Monday, May 10, 2010
Back To Back Quality Runs
I am having so much fun running this spring. I guess I usually do after the difficulties of winter, but this year seems so much better. Perhaps it is because of the great weather we are having this spring or maybe because this is the first spring in two years with no surgeries.....probably a bit of both.
Well,I did something I try real hard not to do and that is back to back difficult workouts. It seems as the body ages, it does more harm than good to put in grueling workouts with out scheduling a days rest in between. Or so I thought.
Even though I planned a hard trail workout on Saturday running the 12 mile Bruiser course, Friday, I found myself at Bradbury Mountain running a loop plus of the Breaker course. I wanted hill workouts and the Breaker course provides ample hill with three trips up the mountain and a bunch of difficulty thrown in.
I ran the breaker course of about 4.5 miles then threw in the Terrace trail which is the finish of the second loop of the Breaker and it is a fantastic down hill loop that allows the runner to really open up the stride and push the pace for a fast finish. It felt great!!
I passed a few hikers that surely thought I was crazy as I literally flew down the trail at a dangerous speed with arms flailing and a huge smile on my face. I blew by a women with a young girl of about six or seven years old. I am sure the little girl inquired about what that old man was doing. I wonder how the mother explained what to her, was a crazy person that either was being chased by a bear or someone who just broke out of an asylum. I am sure it looked quite reckless but actually I was in no danger as long as I didn't trip or fall.
As I spent about a minute catching my breath at the bottom, it dawned on me that the effort of today's run just might affect my performance on the East side trails in the morning.....perhaps I should have taken it a bit easier, what was I thinking? Guess I will practice running on tired legs tomorrow because my son is coming up from Boston to run and we are both quite excited for him to experience the 12 mile bruiser course.
Saturday morning I woke up feeling pretty good, not lame but still knowing I had worked fairly hard the day before. I had some errands to take care of first thing which was good because that is when the rain was at it's worst. By the time Kev and I hit Bradbury, it was more of a steady sprinkle.
Though kev had run on the east side in cross country training, he had not experienced the true nature of the single track switchback design as the team mainly ran on the much wider (and straighter) snowmobile trails. I couldn't wait to hit these trails because I knew he would love them as much as I do.
Our plan was to run most of the 12 mile Bruiser course but at least have enough time to run on the O trail. We only had about a two hour window so the whole 12 was probably not obtainable.
The run was fantastic. Our pace fluctuated depending on terrain and who was leading. When kev lead the pace was a bit faster. I think he let me lead when he felt I needed to slow down a bit. He is pretty intuitive like that. Needless to say our pace ended up a little erratic, I guess it would qualify as a tempo/ trail run.
I managed to take a couple wrong turns so we did not follow the 12 miler course exactly. We did a couple short cuts to allow time for the O trail which we reached at about 8-9 miles into the run. I knew kev was chopping at the bit to experience the trail at his normal pace so I told him to take off and enjoy himself. In seconds he had completely disappeared.
The O trail tends to do that, it will swallow up a runner seemingly never to be found again. At the speed Kev was running, I figured I would only run in a half mile or so then head back to the spot where he will come out and meet him head on. I figured he would almost cover two miles to my one.
Problem is, when I headed in the "out" of the O trail, and continued for about a mile, I did not see him. This was odd as I should have met him by this time. I took a bunch of shortcuts to speed things up and did not see him all the way back at the trail head. I ran back down to the end and there he was standing there stretching.
I should have thought to agree on a meeting place when we separated as the O trail tends to change a runners perception of direction and just plain chews people up. That is the great thing about the 2.4 miles of the O trail.....it's like the twilight zone....you never know what is going to happen.
Well after about a mile into the O trail, kev somehow changed directions, came back out the in, ran down to the out, didn't see me, ran back to the parking lot didn't see me, ran back to the out and still had time to stretch and relax for 10 or 15 minutes before I finally showed up (yes he is that fast).
What I liked about this run was that even on tired legs, I ran much faster than I thought capable and had a fantastic time doing it. I just plain had fun.
5.3 miles 1:05:12 @12:19 pace
8:55 (kick @ 7:56)
10.5 miles 1:53:18 @10:48 pace
8:40 (kev leading)
8:40 (kev leading)
10:50 (running alone)
12:21 (running alone, no kick, more like a shuffle step)