A Week of Fire and Ice

This post is going to be able the last week of my life, Saturday to Saturday. It started out in Colorado, where I was hanging out with these two adorable little ones (my nieces).

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I was in charge of them for the evening while their parents shopped for fruit trees. They had thrown chicken in the oven before they left and I was feeding the girls other food. The timer beeped and I was hungry, so I ate. The chicken wasn’t super crispy but I was only half paying attention. Fast forward an hour and my brother noted that it didn’t looked fully cooked and threw it back in. Uh-oh. I’ll spare you the details, but just know that from 2:30-6:30am I was in the bathroom more than I was in my bed.

Sunday, Brother and I were supposed to get in my 17-mile long run. Not a chance. I spent the day recovering and still feeling pretty miserable. We had a great visit with some of our cousins that night, but all I was able to eat was a plain bagel and a peach muffin. All day. The adults agreed that I could try my long run Monday morning if I kept that food down overnight and took it easy. I wasn’t convinced that running my longest run to date, at altitude, in snow, and after essentially not eating for 36 hours, was the best idea. But I said I’d sleep on it and we’d see. I woke up to the view below Monday morning but felt better (ish), so I ate some protein and we set off with the agreement that we’d do a loop course so I could stop and/or go to the bathroom as needed.

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The first seven mile loop wasn’t bad, I was doing okay, slow but okay. Then we paused for the bathroom around 8.5 miles, still good but I couldn’t fathom that we were only halfway done. Then we ran uphill, into a headwind, for like half a mile. After which, I kindly reminded my brother that his job was to talk and entertain me ๐Ÿ™‚ I should pause to mention to those of you that don’t know, he’s an Ultramarathoner and Ironman, so this run was a jog in the park for him. Especially at the pace I was able to go. I struggled through to 14 miles. Then we turned the corner for home and I was fine… Until I knew there was less than a mile left. Then I was done. I think I asked a dozen times how much more (J had the GPS watch). But we made it! 3:20 was the time, almost 50 minutes than my 16 mile run the week before, but I’ll take it.

Transition time! Monday night I flew back to the warm, sunshine of California. Little did I know how much I would come to fear that in the coming days…

Tuesday I worked at the store and there were reported fires in Rancho Santa Fe, an affluent community inland from us. We didn’t think too much of it at the time as fires are common in SoCal and it was an unusual 100 degrees with 20 mph winds. Wednesday I was curriculum writing at a coffee shop and remember hearing every few hours that another fire had broken out. One as close an half a mile from my old Carlsbad house. Many of my friends were evacuated from their homes and all of us were nervous. Wednesday night the eighth fire broke out, this one in San Marcos, and this shot was taken.

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Thursday morning dawned to much of the same weather, with fires completely uncontrolled and starting to affect homes. Our first responders and firemen were doing an amazing job and were able to save entire neighborhoods from the fire. In total, one transient person and less then 30 homes were destroyed. Hard to believe when more than 10,000 acres were destroyed in San Diego County and on Camp Pendleton (see below). The biggest impact on me, thankfully, was that air quality was terrible. I worked out inside all week and even there, it was chalky and dry. I drank gallons of water and still felt parched. But that was a small price to pay compared to some, so I’ll gladly take it.

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After the temperatures broke and the heat subsided, people could return home and start the recovery process. My week ended on Saturday morning, when I opted to drive south down to Mission Bay to get in my 18-mile long run of the week. The air would be much better, traffic isn’t an issue, and it would be a nice change of scenery. I started out early with the intent to do an out-and-back course that included looping Fiesta Island, where I’ve run several triathlons in the past. Overall, my run went great! I was a little sluggish after the sun came out about mile 13, but my body held up and I crushed my pace from the week before! I finished in 2:57, which is about 9:48/mile pace. Impressive compared to the 11:45/mile pace of Colorado. It felt great to get that distance in by myself… Until I thought about the fact that I’ll have to go 8.2 additional miles in July. But I’ll get there! For now I’m just grateful that I have friends and family that support me in my running and my life. Oh, and it helped that I could remove my shoes and walk directly into the bay to cool off after my run ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy Monday everyone!

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