Monday, May 5, 2008

Am I there yet?

Saturday 5/3/08

7Am.......Geared up for my long X-country run. Perpetuem mixed and gel packs...packed...too bad it is overcast and raining....surely the trails will be wetter than last weekend. My goal was to run slower and get at least 14 miles in.

Started on the pit loop which was really nice. Even though it was sprinkling the air was warm and the pace though quite slow was actually quite enjoyable. So many sights I seem to miss when running faster. I ran both sides of the pit and emerged at approximately 4.7 miles.

I ran 1 tenth of a mile up the road and hit the old railroad bed. It was about 45 minutes into the run so I took an endurolyte and sucked down a gel ....I figure to take another one in 45 minutes. Within a quarter mile I found the power lines and headed south. I spent a lot of time snow shoeing this power line and thought it would be quite easy to reach the (east/ west) railroad track and end up at twin brooks.

I immediately hit some slippery conditions and lots of standing water. I had to slow down quite a bit to stay on my feet down the muddy slopes. Once I crossed the snowmobile bridge It became a little easier to negotiate the wet spots.

This was a little tougher than I thought and I found myself wondering if this route was a mistake. Then I crossed Doughty road and headed for the gravel pit....this was much better...though the sand was soft, at least it was fairly dry. I took this chance to circle the pit and explore some of the 4 wheeler trails here.

This pit part of the run was very enjoyable ....I found myself wondering why I had never run here last loop put me down in the bottom of the pit and right in the bottom I found a huge way around it and I didn't want to double back so I decided to climb the pit wall. It was quite steep but actually lots of fun as I remembered my younger days pit wall jumping and sliding down the wall on old car hoods.....problem was dragging them heavy hoods back up the wall!!

I left the pit and headed for the railroad tracks. Running through the open field I could see I was parallel with route 115 heading toward Yarmouth. I could finally see the tracks ahead as there was a train sitting there. Then the heavier rain started and I found some difficulty.... very wet ground.....jumping from high spot to high spot....zigzagging through the brush...was not helping my pace and also was not keeping my feet dry. The closer I got to the tracks the more I thought I wasn't going to make it with out swimming.

I started wishing they made some type of floaties I could mount on my shoes and skate across this swamp! I was not willing to give up as I was so close and besides it would be a long way back so I kept sloshing ......finally...I made it to the tracks. The train was just sitting there and I could hear the engine idling.

As I ran past the engine, the tracks opened up and there was an access road to the left ending at a switch station. Standing there was a guy with a backpack...I figured he must be from the train. As I ran past him toward what I figured was Greely road, A taxi drove by the access road, stopped, backed up and headed my way......I snickered as I thought, hey what service, a ride home...Anyway it wasn't there for me but was picking up the guy....pretty weird to park your train and call for a taxi...wonder if it was shift change...or his lunch break?

Well I turned up Greely and two tenths down the road I hit Twinbrooks.....Here I ate my second gel and endurolyte .....the trails here were nice compared to the power lines. I trotted around the trails for a few miles and then ran over to Tuttle and route 9 to head for home. At this point I was at mile 12 and the fatigue was settling in. I felt great in the trails but the minute I hit the road...bam...I realized how tired I was. I kept plugging and once I settled into the pace, things were OK...I guess the transition from trails to road just hit my legs hard.

Made it home with out collapsing or dieing so I guess it was a good run. I feel much better about my conditioning now as this run had some unforeseen difficulty and was able to continue...I was surely ready for a cup of coffee and a shower at this point. I ended at 15 miles and 2:35 hours so the pace was around 10:20 seems awful slow?

I walked about fours tenths of a mile as a cool down of sorts which put right back in my driveway. Felt good to turn down the driveway and think about sitting down. I did have a couple muscle spasms once I sat down to undress but after stretching, I felt ok...But very cold and tired.Ended up going 15 miles pretty happy with that. Not sure if I will run tomorrow...perhaps if it is not raining......

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