Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Catching up for the end of May

Well apparently I'm now successfully maintaining a blog free life style. More a reflection of how my time is getting eaten up over the last month and a half than any aversion to blogging.
An increase in mileage, trip back to Cork and the addition of a house guest has managed to remove all of the slack from my awake time.
Days are now typically kicking off at 4 am with the goal of completing my mid week runs before the heat of the day kicks in, thus bedtime is now a standard 9 pm.
Here is a general round up of activities and progress over the last 6 weeks,
May 22nd & 23rd was a proper return to the double digit weekends, hitting the trails in the Chattahoochee National Recreation Area over by Powers Ferry for a twenty miler. Making use of the main bike trail as a connector to the side trails added a lot of up and down the hills. Pace is not the major focus, just getting the mileage complete being a win. Nice to get back to the local trails again. Sunday was a steady 15 in the city, my late start at 11 am being punished by the 90 F temperature. That sun and heat make hard work out of what should have been a recovery run.

Kept up the regular runs for the week and headed to north Georgia for the Memorial Day weekend. My plan was to camp near the Appalachian Trail and use it for my long run on Saturday and Sunday.
Friday night I ended up camping at Moccasin Creek State Park on the shores of Lake Burton west of Clayton in north Georgia. Kicked off the weekend with a run up beautiful FSR 26 Wildcat Rd alongside Moccason creek, an absolutely beautiful area to run in (or drive if you have to ). The splendor of the area was a great distraction from the fact that I was heading up hill for oh, 11 miles. Got to Addis Gap and then reached my turn around point a few miles north on the Appalachian Trail just passed Kellys Knob. Now for the 11 miles back home downhill, thinking this should be easy. The relative feeling of speed heading back downhill was a huge mental lift, of course also a lot less physical pressure. Of course on the way "down" I realized that the trip "up" had not all been quite all up as there certainly appeared to be a lot of uphill on the way back.  By the time I got back to the regular road section two miles from the camp site my legs were not quite sure what to do any more, frankly sitting down was number one priority. Now I had just to move my camp site and relax for the afternoon.
One of the joys of running up FSR 26 was that I got to scope out campsites for Saturday night.

A relaxing evening hanging at the tent and enjoying the camp fire was followed by a great run on Sunday mainly along the Appalachian trail this time heading south from Addis Gap to the top of Tray mountain for a nice even 16.26 miles. Amazingly my legs were not as trashed as I had feared from the day before. It was a mild day in the mid 60's with some heavy down pours and great fog and hazy hanging on the hillside. It was extremely relaxing and peaceful along the trail, leading to a feeling of satisfaction with my choice to be there for the weekend. This was a level of pleasure that one just generally does not get running in the city. There were some hikers out, solo and groups, running by them was another great boost as was the amazement on some of the faces that a person would actually be out running on the trail and in such weather. Have to say that I would have had the same look myself if  I came across a runner while I was hiking until recently.
General body condition felt pretty good but my quads were dead as a dodo. Felt like one more down hill and they might never help me run again, if they had a choice in the matter that is. Oh well just have lunch, pack up the gear and head back to Atlanta. Monday is a rest day which is a schedule plan I will stick with.

Next entry will catch up on the month of June, including my trip back to Ireland for the Cork marathon and the climbing weekend mileage to build strength, mental and physical.