Sunday, February 28, 2010

Trail running good for mind, body and soul

Happy to report that yesterday was a great run at Ft Yargo. A picture perfect sunny day with temps in the high 30's at the start climbing to the low 50's by the end.
With 488 people signed up for both events, about 400 for the half and the remaining nuts in the full. This made for a rather crowded first 3 miles on the single track but I like to think that was to my advantage as I need to remember to take it easy while I'm fresh and save my energy for the later stretches. Having a big crew out for the half did also provide plenty of people to try and pass on the last few miles of the half which probably lead me to over exerting a little too early and rolling my ankle at 11.8 miles. As I predicted to one of the other runners by mile 20 it was feeling pretty good. A minor lesson at mile 16 in slowing down and allowing my heart rate to drop down to a reasonable level indicated to me that this may be a rather critical item I should pay more attention to as I ramp up my training and in future races. Trails were absolutely perfect for running, as always it's hard to beat being out in the woods on such a beautiful day. The whole atmopsohere of the race was excellent with all runners being very positive and offering words of encouragement and support to each other every step of the way. The motivational signs on the mile markers also provided a nice lift,I  especailly enjoyed at the 5/18 mile marker "Your not slow you just know how to enjoy a race course" and at 13/26 mile marker "I'm going to enjoy that pint tonight", for the record I did.
As usual many hours on the trail gives a person plenty of time to ponder, especially on the second lap when all the half traffic had disappeared, plenty of alone time. So I guess my gem of inner thought for the day which probably should have hit me sooner in life is that I need to do what makes me happy and if something is not then I need to just move on and let it go. A number of people trying to drive that message home for me in the last few months, guys apparently I have been listening subliminally and it is now popping out. Next step putting it in to action. This apparently is part of the anticipated growing expected in going through this whole experience.
A little sore this morning but keeping my ankle on ice for 2 hours yesterday seems to have nipped things in the bud. Of course my knees are screaming at me still. Apparently all the jumping over rocks etc was not what they loved, time to drop many pounds so that the load is more manageable. Of course the idea of carrying a lighter load for 100 miles is also very appealing and necessary.
Now last night as I was enjoying the aforementioned pint at Steinbecks it dawned on me that in August I will still be running NOW (now being 8 pm). Yes there will be no sitting down to have a sandwich on a nice bench, then heading home for a nap before going for a pint and some of Andy's fantastic fried chicken (almost as good as his vindaloo). Finally the enormity of what I have signed up for was hit me, no more fooling around, I guess but sure what's the fun in that.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Marathon this weekend, Ft Yargo here I come

Well since my last post I've had a very enjoyable ski trip to Colorado with a little side trip to Leadville to check out the scene for August.
Skiing was a blast and a welcome change from all the running. Coupled with the major benifit of giving my ankle some rest. Not a lot of movement in a rock hard ski boot. Spending 5 days at altitude also reinforced my plan to get out to the Colorado area two weeks before the race if possible, minumim of 6 to 7 days. It took at least 4 days to really adjust and that was without trying to run, I blame the snow and my ass being worn out from skiing. Nothing to do with me being slightly lazy or hung over on Sunday when I should/could have run. I feel I was much better served saving my energy for the afternoon spent sledding, walking back up the hill was a killer.
 On Tuesday afternoon before flying back I made a quick run over to Leadville to see what the center of all the action was like.
No doubt about the altitude issue, the joy of starting at 10,152 and then dropping off to 9987, oh what a nice easy start, lets not think about the fact that it is an out and back course which means a slight uphill drag for the last 14 miles. This just gets better and better.
 As for the town itself it's a small high mountain town that no doubt will be completely dominated by the crowd for the Race Across the Sky. Should be a great buzz there for the weekend.

Well being that I managed to not do myself any injuries I would rate this as a most successful trip and look forward to my next trip to Colorado in mid August.

For now my focus is back closer to home, this weekend was absolutly perfect for running and I'm happy to say that the ankle feels like it is coming around. No major runs this weekend but it was great to get out in the sunshine and run around the neighborhood for a few miles. Even if Alan did offer some encouragement to join him for a pint at Stienbecks mid run, very tempting I must say. I may have to change my Sunday routes so I don't get side tracked by the brunch crew or just get my ass out earlier so I can participate.
Taking it easier than usual this week to be ready for the Ft Yargo trial marathon on Saturday, going to be my peek distance so far, the trick will be to also run a few miles on Sunday afterward. I'll get to find out how well my ankle has healed. Looking forward to running the first 13 on Saturday with Wayne, will be good to have company. Also appears that the weather is going to cooperate and be dry and cool, 40s at worst.
Time to wrap up with a great Chinese proverb I came across today in Runners World, very appropriate,

"A journey of 100 miles begins with a single step".

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Welcome to the world of ice packs

Ah the end of a lovely 50 mile week. A great wrap up this afternoon at Kennesaw mountain which once again kicked my butt but it was great to be out in the woods under the clear blue sky and shining sun. Apparently the cumulative miles of the week have left my left ankle in rather poor shape, the tendon has being flaring up on off up to now. At this point it is officially on, thus here I sit with an ice pack wrapped around it, hopefully tomorrows rest and the lighter week that's coming will give it the chance it needs. Of course it's likely that I'll spend a lot of time for the next few months sitting still with an ice pack on various parts of my body, there is not going to be a lot of opportunity for the extended rest that the body need to heal fully. Just as well that my stack of books to read is piled high. Amazing how much quicker I am to purchase them that to read them. Of course based on how the twenty miler went yesterday Friday nights will definitely be spent at home for the next few months and based on the extending Sunday distances Saturday night will probably be similar. Great round trip of the east side yesterday for my twenty, managed to hit Oakhurst, Candler Park, Little Five Points, North Highland, Virginia Highlands, Emory, Clairmont road, Decatur and back home. Running in the light rain and threatening wisps of sleet and hail with the temperature in the low 40's is actually very invigorating. Of course that high I had when I got home may also be due to the relief that the heating was working and set to 70. Ah the joys of modern living.
Oh well there goes the social life, another casualty in this very reasonable undertaking.
Training week 10 here I come.