HI AUGUST. And hi blog. I’ve missed you.

Since I last posted a few weeks ago, I attempted and failed to run a 100k, worked for a week at a Breckenridge camp for brain injured patients WHICH WAS AWESOME, and hiked three more 14ers with Dan. Which was also awesome.

I also finally made friends with the goat near my house. The one that I take weekly pictures of and look at in my free time. It turns out he wanted to be friends in exchange for some fresh grass.

Goat cat

Goat bff
Wtf pupils.

And Dan’s mom got us a dehydrator for our birthdays which is awesome. We have used it a few times a week to make delicious fruit candy.

Dehydrator

OK time for a recap.

Running Half of a 100k

Over the spring and early summer I trained for a 100k. I may have posted about it a dozen times or something. Well, I’m ambivalent to report that I made it half way and just gave up. Yup, gave up. It was one of the more anticlimactic endings I could have imagined.

The few weeks preceding I took off from running because I was so dang tired. I definitely overdid it between all the running + working late nights and not sleeping well + trying to do all the 14ers. And so come race morning I was not mentally there, I just wanted to see how far I could go. We could get into some “sports psychology” or general therapy principles of quitting before I arrived and blah blah blah.

I felt pretty good for 20 miles and had fun chatting with people and gawking at all the pretty stuff around me. After that, I started to hit a wall as the heat increased. Then for about five miles I really couldn’t figure out why anyone would be doing this. The thought of running in the dark for several hours was probably part of my undoing as well.

100 k race Colorado

100 k race Colorado

100 K race Colorado
Arrow indicates point of mental breakdown.
100 k race Colorado
This was steep.
100 k race Colorado
SOS help.

100 K Race Colorado

But yeah, I went back to an aid station and just sat for about an hour trying to decide what to do. Hint, thinking of quitting for more than a few minutes –> quitting. Right after, I felt relief that it was over and vowed I wouldn’t run more than a half marathon ever again. The next day I felt depressed that I didn’t give it my all and that I would never have another chance. I spent most of the day resting my aching legs and looking up more races. And also playing hours of Skyrim. And now, a few weeks out, I feel detached and wanting to just run for fun and not for training.

Brain Injury Alliance of Colorado Camp

A week after the 100k, I volunteered as a camp nurse at the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center. The camp was through the Brain Injury Alliance of Colorado and hosted 12 participants, 12 one-on-one buddies for the participants, and 10 BOEC staff members. I drove up with a friend from work who volunteered as a one-on-one buddy.

In the first few weeks at my job I learned about this camp and trigger finger-like signed up immediately. I do this a lot. Say yes immediately and then think about the realities later, when regret can properly seep into my brain right as I’m trying to sleep. Overall I was very excited about this camp for months, but as with most things, started to get nervous a few days before. I like to convince myself that all of the worst-case scenarios will happen, because that’s definitely the best way to prepare. What if multiple people have seizures at the same time? Or a herd of raccoons lives in the attic and attacks at night? What if I sleep walk into the lake?

The worst things that happened were lack of sleep and campers falling a lot, one fall resulting in a broken wrist. And she just went to urgent care and got it splinted and then went white water rafting the next day. So overall a success.

The first few nights I didn’t sleep much. I was in a room with five other people and being a 30+ year old means I don’t do this shit anymore. It was hot in the air conditioner-less attic and >1 person snored so I had many hours to stare at the dark ceiling. When I’m too hot, my brain amps up and decides that it’s the exact perfect time to dissect each event from the day. I spent the last few nights of camp sleeping outside on the deck under the stars and it was incredible. Cool mountain air, the sound of a nearby stream soothing me to sleep under a blanket of stars, and no intermittent snoring to jolt me awake.

BIAC Summer Camp
Riding a recumbent bike was fun.
BIAC Summer Camp
Ropes course.

BIAC Summer Camp

Anyways, the camp is magic. I heard multiple participants’ family members comment that they had been searching for years and finally found this place. About half of the participants had been there for 10+ summers. In their daily lives, most of the campers never get to do activities even remotely close to what the camp offers, so it’s a week of bliss. At my hospital I work with people who have acute-stage brain injuries, so seeing brain injured patients 2, 10, 30 years out from injury and living life was amazing. We did white water rafting, a high ropes course, and biking. Getting to see the participants do these things, and the amount of joy it brought them, made me tear up on multiple occasions. My heart hasn’t completely turned to stone yet. The nights were spent hanging out, playing games, having a dance party, and enjoying a carnival night. I was sad to say goodbye to some of the campers. They made a way bigger impact on me than the other way around.

14er Weekend

This past weekend we hiked Castle, Conundrum, and La Plata Peaks. The ultimate goal for the weekend was to hike Capitol Peak, one of the harder 14ers. A large portion of the 17 mile hike is above tree line, has lots of exposure and a lot of tricky route finding so it’s one that needs good weather. The weather didn’t look great for Saturday so we decided to hike Castle and Conundrum.

Castle Peak Colorado 14er
Top of Castle Peak
Conundrum Peak Colorado 14er
Top of Conundrum Peak

Sunday we were again thinking of doing Capitol because at first the weather was predicting 20% chance of thunderstorms in the morning. But as it had done for the entire preceding week, it switched a few hours later to 50% chance of thunderstorms so we decided to drive to La Plata. What a pretty hike.

La Plata Peak Colorado 14er

La Plata Peak Colorado 14er

La Plata Peak Colorado 14er

La Plata Peak Colorado 14er

La Plata Peak Colorado 14er
Storms a rollin’ in

Not that it has any bearing on what our outcome would have been, but someone died on Capitol Sunday. The second one in a month. Sad news. It sounds like it wasn’t even weather related.

We cut the trip short to view a house that popped up, made an offer well over asking price, and lost. Dammit Denver market. We thought we had a good chance, too. Time to move to Idaho.

The end.

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5 Comments

  1. I am in awe that you can even fit in a blog with your active life! The dedication you put into training for the 100 km is astounding. Your body was telling you something and you were smart to listen. Stick to those 14ers which sound and look far more pleasant (LOVE the header photo with the wildflower meadow). What an awesome experience with the camp. This is a great post!

    • ashleyoutside Reply

      Thanks so much 🙂 14ers it is for the rest of the summer, they’re way more fun anyways…

  2. Love all those mountain sceneries from your hikes. Bummer about the house bid. If you’re not in a hurry to buy, maybe wait out the next bubble burst? 😁 We bought our house in Virginia near the peak of the last housing bubble. Good thing we stayed in that house for 12 years and came out fine when we sold it…but 12 years was too long to wait for the recovery.

    • ashleyoutside Reply

      Great advice – we are definitely worried about buying at the top of the bubble. I’m glad your house recovered but 12 years is a very long time to wait out! The funny thing is when we bought our house a few years ago we thought we were nearing the top of the bubble and it’s only gone up since then. So now we must be close?? I think if we were renting at this point and not already in the market we would just wait. We’ve also been floating the idea of buying land and Dan building a house at this point…

      Also, I may have thought of you when I posted the wildflower picture 🙂 drawing inspiration from all of your amazing pictures!

  3. Pingback: Day in the Life...Neuro Rehab Nurse • Ashley Outside

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