Sunday, November 14, 2010

Running On Slow Mo

As I mentioned in a previous post this year I have decided to have what I am deeming an "off season".  My body has been begging for a break since Transrockies.  With little thought my initial goal was to not run for a few weeks.  Not even two days into this attempt I found myself pacing back and forth in my kitchen feeling like I was going through withdrawal.   I was grumpy, felt like I was trapped and even went so far to compare it to being being tarred and feathered.  Yes that is a bit extreme, but important used to illustrate how hard it felt mentally, physically and emotionally. Running is a huge part of my life and my routine so it felt very difficult and I panicked. I ran that day, those following, and realized it was time to reevaluate.   I knew removing running completely would be difficult unless I was involuntarily forced to that extreme due to illness or injury.  I decided that cutting my miles and intensity was the new plan of action while placing more emphasis on cross training, adventure, and plain old fun.

The plan for Nick and I on Saturday was to do a fast pack on Mount Mansfield.  We would start on the Underhill side, work our way to the forehead, then to the chin, and then do a loop on the Stowe side before heading back up and over to the car.  When Nick and I left Williston the temperatures were in the mid 20's, at the trail head we were in the mid 30's, by the top of the forehead it was easily in the 50's!  We moved from icy conditions to soft snow, to extreme mud to slippery rock and then finally dry rock.  Talk about temperature inversion.

We ran, hiked, walked, climbed and even stopped all movement and simply enjoyed the sunshine. It actually felt empowering to stop and walk rather than try and run every section.  It felt good to not be worried about what speed we were traveling at and how many miles we had ticked off.

After having a taste of some bouldering on Saturday it was time to strike out with Geo, Marc, Andrea and my father for some climbing in West Bolton.  I am afraid of heights, but was interested in doing some rappelling.  When Geo and I arrived at the top of the cliff so he could set the anchors and rope he offered to let me rappel first.  No such luck, I was too fearful to be a crash test dummy.  Of course he and Marc did a great job of setting ropes.  On my first climb quickly learned that I don't use my "climbing muscles" when I run.  Within minutes, ok lets be honest, within seconds my fingers, arms and shoulders were shot.

It was a great way to spend a beautiful fall day in the woods with friends and family.  Just 47 days until my off season is over and I hope to make the best of each moment that remains.


  1. Enjoy the offseason, Aliza. There'll be plenty of time to train when the time comes.

  2. I am fearful and excited for the journey that awaits me. Look forward to working with you soon!