It's getting real

I went to Mexico as I do every year in early July. Had a great swim in Sayulita as my brother SUP'd nearby (I just don't like ocean swims when I'm alone) - we went past Playa de los Muertos, out to the point. Along the way someone came and nipped at the bottom of my foot, just to see what that big, slow white thing was. Not a bad swim, though it was hard to work with water as warm as it was. (I told Robert and Alexandra that NOTHING was cool down there - the furniture, the air, the pillow, the air from the fan, the water from the bubbler, the ocean... nothing. was. cool.)

Went for an hour's run out behind the polo field. There's a dirt road that isn't cobblestoned, which is nice. I set an alarm and got up before the sun got too hot, though by the time I got back it was cooking. Everything I was wearing was wet. It hadn't been raining there but it's right by the ocean, after all. I kicked up tons of dust, and between the sunscreen and sweat on my legs I was covered with dirt.

A couple of days later I had a long run to do. Had heard from some altacacker in the jungle that there was a loop route, and as I had always turned around at this one point on the Avenido de Buddha (?? sorry) I figured that today was the day to find that loop route, so when I reached my long time turnaround I kept going.

Came to a fork in the road and stayed on the Avenido de Buddha. Got a little concerned as grass began to appear in the middle of the dirt road, but I hung on until the road dead-ended at the very top of a hill with spectacular views. Ocean over there and jungle everywhere else.

That meant, of course, that I needed to take the other road at the fork, so I did. I ran forever (when you get higher up and farther from the beach, there aren't so many land crabs any more - by the ocean there is the constant sound of land crabs scurrying to safety as they see / hear you coming; moving sideways with their dukes up, as if to say COME AT ME, BRO) and finally came to another fork in the road.

This time I knew which way the ocean was, and since I had started near the ocean, I descended way, way down - quad-burning descent - and ended up on some private beach where I had been once before, though I couldn't figure out when, which would have helped me figure out which way was home.

Nothing to do but climb back up that huge hill - walking quite a bit, by the way (I have worn a heart rate monitor in the jungle and know that my HR can drop to 150 if I walk up some of those hills) and made it back to that second fork in the road, where I went the other way again.

After running for a while on this road I realized with a mixture of relief and horror that I knew where I was - ahead of me was the 200, the very narrow and very busy jungle highway running from Vallarta to Tepic. There is no shoulder on this road. The jungle creeps as best it can onto the highway, where it is beaten back by trucks, buses and cars that simply cannot move over as they pass on account of the trucks, buses and cars coming the other way. They don't build roads through the jungle with extra capacity.

Very high pucker factor. A mama with some niƱos was waiting for a ride at the 200, and she pointed me in the *correct* direction to San Pancho, giving me a sympathetic look as I asked her how far it was.

Turned out to be about three miles. Three long, hilly, rather terrifying miles. I kept fearing that a truck would come by just as I caught my foot on some tendril from the jungle, but mercifully it didn't happen.

I saw a pickup truck with tri bikes in the back going the opposite direction; they gave me a honk of solidarity. Truth be told I would have preferred a ride back to SP, but I soldiered on.

Made it back and spent the rest of the day (Sunday) hydrating and eating and taking in salt as best I could. I had had my hydration and a couple of bars on the run, but my two hour run had stretched to three hours and I was tired.

A couple of days later I set my alarm and went out behind the polo fields again. For some reason it was a really hard run, though I wasn't going fast at all. Really took it out of me. That was Tuesday; my jungle run (never did find that loop - come to think of it I think it's the road to the right that comes long before my turn around point on Buddha) had been on Sunday. I was seriously out of it until the middle of the afternoon; the thought of getting up and going across the room seemed daunting, as though I had a fever.

We left San Pancho on Wednesday (and not long after we left there was a downpour; the rain that we had been waiting for finally came - but we were long gone).

(Our last night in SP we ate tacos at Los Arbolitos and I way overdid it on the habanero salsa. Told Mark that despite the Pepto Bismol that Wobbie bought me we may not be going anywhere the next morning. Took most of the day for me to feel human again, and for the first time ever when we hit Navojoa and our favorite taco stand on. the. planet. I passed right by the habanero salsa.)

Thursday morning I woke up early and headed out to see Navojoa as a runner sees it. Found a cool water park that they're building (and by that I mean "interesting", not "of a comfortable temperature"), a monument to a military leader, a Woolsworth (? how long has it been since you saw that brand?) but at 49 minutes I was at our hotel and DONE running; I just didn't have another 11 minutes in me.

Turned out that there was something going on with me; this extreme fatigue followed me home and I just couldn't train. Finally Caroline gave me some sublingual b tabs and I think that they helped.

I hid from Gregory (my coach) but he finally called me and chastised me for wanting to go back out long and hard as though I had not had an interruption in my training. Spent the last few days dabbling at training (Ironman Wisconsin? What Ironman Wisconsin?) - and today I swam early and ran as the rain began in the afternoon. Had my fastest run since demo-ing my Hokas on June 6th, and that included my slow warmup mile.

With any luck at all I'll ride tomorrow, then run track Wednesday morning and swim that afternoon. Want to work hard all week so I'm ready for a long ride this weekend.

Next weekend we go to Michigan. Training heaven but heavy on family time, which I love, and hard to escape obligation despite the surroundings.

It's crunch time for IMMOO training. Gotta make the cow tattoo on my leg proud.