Oh thank god. It must be all these fucking trips up hills to see statues of the virgin mary because running is finally getting awesome again (it's like tagging 14'ers in the rockies or something, but with less mourning mothers. I assume.).
I've finally hit a solid week of training for the first time in a month. It was really getting me down, frankly. What I've learned is this: I DON'T regret the extremely reduced mileage and intensity that I put forth over the past 5 weeks. What I DO regret is my attitude regarding that lower-output. I let it become something negative, but I needed that rest. My body needed it. However, I didn't permit my mind to rest, also. I could have seriously enjoyed the extra time I had, but instead I felt guilty and lazy and shitty. ...For no reason now that I can possibly fathom.
IN SHORT: lesson learned. Don't be an asshole.
As if I'll ever learn that particular lesson...
I found some actual trails through the woods near where I live. It's been so nice being able to get out of the city and feel isolated in the forest...especially when the views of the Andes are incredible and there are horses roaming around in herds. The last 800m of the climb is un-runnable. Just hiking. So, that's cool and very different for me.
I entered the Talca Army's 10K race yesterday and placed 3rd overall, in 36:33. I was surprised that A) I ran it much faster than I would have guessed given my training and B) that a very so-so time was enough for 3rd place. Endurance sports are a fairly new past time in Chile, I'm told. There was one older guy who ran it in about 31:00. We're gonna meet up for a run on Monday.
Things I like about racing in Chile (thus far):
-No crowds watching, so no cowbells. In fact, no one has any idea what the fuck you're doing. Which, at first, flipped me out, but then...it really brings your race into focus. You're there to beat people, not to show off your orange shorts. Queen.
-The Chilean warm up consists of either dancing to reggaeton or jogging socially in a tight circle. It's even better than it sounds.
-The prizes for the young kids and the masters runners were boxes of meat. Straight up.
-Chilean-style racing consists of running with serious Heart. 100m pace right off the gun.
-After announcing our names as we stood on the podium, the Chilean Army marching band launched into the national anthem. Dudes with giant machine guns stood guard. Awesome.
Three weeks until the half-marathon, supposedly. The weekend after is a 4K (yeah). Then, the weekend after that is The North Face Ultramaraton de Los Andes 80K.
I hope everyone is well! I still obsessively read every single one of everyone's posts and reports. It may be a bad habit, but it's better than doing drugs and/or talking about TV shows.
45 miles, the week before last. 64 miles this week.