and assume you’re doing 20.

And the fact that he rolled out of his car with just a 12 ounce water bottle did nothing to reassure me. This dude has water stashed all over Roanoke County.

And I wasn’t wrong. Because once we finally got to Brushy, where we’d turn around and head back down, OT had that look in his eyes.

“We could run on over to Trough and then come back across Timberview.”

I don’t even know what those words mean. I’m just here to follow direction.

And even though we did a decent pace on the way up, OT hadn’t seemed compelled to just take off on me. Which meant that the route was fine, but not particularly pleasing to him.

But once we hit Brushy, it’s like he was home. Dude took off. And once we turned onto Trough, he was out. He flew down that mountain like he was on wheels.

I carefully picked my way down the mountain like I’m the fragile 45-year old woman with swayless hips and an ankle injury that I actually am.

When we got to this sign, he briefly glanced back and said, “Which do you think?”


Expert option, obviously.

I will say that running down Trough, instead of up, is way more fun.

But my hips were complaining more and more loudly. Bitch, what are you actually thinking? We are in no way prepared for this. We are in no way a functioning part of your body anymore. Just stop it.

But see. I still had to get over Timberview to my car. Timberview. Road. In trail shoes. On a bad ankle. With just really pissy hips.

Such a bad idea.

I spent three miles arguing with every part of my body and promising that if it would just get us back to our car, I’d give it Doritos and alcohol and a big comfy chair for the rest of the day.

That worked.

When we got back to our cars, OT asked if I needed anymore.

And if I’d said yes, he would have probably taken me out for another 10-15 miles.

And if I my son wasn’t out of town this weekend, leaving the dogs completely in my care, I probably would have said yes.

Because I do need more.

I’ve got 31 miles to do next weekend.

And the 13 miles I got in today is not nearly enough to prepare me for that.

But since I’m super good at adulting now, I said no.

And crawled into my car.

And tried to work the clutch without bending my ankle. And stretching my hips at every stoplight. And blasting the heat, because fall. Finally.

So I think my plan to just sit here cuddled up in this comfy chair for the rest of the day is the best possible plan. Right?

I can always stretch tomorrow.

4 thoughts on “50k Training. Finally.

  1. Good luck next weekend. I look forward to that report. What did you think of Hinchee Trail? I hope to test that out soon.

    • The trail itself is just basic unimpressive fire road. But as Nate pointed out to me (because I would NOT have figured it out on my own) it opens up so many new route options through the Cove. And it’s so easy to get.

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