Monday, September 26, 2011

Good Long Run

I have been trying to post comments on others blog entry and have not been allowed to.....says my account is not valid?

Anyway, I finally got in a good long run Sunday at The Brad. I started early as I had a pretty busy day ahead of me. I wanted around 3-3.5 hrs on my feet with at least 3 hrs of running. 6am gave me plenty of time and also about 20 minutes worth of running with the headlamp on.

I hit the West side and headed up the Boundry trail. There were plenty of wet, rocks, roots and bridges but the 212s handled everything pretty well. I veered off onto the connector starting relatively slow and trying to settle in.

The first 45 mins seemed awkward and I felt winded but after that the next 1.75 hrs were perfect. The last 1/2 hr showed my recent condition as the legs were quite fatigued and I was anxious to be done.

14 miles  running time 3:09:71  Total time 3:25 or so
4mph average pace but somehow I logged 14.8 mph during the run...crazy

Overall a well rounded run and great training

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fall Running

Didn't have much time for a run today but was still able to squeeze in a bit over a half hour( perfect for the minimus shoe). It surely was not long enough. I stopped at Forest trail and ran along the old railroad bed connector to rte 231. Too bad it is blocked off just before the road crossing.

This was such a nice run, the early leaves have started to fall and blanket the trail. That along with the cool crisp air yelled fall big time. It was a very mind clearing and fun run. I need that some days and especially today.

I surprised a small herd of deer that were grazing just off the trail, it was pretty cool to watch all the white tails gliding rather than bouncing as they tried to put a little distance between us.

What was nice about this run was that there was no agenda other than enjoying the short window of time away from the demands of life and just experiencing nature.

3.5 miles @36:40
New Balance Minimus shoe

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Time To Be Realistic

 It used to be the end of November was the time I would sit back and digest the past year of running. I would form  a graph in my mind of the accomplishments and the pitfalls. November would bring the Thanksgiving 5ks and my fastest running.

 Unlike most runners I associate with, I didn't run in high school (unless I was being chased by the men in blue) I never ran track or cross country and didn't play any action sport. As a family, the only real physical activity we did was Mountain hiking and going to the beach, which averaged out to only a few times a year.

 I loved the outdoors though and when I was eleven, my parents bought a big ole farm. My fondest memories are spending hours in the old barn and day long adventures in the woods. I felt so at ease and comfortable in the woods, perhaps that is the root that draws me to trail running.

 I'm getting a little off point here, but to be realistic, I have to understand that I didn't have the type of training base when in school to help me now. It seems the body and mind can't quite stay on track even though I feel I understand the nature of training properly.

 When the kids came along, I decided to give them what I never had. I encouraged sports activities,I was an actively involved parent and even spent eight years coaching little league. As they got older they migrated from Baseball to soccer (field hockey)  then to track.

I was envious of their camaraderie and their capabilities as they all excelled. I spent many nights wondering how I would have done in school sports and probably would have learned some pretty valuable lessons too.
So, finally when my youngest was winning state championships and preparing for college, I decided I would give running a try.

 Though I was 46, I felt like a youngster as my first year of running progressed quickly. My first 5k time of over 26 minutes was dropped to 22 minutes when the Thanksgiving races arrived. By year two I blew out a 44 minute Beach to beacon 10K, an amazing 7:26 pace 1/2 marathon and a 20:18 5k. All of this while averaging only about 15 miles a week with my longest ever single run of 8 miles a few weeks before the half marathon.

It's been 9 years and since then I have done nothing but slow down progressively every year and the Prs just aren't coming anymore. I thought as I started running longer distances and mostly trails that my times would still be in the 25 percentage for my age group but instead I land in the back of the pack.

 It seems perhaps with my work schedule and other time restraints that I can not put the training effort needed to accomplish what my brain expects of me. It is entirely possible that I just don't understand or implement a sound training program. I find myself dwelling on the goals I didn't reach rather than the ones I did. it is September, a time that I usually am powering forward and enjoying the fall running season. Instead I find myself soul searching and looking for answers within myself. It is time to be realistic with my running, myself and my goals.

