Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Pre Race 12 Miler
The pictures above have nothing to do with my run. I looked out the window yesterday and saw this group of wild turkeys. An adult male, an adult female and 22 siblings.....I couldn't believe how many young ones there were! The older birds walked around guarding the little ones as they grazed.
I arrived at 6:30 am for my pre race 12 mile run on the east side. My plan to run at least the 12 miles and over 2 hours. The run started out easy and I felt great. I tried my best to follow the 12 mile course and I think I did well.
The morning air was a little crisp which actually felt quite good. I knew before long I would be wishing it didn't change. The first three miles was very similar to my last run with the Trail Monsters though my pace was a bit slower.
As the sun started coming up, it would peak in and out of the clearings and trees causing various shadows and spots of rays reaching for the ground. Actually quite beautiful. I found myself wishing I had brought a camera.
I started picking up the pace a bit as I settled in but kept my heart rate capped at 155. I kept thinking how much I enjoyed running this trail. At 40 minutes into the run I stopped to fuel (one thing I didn't do last time.) The timing was right as I could feel the uplift of energy within the next mile or so.
I started looking for my spot where I had the huge collision with the ground and at almost exactally 5 miles, I found it. There was no doubt in my mind as I noticed the same landmarks. Funny though, I expected to see a large rock protruding or an open root grabbing at the sky. Some sign of the reason I tripped. There was nothing out of the ordinary to blame for my demise. I am not sure now what happened. I expected something really large, instead it just looked like normal trail.
For some reason at about 6 miles, I got thinking about mountain lions or Linx ....wouldn't they be hungry about this time of day? How would they feel about some potentual food jogging by? I would be like fast (well semi fast) food ....delivered.
I could vision the huge growing smile on his face as the aroma of sweaty meat rambled across his nose. Would he be interested? Would he start following, hiding in the shadows, waiting for the best oppourtunity?
I wondered what I would do. Could I climb a tree and keep him at bay with my feet? Could I survive if he jumped me? Would I have the time or capability to grab onto a large stick or rock for defense? I found myself peeking back when I rounded a corner. Just perifial not so he would notice me looking. I looked for movement or some type of shadow. Nothing....I suppose my imagination was overdoing it a bit.
Funny the things one thinks about.......40 more minutes and I stop for re-fueling. I am plenty hot now and my glasses are fogging up. I am feeling really good though and quite happy with the run so far. The terrain has not bothered me so far and I actually have not tripped once.
I reach the 8 mile mark and so far I think I have stayed on the course. Though I did stop at a few crossings and studied the map to be sure. I know it is getting later as in the last 2 miles, I passed one runner and two bikes. I figured the woods would be hopping with activity soon.
I figure my average pace to be around the 11 minute area which is about what I planned. My energy level is good and only minor muscle fatigue. Much better than the 8mile mark of my last run here. Mile nine and ten were quite nice and uneventfull.
Now I am searching for the beggining of the O trail. This is the part of the course I missed on the last run here and did not want to miss it again. I figuered it must be pretty well hidden as I didn't see it last time. Suddenly, there it was plain as day..not sure how I missed it.
Imediately I realized what everyone talked about. This was the windiest most technical trail I have run. I loved it! Oh, sure it was tough but something about it just hit me right. I had to work so hard to stay on course and used the trees to help round corners without slowing down.
It is hard to believe that bikers ride this. It was affirmed as I passed two bikers working their butts off. I mentioned how great this trail was after I said hi but they didn't seem to have time to respond. This part of the course seemes long and I almost lost the trail a couple times and once I actually thought I might have gotten turned around somehow and was running in the wrong direction.
Finally I broke out to the "regular" trail and powered my way to the finish. I felt quite good and still had some energy left. My core and my feet were quie tired and I was glad to be done. I walked a half mile cooldown, did a few stretches and headed home for a swim.
I think I am ready for the 12 miler and now feel I have a good idea were my pace should be. It seemed good to have this part of the training behind me now. the rest will be grooming runs,a few pleasure runs and a couple speed workouts. I wore the belt today instead of carrying the bottle and I think though a little more uncomfortable, I liked it better as my hands were free and I seemed to trip less. I will probably wear it for the race.