I won’t keep you in suspense: I volunteered to sweep at a trail race this weekend. (For the non-runners, the sweeper runs the course after the last runner; no brooms involved.) Having said that, I am going to keep you in suspense on the details for a few more paragraphs. First, a few other happenings:
A Kara update
Kara had her 6-week post-op appointment last week and everything is healing as it should. We will be working her up to 45-minute leashed walks over the next couple weeks before gradually increasing her off-leash time. She is allowed off-leash swimming, so we’ve made several trips to the nearest dog-friendly pond. Good for rehab and beating the heat.
A garden update
I have been picking raspberries almost every day for the past week or so. We have one bush that we planted last year, plus a few small “volunteers” that sprang up in rather inconvenient places. It’s hard to estimate since we keep eating the berries, but I think we’ll get at least 4 pints. Not bad for basically 1.5 bushes that we put approximately zero time and money into! I’m thinking I should try to transplant the volunteers into my empty front flower bed.
Between my garlic plants and the CSA, I can’t keep up with the amount of garlic scapes we’ve been getting. I have lots of recipes/ideas for using them – there are just so many! Good thing they keep for a while.
On the other hand, some of my tomato and squash plants are shooting up, while some appear not to be growing at all. They’re right next to each other – what gives?
Running & such
Monday: I was so tired Monday – I felt like I never really woke up. I don’t know why. I had planned to run, but didn’t. It wasn’t even really a decision, since 1) tired and 2) I only planned to run 3x this week since I knew my Saturday run would be longer than usual. I did do a yin yoga video. Or that might have been Tuesday. There was yoga some time early in the week.
Tuesday: Tuesday – Thursday was a conference that the research center I work in holds annually. I was up early to run the video camera for the first session, conference-d all day, then headed to the gym.
Wednesday: I planned to do my interval run Wednesday morning, since I knew I would be skipping the first conference session on medical biofilms. My delicate constitution cannot handle the gruesome medical images that inevitably show up during said session (also, I don’t study medical biofilms). Like last week, my interval paces were all over the place. I suspect this means my goal 5K pace is a bit too aggressive…
Thursday: I planned to run early Thursday morning, but my pillows were too persuasive. After conference wrap-up, lab work, gym, and taking Kara to the vet, I finally got around to running around 7:30 pm. Thursday was the hottest day of the week (/year?), and it was still far too warm for my liking. I only managed 2 slow miles.
Friday: Rest + yoga.
Saturday: I swept the 15K route of the Crosscut trail race. (For more about the race, here’s my recap from when I ran the 25K.) It was still hot Saturday, and the volunteer instructions said sweepers would start around 10:30….knowing I would be running relatively slowly, I showed up around 9 and was thankfully able to start running about 9:30. I was even slower than I expected – turns out pulling the many, many course flags will slow you down/keep you from maintaining a good pace on downhills – and by the time I was through the shady middle part of the course, it was 80+ degrees.
A couple miles from the end of the course, I met two sweepers who had started after me. They suggested I run down the road and let them sweep the remainder of the course (much of which is such a steep downhill as to not really be runnable). I was grateful to accept – apart from the easier running surface, it was nice not to be grabbing flags every minute or so. I ended up running 10.8 miles (the road added some distance) in a bit over 3 hours.
Despite the heat and sun (oh, and the bugs – I didn’t even mention the bugs), I am really happy with this run. It’s the longest distance I’ve covered since I raced Crosscut 2 years ago. More importantly, I’m not especially sore or tired today. I’m starting to feel like I can run longer distances without needing a full week to recover…and without dreading a full-on flare if I do the tiniest bit too much. Maybe…I can actually start planning races months in advance now?
Have you ever swept a race?
Do you run in the evening during summer? How do you handle the heat?