 I'm not being a "debbie downer" or whining so much as I am trying to feel comfortable with my races and adopting a more realistic view. What am I really trying to accomplish here? If it is my love of trail running and spending time in the woods then I have to forget about being competetive and just enjoy it. if instead, I need to be putting up fast times (age adjusted) then I should steer my running back to the shorter road races.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Bruiser Report

 I went into the bruiser race this year fully knowing I was not in the shape I wanted or planned to be.  How does one let this happen?  The mind makes plans, such elaborate plans, A big timeless vacuum happens, then race day comes and I find myself wondering what went wrong.

Last year I prepared by running the 12 mile course many times and actually doing O-trail repeats 3 and 4 laps at a time. This year I ran the east side only a few times and the O-trail only once ......I guess I can say I was not very prepared. On top of all that, I ran the 40 for 40 last week (well 16 miles of it) and put some serious hurt on my knees and elbows (note to self, sliding on the elbows and knees down a gravel path really hurts!)

I went into this race knowing full well I was not going to be a Badass this year (takes a bit of the excitement out of it) knowing that I wasn't in that great of running shape and hoping like hell that I didn't fall onto the sore knees.......please not the knees.

 So..........why did I have such a great race?  I started mid pack to have a conservative start and to my surprise, there really was not much of a bottleneck for the first mile.  The pace was quick but manageable and only a few runners trying to get by. One of which was Jeremy.....I thought what the hell? He should have been way up front. (second note to self, you can start in the back and still finish top ten if you run super human fast like Jeremy)

 My goal of running steady, careful and not walking .....all without falling and still not being too slow seemed unreachable, yet I accomplished it with ease. I felt pretty comfortable with only a few moments of fatigue strong enough to cause concern. Just as sudden as the fatigue came, it went away. I can only assume I was running very smart and balancing on the edge of my conditioning.

The whole race was very manageable, my two worries, the knights hill..hill and the O-trail posed very little trouble as I was not reduced to walking either one. Though not a PR, this race was my second best time on this course and I didn't fall once.

 I felt really good at the end of this race and perhaps I left a little on the table, but with no injuries, it felt good to realize I enjoyed the whole event. Of course Ian and Ryan ( and all the volunteers) did an outstanding job (as usual)  I did however hear a person on the trail mention that Ian's description of a relatively flat course equalled moderately hilly to the average's all a matter of perspective I guess.

 In the end I feel the Bruiser is a great training start for the Stone cat marathon and can only hope to feel and do as well running it.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

16 Miles running, 30 Feet Skidding On Elbows And Knees

How can it be that I run a fairly difficult trail for 8 miles with zero tripping issues and then somehow land on my knees and elbows on a flat gravel path just before finishing the loop?

I was discussing with Joe his amazing finish of the Wilderness 100 and felt certain that little or no effort was needed to watch my footing as we were just finishing our first loop of Mindy's 40 to 40 and the trail was not really a trail at all because the last 400 yards was a wide open gravel path......a wide open gravel path...and I was feeling so good up to that point.

 As I landed, the sound of crunching gravel and the hot pain of skin being ripped off was not part of my plans today and while limping back to the start area I contemplated aborting my next lap. Jeremy offered to amputate and someone else commented on how colorful I was. Yes red is quite colorful and amputation would be a damn good excuse not to run a second lap.

When every single muscle in your body jumps into action to counteract the process of falling to the ground, it tends to zap all the energy right out leaving a hollow shell trying drastically to move forward. So, when I stopped to write my first loop time in and eat a couple brownies, the body was saying no to any more running.

My only hope to getting another lap in was to head out onto the trails and get the body moving before the problem areas stiffened up. The first quarter mile was a little limpy but this got better once I started concentrating on foot placement instead of the pain.

My hope was, that moving would help alleviate swelling and I think it did. After about a mile I stopped and used the water from the Nathan pack to wash off the dried blood (which was pulling at the skin while running) Now all I had to do was not fall again as the knees and elbows would surely not appreciate it.

Though quite a bit slower, I was able to finish my second lap, ( breezed right over the gravel this time and with no falling issues) I was quite happy with the 16 miles as I have not run much for distance in the last few weeks. Mindy put on a heck of an event and I was glad to hear she made the whole distance ( I knew she would)

First loop   1:34:30....... 11:48 pace 
Second loop  1:47:03....13:22 pace

Overall      3:21:54.......12:37 pace