Thursday, December 30, 2010

I can't Start 2011...I haven't Finished 2010 Yet!

Suddenly it is merely one day away from 2011. I am not ready to start a new year as my goals and wishes for 2010 have just not come to light yet. I have one more day to:

Run 130 miles to PR my year (OK, I guess I have to let go of that one)

Run a fast fall race......ooops, it was on the list.

Run the Marathon at Stone

Start the new year at my normal spring weight, to get a jump start on my spring running speed ......Uh....well maybe next year.

Get an early start on weight training for the core ......did I say weight or wait?

Break out the snow shoes early to prep for Bradbury winter races. (I know I put them in a safe place, where I would be sure not to lose them)

OK....I have one day left and there is plenty of snow, it seems the best I can do is get out for a fairly long snow shoe tromp on Friday and hope that the start of 2011 gives me new and vigorous drive for the winter.

Where did all the time go?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Connector


Kev and I ran the Bradbury/pineland connector today. Well not the whole way to Pineland but we did make it to the powerlines and ran them for a bit. For some reason, the powerlines felt bitterly cold. Perhaps some of it was the wind whipping through the long open space and also the fact that I was a bit wet from the stream crossing.

I was surprised when we got to the first stream to see it mostly covered in a thin layer of ice and the level was much lower than last week. There were some open spots that showed us the current was still clipping along pretty good, so the ice could not be trusted.

Kev laid on his belly and shimmied across a small tree that had fallen across the stream. I went upstream a bit to where the Trail monsters crossed last weekend and found the rocks much easier to cross even though there was a lot of ice on some of them.

We then went up Tyron mountain to the "scenic visual spot" then continued on to Lawrence road. Things were not warming up as quick as last week even though it was later in the day. The only part that felt a bit warm was when running through the field on the other side of the road.

When we came upon the second stream, it was very apparent how much the water level had dropped. At the spot where The trail monsters crossed last week, there was at least 15 feet of exposed rocks making the width of the steam much smaller. I picked a spot that looked like I could jump from rock to rock but somehow ended up in the water.

At this point I was pretty wet, including my gloves, so trying to stay dry was mute. The area where they were waist deep last weekend was only up to my knees today though I suspect the water was a little colder as there was ice all around.

After a couple hundred yards of running, the water was pretty much squeezed out of my shoes and the only part that felt cold was my hands. I was pretty much fine until things opened up when we reached the powerlines.

On the way back, I just walked right across the stream, though Kev still found a way to cross without getting wet. We ran into chuck in Tyron field and explained to him how the river crossing was and off he went. He apparently decided not to cross as he caught back up to us by the time we hit the next water crossing.

He was gone like a flash and we never saw him again because I was slowed up by phone calls. I usually will only have my phone for emergencies when I am trail running alone but I was on call this weekend and if I wanted to get in a run, I had to answer when it rang.

This was a great run today as we managed to get in 8.1 miles. I really like running the connector and hope to make it the whole way to Pineland one of these times. I would also like to find the return trail from the power lines that Ian created.

8.1 miles @1:43:18

Monday, December 6, 2010

Bushwacking But Fun


I planned all week to get a decent long run in this weekend and finally got that accomplished. I decided to check out the new Bradbury/Pineland connector even though the girl at Bradbury said the rivers were uncrossable.

I arrived at Bradbury to find an empty lot (except for one lonely car) I figured as much because it was about 30 degrees,slightly snow covered and a bit early to see Trail Monsters (though I didn't know if any were running here today). This was fine with me because I planned an easy enjoyable bushwhack run and didn't want to slow anyone down.

I started easy so not to aggravate the hip pain and it felt pretty good. The first turn I took off the trail ended up being the wrong way and I spent a fair amount of time searching for the red tape markers. after a mile or so I figured I was in the wrong spot and headed back to the Bradbury trail.

Back at bradbury (boundry) I finally came across the spot for the new connector. it was very well marked at this point. I found the trail to be well marked at times but confusing at others. I finally made my way to the first river and found a spot were a run of rocks almost crossed the whole thing.

Probably if it hadn't rained lately, the crossing there would have been relatively easy but because of the swift running water and the fact that I was alone, I decided to find a safer spot. A short ways up river I found a large tree laying across the river and crossed easily.

After crossing I found my way back to the marked trail and headed for Tyron mountain.
About half way up the trail to the peak, Ian caught up to me along with Emma, Jamie and Dave. It felt great to see other people and I enjoyed the chance to follow someone who knew where they were going.

We crested the mountain and stood on the highest spot for a picture and then headed back to the new trail. Ian made it seem easy and I didn't have to pay much attention to the trail (which later would come back to bite me as I returned alone).

We crossed Lawrence road and continued on. I lagged a bit but was able to stay close enough to keep them in my sights. Once we made it to the second river, it was apparent the crossing would be much more involved.

Ian and Erik jumped right in and commenced to wade across. It looked relatively easy but wet, cold, deep and pretty fast moving. I knew I was near the end of my running window for the day and decided follow the river a ways and see if there was a better spot to cross (one that I could do alone and still factor in safety)

I followed the river down stream for about 3/4 of a mile and found nothing better then went upstream and even though the current was slower, the river was wider and deeper. Upon returning to the first spot, I saw a single trail heading down stream, it was either a deer trail or something someone else used as it seemed pretty old.

I figured maybe it would lead to a crossing but instead came to a no trespassing sign after about a mile so I turned around and headed back. This was a bit more difficult than I thought as I couldn't find the same trail and had to follow the river instead.

I found the new trail finally but got lost (misplaced temporarily) quite a few times and found myself wishing I had paid more attention when following Ian's group. I made it to the first river and decided to try crossing at the rocks because I thought perhaps I could jump across the open spot.

I figured the worst that could happen is I fall in and get wet, which was no big deal because I was only a few miles from the parking lot at this point. Well I threw my water bottle across and leaped. Luckily I still had some leg power because I made it right to the edge of the bank and did not fall in or get wet.

It felt good to get back to Bradbury trail and I found myself quite tired as I had been out about 2 1/2 hours at this point and running for at least 2 of them. The return to the parking lot seemed so long as the legs just wanted to stop moving. It sure felt good to get in the truck and turn on the heat.

It was a bit disappointing that I didn't actually reach Pineland as it is only 4 or 5 miles, but with all the bushwhacking I just plain ran out of time and energy. I will have to return and finish my quest.

All and all a great run and exactly what I wanted to accomplish as I had no pain issues and no problems other than losing my bearings a couple times.

10.5 miles 2:20:21 (2:49:31 total time on feet)
Heart rate average 143 max 163 (yes it started working again)