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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.