Week 20, 2013: Race, finally!

It's been such a long time since I raced... too long. Except for the totally disastrous LA marathon in March, my last 50K race was the Montara Mountain race in that same month. But let's start at the beginning.

On Monday I am seeing my family off, so no time for sport. On Tuesday I go for my first CrossFit workout. We do presses, walking lunges and snatches, followed by a 1-mile run. It is intense (read: good).

In the evening I go for a hill run -- Black Mountain -- and what a run it is! After CrossFit I went for dinner and only afterwards drove to Black Mountain. That means that when I start running it's already pretty late. I don't know what's wrong with my brain but I don't realize that by the time I'll be back it's going to be dark. Completely dark. The irony is that I even have my headlamp in the car but I don't take it and happily start climbing Black Mountain.

It's such a tough route. I always naively think that I can kinda run to the top, only walking the most steep parts, but today, as usual, I'm more or less done after 3/4th of the climb. I finish two minutes slower than my PB.

When I reached the top it's getting dark, which means I cannot go too fast and it's getting darker by the minute. After a while it's completely dark and I am thankful that there's at least some moon up there, giving some weak light. Still, I have to walk. I remember that the note at the parking lot says that the park is closed and parking is forbidden after sunset. I hope my car is still there. Nah, must be.

Eventually I reach the parking, though in this darkness the descend took me as long as going up. I start stretching and hear someone shouting: 'Who's there?'. The conversation that follows is very surrealistic, but it seems that someone from the nearby possession thinks that there's someone (i.e. me) on their property. I'm trying to explain but we can hardly hear each other so it's not easy. I thank God that I'm not in Texas and that I may come out alive ;). Still, I skip stretching, jump in my car and drive away.

To my surprise some 10 minutes later there's a police car behind me and it's turning on the signal and letting me know that I should pull over. I wonder what's that about. Yes, perhaps I was going a bit faster than allowed, but not that much... The police car turns on full lights and I feel like in a movie. As it turns out it's about my conversation with the guy who thought I invaded his tennis court. He did not reach for his gun but instead he reached for his phone and called the police. Oh well. So I just chalked up one more U.S. experience: being stopped by the police :). Still, I feel pretty bad about the whole thing.

I know that I have to race on Sunday so no back to backs this week. I do another easy run on Wednesday and then on Thursday CrossFit again -- deadlifts and box jumps -- followed by an easy run in the evening.

On Friday I am hurting all over. My hamstrings are hurting -- that's deadlifts. My calves are hurting -- that's box jumps. But interestingly my abs are also hurting like hell, even though we did not do anything targeting them directly. I start to love CrossFit :).

So not to overdo it I only go for an easy 10K run on Friday and take Saturday off. Still, it's Saturday 11pm (that's when I wrote it, I published it on the following day), tomorrow I have to get up at 6am for the race and I wish I could say I'm fully recovered. I'm not. I'm still hurting and somehow I don't think that the night that's ahead will be enough to fix that. Still, I'd really love to improve my good result from the Montara Mountain. Will I be able to? I'll know soon enough...

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