On the schedule for this week: 10 miles at Red Rock Canyon! The toughest course the team will run during our whole training. Steep uphills, plus you gotta come back down the hills too! I think this run/walk is probably harder than our 12-miler is going to be.
To start off, we had a costume contest… since our run took place the day before Halloween. Aaron, our endurance manager, called it the “Scare the Colitis out of your Teammates” costume contest. Even though we had a lot of people out of town for this run (it was also a long weekend here in Nevada for a state holiday on Friday) the turn out that we had was pretty strong with their costumes. We had a couple dressed as bacon & eggs, we had a bloody doctor with an anal probe, a blind referee, a bumble bee, a butterfly, a banana, Fred & Wilma Flintstone and lots more!
I wore devil ears and I had a shot glass covered in flames that said “Hot Shot” attached to a garter belt on my leg. I was the devil running coach, complete with my own water cup. Most of the people laughed at that and said, “You’re too nice to dress up as a devil!” That’s the whole point of Halloween, to dress up as an opposite to what you are!
A few runners de-costumed after the contest, but most of the team ran in their costumes! I took my red fleece jacket off and ran in a half-zip long-sleeve top over a tank top. Unfortunately the wind kicked up and got really strong about a half mile into our run. My devil ears kept blowing off, so I ended up carrying them for most of the run.
When we got 5 miles in, to our turn around point I looked up at the canyon and asked Aaron, “Um… was a storm predicted for today?” He said, “I didn’t think so, but it sure looks like it, huh?
There was no way to outrun it, the storm was coming in fast and we were going to end up in the storm. And storm it did. The wind got even stronger at times and the rain came down, biting into us because it felt so cold. There was even a moment when it started to hail! When I got back to our start/finish line I headed straight to my car to retrieve my fleece, but then I was wearing damp clothes under a fleece. I should have stripped off the wet top & tank before putting the fleece on, but I was just thinking “more layers, more layers, more layers”. My hands were pretty frozen though, I had a hard time pushing the button to get my car unlocked! I should have taken a photo of myself after the run because my hair was all over the place, the wind had pulled it partly out of my headband so it was standing up at odd angles.
Overall the team did great and most of them felt a huge boost in confidence after completing this. Not only was it a tough course, but we had some fun weather elements to battle. Everyone that finished said that they’re not nearly as scared for the 13.1 miles coming up in just a few weeks!
But they were also grateful to be heading into a step back week now too!
I am coaching a group of runners for the organization Team Challenge. They are fundraising for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America while training to run the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas half marathon in December.