Work Run Repeat

I need a vacation soon. This has been a trying week, but mostly because it started out with needing a new radiator last-minute, totally throwing off any sort of schedule that I can never really count on, anyway. Here’s what happens: I plan, plan, plan. Then it changes. But, that’s just trucking. Heck, that’s life. So… I’ve got a delivery 1,200 miles from home, and my trailer will be ready at 2pm. I’ve got it all figured out, so I get up a little later than normal and head to town with my duffel of clothes, clean dishes and a huge tote full of healthy food for my fridge. I know it’ll all just barely fit in there, too. It’s a small fridge, but bigger compared to the fridges I’ve seen in most other trucks. It’s one of the features of this truck I really love. Anyway, fridge-lovin’ aside, I get to my truck, toss in my stuff and pop open the hood right away. It’s Tuesday and the shop where I park is still open. I always like to do my pre-trip as soon as I can just in case something is a little off. That way there might be time to have them take a quick peek. Usually all is well, and I move on with my planned day. Not today.

Turns out my radiator is cracked. After all was said and done, I was set back a precious 7 hours (but better than the two days if they hadn’t had the parts – silver lining?) and I was on my way – only to have to make another pit stop in Milwaukee to have a hose clamp adjusted and my coolant topped off again. Because almost all of it leaked out, setting off my red-blinky-noisy-scary stop-alarm on my dashboard. And after that was all taken care of, I had to wiggle this beast of a vehicle through a construction-peppered downtown Milwaukee at night. That was fun. Well, no, it wasn’t fun, it was sketchy. But I made it unscathed. Sometimes I look back on stuff like that and wonder how. How did I even?

So, yeah. It’s been a stressful week. Adam’s still out west, and in order to not miss him I’ve been trying to not think about him (he’s so busy with the movie set that we’ve hardly talked -at all – mostly just some text messages here and there).

In Oregon getting beardy and doing movie things!

It’s impossible not to think about him, as it turns out, but the working and running has kept me busy enough, I guess. But I’m feeling a little disconnected from him. And a little blue. I know once we see each other those feelings of disconnect will dissolve and we’ll be back to normal in no time, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t wearing on me a little bit.

And I’m thinking more and more about using a week of my vacation to, I dunno, do nothing? I want to hike and visit friends and visit family and catch up with people I love and camp and sleep and eat ice cream and float down rivers and sit in front of bonfires and go for long runs and see more friends and more family and catch up some more and sleep more and hike a really long trail for like 8 months. But I have a week. When? What? Vacation is even stressing me out right now. What’s my best use of a week off? When should I take it? Who do I see? Where do I go? How do I do everything all at once? I need to do all the things and immerse myself in the company of all my people!! Because I miss everyone so hard! Ugh. Guess I’ll just keep working. It’s too much to think about.

I do have two events coming up that I’m looking forward to, though. Just weekend deals, as of now… And it’s races! It’s been forever since I’ve done a race, and I’m pretty excited, actually. I signed up for a 50K (31 miles) in July, and a 50-MILE race that’s in August, because apparently I’m officially crazy. I was on the wait list for the 50-miler and honestly didn’t know if I’d get in, so I kind of put it out of mind and focused on my 50k – that one was a for-sure thing. So I came up with a very flexible training plan about 2 months ago and got to work on it.

Because of my job, I did get the opportunity to do a couple of “runs” in the mountains. Which thoroughly kicked my arse.

Training for an ultra race is hard as a truck driver. Mostly because finding time and places to run is exhausting. Also because if I’m not running, I’m sitting. Driving. A lot. And my legs get twitchy and need to stretch and move. Whenever I’m home I get in a longer run, and on the road I try to get in two our three shorter runs and some body-weight strength workouts in where I can. And, lately, headstand attempts, which I’m terrible at.

Headstand in the truck! Getting there, but still pretty horrible at them!

I’ve somehow managed to keep up with my plan so far, but it’s kind of tiring me out, and I’m trying to take it easy this week – and already looking for the next chance I’ll have to run. Tomorrow, I think. If there’s a safe place to run from wherever I park my truck. Sigh… Turns out actually running is the easy part of this. Who would’ve thought?

Oh. And then suddenly? I’m #2 on the wait list for that 50-miler! So chances are pretty good I’m going to get in. And now I’m kind of freaking out. My last 20-mile run was a beatdown, and I’m already nervous about my last long training run (25 miles) and my 50k race. Can I even DO 50 miles? Yes. I can. It’s going to probably hurt – really bad – but I can do it. Right?

I keep thinking about the Frozen Otter. I’ve done that twice, and it’s 64 miles. But it’s also a winter race, which really is a whole different beast. And I had 24 hours to do that one – it was probably mostly hiking and some running. These races are going to have shorter time cutoffs and I hope more running than hiking. And a lot more sweating. I’m a total noob when it comes to ultrarunning. So I’m definitely learning as I go, and we’ll see how it turns out. I’m really just winging this thing.

As of right now, my confidence obviously isn’t super-high, but I’m just going to keep plugging away and try to focus on the 50k for now. That’s on July 14. One month away. 50k. Focus.

One of my fave photos from a mountain run in Missoula, MT at the top of Mt. Jumbo. Loved this run!

But even before that, this cup of hot decaf coffee while these guys finish unloading my trailer. Then I drive towards Boston, and then towards home where I can start another crazy week all over again. But hopefully this time a good long run and no new parts will be needed on my truck. Fingers crossed.

Tonight I love seeing my coolant tank full. I really do.

That’s a nice thing right there. A full coolant reservoir!

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4 thoughts on “Work Run Repeat

  1. I think training for an ultra on its own is stressful, much less as a truck driver. I find when I’m super scheduled, it’s just tiring and you eventually need a break. The sitting or running would be hard too. I get stiff.

    I recently ran a half marathon in May. I have a training program starting up in July for an uphill half marathon (4000 ft elevation gain). Half of me wanted to have a set May/June training program so I could keep my base run distance and pace where it was. The other half of me needs an effing break from the schedule.

    I’ve been binge-ing on Instagram and following a bunch of PCT hikers.

      • Santa Barbara, CA. It starts at the Pier (Ocean), goes to the top of a 4000 ft mountain!

        There’s one tiny bit of downhill – I think at about mile 11, you hit the ridge, have a little downhill before you go up the last mile climb to the next ridge.

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