On Sunday it hurt a little, but something erupted on Monday and it bubbled into a full oozing blister complete with frequent bleeding and intense pain. Symptoms also included difficulty eating, drinking coffee and all other liquids through a straw, inability to sleep at night because it felt like a hot iron was pressed against my mouth at all hours, and uncharacteristic reluctance to venture outside. I had absolutely zero interest in the hot sun and anything under it, but figured this wasn't the best timing to sit inside for a week nursing this "injury." I slathered the third-degree mess in a thick layer of sunscreen and balm and forced myself out for a few short runs, reasoning that running is slower than biking and thus less likely to produce pain-inducing wind. But my spring allergies are also a mess right now; I can only breathe through my mouth, and every breath was like sucking fire. Argh. I was in such agony, but how much can you sulk over things you do to yourself, and silly things at that?
All in all it was a sister fantastic trip — we watched chick flicks, tried Shabu-Shabu (Lisa referred to the dish as "Japanese fondue"), ate frozen bananas on Balboa Island, and did the kinds of things sisters tend to do in So-Cal. My lip blister had almost sealed (not healed, I did mean sealed) when I drove home on Saturday. I'm pretty sure I'll have some permanent scarring from this incident.
Besides the allergies I felt strong until a series of steep descents after Rose Peak, where I discovered that my downhill running technique is back to being sucky again. I suppose my running mileage has been reduced over the past few months and probably led to a lapse in confidence and return to bad habits. Every step was stiff and jerky; there was frequent skidding on the loose dirt, picking bad lines through the rocks and stumbling, panicking about hurting myself and and doing more downhill walking than anyone who calls themselves a trail runner should do. Pathetic. I shouldn't be running like this anymore, even if I took a substantial amount of time off. And I'm still running through my bike training, so I'm not exactly sure what happened today. At least uphill strength managed to pick up some of the slack. I mostly stayed near the same set of folks through the end of the race, so I finished where I should have. (Not sure where that was. 7:18 was the time. Nineteen minutes slower than the 6:59 in 2012 that I thought was fantastic, because Ohlone is not a fast 50K for most.) But yeah. Running. So hard. Why is it so hard? I do have fun with running though, in no small part because nothing about it comes easily.
I didn't do a single bike ride this week. I blame lips.