Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Health, Running, Solo

Connecting with my old self

Back in the spring, when I had just been cleared to run again after my prolapse and I was in the middle of my big Sun Mountain training stoke, I was watching Ginger Runner Live and heard Gary Robbins mention his Whistler Alpine Meadows race. Now I should mention that it’s customary to enjoy an adult beverage when one watches Ginger Runner Live, and since I’m a total lightweight these days, let’s just say that this led me to immediately sign up for that race and missing some key details. Like the fact that it has over 5000 feet of gain. Gaah.

Melakwa - Pratt Loop 2017

So the next morning, when I realized just what I had done, I figured it wouldn’t be a problem because after Sun Mountain I could spend the whole summer training and I would keep losing weight, too. Wrong. I totally lost my running mojo after that race and I have unfortunately resorted to some of my old potato-chips-as-a-coping-mechanism ways to get me through a pretty bad bout of sleep deprivation, so my weight has been standing still for a month and a half.

Melakwa - Pratt Loop 2017

But! Lily is now successfully (at least for now? I’m totally jinxing it by writing these words) night weaned, and I once again have enough brain capacity to understand just how hard this race is going to be. So I’m turning to my blog for accountability – I’m cutting that crap out of my diet again and I am going to run run run. Including hills hills hills.

Melakwa - Pratt Loop 2017

I’m trying not to be too frustrated with myself for the loss of conditioning since Sun Mountain. Getting through everyday life is hard enough when you’re not sleeping without adding training on top of that. But yeah, I kind of feel like I’m starting from scratch again.

Melakwa - Pratt Loop 2017

JK said I should sign up for another race this summer to get my mojo back, but then we decided that instead of paying to run on Tiger or Cougar (where most of the close races that are short enough for me are in the summer), I should just go out on my own on my favorite loop in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.

Melakwa - Pratt Loop 2017

I used to do the Melakwa-Pratt loop every summer, but this would be my first time after having kids. That actually made me a little nervous beforehand – the stakes are just so much higher now – but once I was out there again, everything felt so right.

Melakwa - Pratt Loop 2017

After dropping me off at the Denny Creek trailhead, JK and the girls went off to meet some friends for a hike around Gold Creek Pond and lunch at The Commonwealth before coming back to pick me up at the Granite Mountain trailhead. This gave me a deadline of 4.5 hours, which worked out perfectly – it allowed for a leisurely lunch at upper Melakwa (one of my many Official Happy Places) but also made me push myself a bit and run some sections where I would normally dawdle. Perfect combo of enjoying the wilderness but also getting some good training.

Melakwa - Pratt Loop 2017

It was so beautiful out there. Now that we’re no longer out doing stuff like this every weekend, I realize how spoiled I used to be when it came to mountain views.

Melakwa - Pratt Loop 2017

I just had so much fun. I felt really good physically, even better mentally, and loved getting to reconnect a bit with my former self – the person I was before nursing and diapers. It’s not that I don’t love my life now (okay, maybe not the diapers so much), but it’s important to feel like I’m 100% my own person again sometimes.

Melakwa - Pratt Loop 2017

So yes, big stoking of the running fire going on right here. Hopefully it’ll carry over to runs down here on the Powerline, too. It’s easy to be motivated when you’re up in the mountains surrounded by pikas and tiger lilies and sparkling lakes.

Melakwa - Pratt Loop 2017

(What kind of devices are people using for tracking their runs these days? I’d like to start using Strava again for additional accountability, but I would rather not have the tracking on my phone since I am always out there alone and don’t want to waste battery life.)

Melakwa - Pratt Loop 2017

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  • Reply Lisa July 24, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    Good for you! I’m excited for your training and race (and gorgeous pictures, as always).
    I use Cyclemeter and Garmin Connect for my Vivoactive Garmin Heart Rate Monitor/Run tracker. The cyclemeter app is nice and you can change it to any activity you want.

  • Reply Mary July 24, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    I use a Garmin 920xt for all my multi sport stuff, but for pure running, I like my Garmin Vivoactive. It’s much smaller/lower profile than the 920.

  • Reply Jenetta July 24, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    Hi, I’ve followed your blog for a while but never commented. I also get out into nature and hiking these gorgeous trails to treat my depression and feel like myself again. It’s so good for us moms to get out and be by ourselves! I just this weekend hiked Mount Sawyer which was so beautiful and cheerful with all the flowers. Thank you so much for all the great hike posts and beautiful pictures of Seattle paradise. I moved here from the desert and I never want to leave, it’s heaven to me!

  • Reply christi July 25, 2017 at 10:13 am

    would something like a Garmin work better for you than an app like Strava?
    it will track your run, pace, elevation and you can wait to sync it up when you finish your run
    have you checked out Another Mother Runner? They have some trail / ultra training plans that might help you with motivation and accountability. And they totally get the sleep deprivation too!

  • Reply Laura July 28, 2017 at 10:15 am

    So glad you got to return to your favorite loop, and it looks like you had the perfect weekend for it! That rock in the middle of Upper Melakwa is definitely one of the best lunch spots in the Cascades – now you’re making me want to plan a weekend at Melakwa. I have yet to spend the night up there, and the trip we took last September definitely wasn’t long enough!

  • Reply AmySo August 1, 2017 at 8:05 am

    Wow. That is some beautiful running terrain. I soooooo want to do a trip up there to see all that beauty in person!

    I think that coming back to running (for whatever reason you stopped) is actually really difficult mentally. Because in your brain you can knock out the miles, but your body’s like…”nah, we don’t do that anymore.” You just have to be patient with yourself. “just.” :)

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