Thursday, February 23, 2012

Ice Running

I spent all day thinking about getting in a run. I somehow managed to get out early enough to hit Bradbury before dark. I wanted some hill work so I hit the Mountain side.

Last winter I used my Northface trail runners with screws in them for the slippery runs and honestly felt they worked fine. I had to retire them because the heels completely separated and though I tried gluing them, they are just plain spent

On my last run at Pratts Brook I knew I would encounter ice so I decided I needed new screw shoes. I had bad luck putting ice spike in my shoes last year so I didn't use them and had a bunch left over. I figured in shoes that had never had screws they might work better.

I had a pair of New balance 621 trail runners that I didn't use much in the past so I loaded them with the ice spikes. They worked well at PB but I didn't feel they really were that much better than the hardware screws.

Last night brought on a whole new meaning to secure ice running. As I hit the Mountain side, I quickly realized that the conditions couldn't be much worse. The completely ice covered trail had a sheen of running water on top.

This is were the ice spikes really shined. I literally had zero moments of slipping on the ice and felt no danger of falling. I ran my normal stride and these things just gripped.

I had a fantastic run and only wished the dark would have held off so I could run a bit longer. Felt great on this run.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Finally... A Real Running Report.

When I made the commitment to attend the 3rd annual Mockingbird Fatass I had hoped for at least a few laps. That didn't happen this particular day as I only ran one lap. but I can say it was the best run I have had in months.

I missed two Bradbury races and was determined not to miss this run. it was great to see everyone and I couldn't wait to hit the trail.

I read on Vals blog that the terrain was difficult, wet. possibly muddy in places and a fair amount of ice and snow.....sounded like a good mix of "better pay attention" and I worried a little about the ankles where I haven't run much lately.

I hate to admit this because I am supposed to be a hard core trail runner, but I opted to wear my Ino-8 212s today rather than my new 295s because....gulp.....well I am just not ready to get them muddy yet and my 212s were still mud covered from my last run. As it turned out, I didn't hit much mud anyway.

The 212s did a great job as usual and even handled the ice spots (as long as I was careful) I felt great during the run, had good energy on the hills and the breath came back strong after each climb. The terrain was no where near as difficult as I envisioned ( though the deeper snow areas did slow me down a bit)

This run was great....what else can I say. The only difficult part was not heading out for a second lap. I had some commitments to attend to so time was a bit tight, but I left the run feeling great and knowing full well I could have easily run a second lap.

I was pretty excited all day because I felt so good. I really thought that this run would show me how far my cardio had regressed in the last two months with very little running under my belt.....but instead I enjoyed every step of the way I really felt good and could have run faster.

Thanks, Linda, Val, Rick and Gerry for such a great time. I only wish I could have hung around a bit longer.

Started about one minute behind the group
6.2 miles @ 1:07:40

Friday, February 17, 2012

20 LBS of Uselessness

In December I had a plan. It was well thought out and I merely had to impliment it. Winter would be my base period where I used snow shoe races and such to work on base running, Incorporate core workouts, crosstraining and a serious effort to drop some weight.

The success of this plan should catapalt me to great spring and perhaps the chance to find a PR somewhere. After decifering many of my best races and best years, I found that 15 lbs lighter (than my chubby norm) is a good racing weigtht for goal is to drop 20 lbs.

This all sounds good on paper but by the end of December I had not accomplished much. Like any good distance goal, I knew one month was not going to affect me so January was my new focus.

Well, as it turns out, January was a bust too as I had run very little, cross trained minimally and actually gained about 5 lbs. In my defense, there were some circumstances that played a roll in my inability to get with the program.

OK, it's not too late, I figured February could be my breakout month and I surely would be able to get things on track. Starting the month with a weight loss plan that was very simple and easy to follow helped me feel like I was progressing.

As far as dieting goes, I am totally against it. You can't deprive your body of the things you love and need for very long without falling off the wagon. It is inevitable that unless you change your lifestyle with eating, you will spend it on a YO-Yo trip.

I actually think everybody knows this but doing it is another matter all together and the older one gets, the more dificult it is to trim up. For me it is really simple, I only need to limit my calories to a reasonable amount and get running. the rest will fall into place.

So, finally I am feeling like I am progressing. In the first two weeks of February I have lost 8 lbs, got in a few good runs (though I missed the second Bradbury snowshoe race), worked pretty hard on the crosstraining and expect to ramp up the running now that I am past a few hurtles.

The big question right now is, how much of my base have I lost this winter with little to no running? Though I did accomplish some crosstraining, was it enough? I am going into spring optimistic and if things feel well, I am planning a big race in May.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Bi-Polar....A Love / Hate Relationship

I spent the day in anticipation of my planned FIRST trail run since Stone Cat. It is hard to believe I haven't run outside since November. Actually I had planned on getting out much sooner but as with many things in life, The decision was not mine alone to make.

As I prepared to leave work, many thoughts were rambling through my head, how would I feel? Would the rusty running legs hold me back? I kept thinking I should run a few times on flat roads before hitting the trail, but that thought was overridden by my desire to be in the woods.

The plan was to hit the campus trail at Pineland which is close enough to work for me to get in an hour running with daylight. The trail is fairly open and would allow me the room to dodge hazards like ice and at the same time give numerous places to abort if things aren't going well as there are campus roads close to the loop in many places.

As I approached the entrance, I slowed way down as if to start negotiating the turn, but I just couldn't and hit the gas .......I really craved single track and even though I enjoy running the Pineland trails, it was not what I wanted today.

A wave of excitement rushed over me as I quickly weighed options. I decided to keep it close to home and run the mushroom trail. The plus with this trail is that it has probably not been used much this year so there is likely very little ice, The drawback is the half mile incline at Town Forest ( which I would be running twice)

I hit the parking lot and changed up. I purposely left all tracking and timing equipment behind so I wouldn't be tempted to analyze this run. This also would be a good break-in for the new Rocklite 295s, I couldn't wait to see how they felt.

Have you ever had two opposite emotions fighting for recognition? As I started running, I took in a deep breath, the air was cool and fresh. I couldn't think of one thing I would rather be doing at this very moment than trail running. In a very short time I was gasping for breath, but every gasp brought continued excitement.

The legs moved like lead weights, I felt totally out of control. Like a kid on his first carnival ride, my body hated every moment and though it was yelling stop couldn't rip the smile off my face with a chainsaw.

I loved how hard it was to push forward, climb the hills without walking, every gasp of breath not supplying enough oxygen to satisfy the demand.

At the end of the run I threw in pit hill which is fairly short but almost 40 degrees......very much like the last degrading bump at Mount Washington. It was horrible and fun at the same time.

Though a comparatively short run of only 3.5 miles, it did have a good grade of difficulty for a first run. I have to admit that even though I was not timing, I did check the clock upon return (it is hard to break old habits) I calculated about 11:28 mile pace.....not too bad for this terrain.
After the run, the body rebounded fast, much faster than I expected, probably has a lot to do with the cross training I have been doing. Overall........great..great run.