Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Test Time Tomorrow

Tomorrow, I will test out my leg with a short 3-4 mile run. Must say - it's been nice not getting up before 5 to run. Haven't felt that tired lately. Anxious to get back out there though. Am sure my body (other than that leg thing) will be fine taking off 4 days. Doesn't look like I've taken off 4 days in a row since June 2009 when I was having plantar fasciitis issues.
Hope to have Chattooga Photos in my next post!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Leg Issues

So it seems I over-did it a bit with that 24 mile run...2+ days later and my leg is still sore - so no running. Not even sure what cross training I could do. Mostly feel it when I lift my left leg (walking, stairs, etc). It does feel a little better today though. Maybe Wednesday it will feel ok enough to test out with a sloooow run/shuffle.
Trying to stay positive, but I'd be surprised if I could run before Thursday...
Should have photos back from the run Wednesday evening though.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Chattooga 50k Training Run

So - I noticed on a blog I've been following for months now, that he (Jason) was doing a training run down on the Chattooga/Foothills trails Saturday morning. I finally emailed him earlier this week after getting the go-ahead from my wife and feeling that my body was up for running 18-22 miles. Turns out 22 miles was the plan by the time Sat. rolled around. Up at 4:15 and the 90 minute drive to the Cherry Hill Recreation Area was practically red-light free.
It was about 6 years ago that I was last here to run the Big Bend Trail. It was quite overgrown and turned out the area closed a week later due to numerous bear sightings.
Anyway - Jason, Sam, D showed up and we waited on Dan to finish his first 7 miles (he was doing the full 50k course). Jason and I were going to do 24 miles or so (hmmm, so much for 18-22!) and Sam and D were going to stop at ~12. We got started at 7:15am in a chilly ~38°. Ran the 2.7 miles on the Big Bend Trail heading towards the river. Trail was pretty clear other than some downed trees every so often. Took ma a mile or two to get warmed up, but didn't feel "good" for about an hour. The trail was beautiful!! I'll have some pictures to add once I get them developed this week. It is So Different (meaning: Wonderful!) being out on the trail...just the sound of feet patting the ground, birds, the river very loud at times. Oh yeah - and the water sloshing around my camelbak. We chatted here and there and that was nice. Got to know the group I was running with and will likely see them again either at races or other training runs.
I was surprised at our pace - it seemed faster than it actually was, but there were plenty of hills to walk. I'm not complaining as that was probably the only way I would have gotten thru the whole thing. Having zero reference point made what I thought out of the question.
A few miles by the Chattooga River and we headed back away from it towards 107, where Sam and D stopped. After a short break - we went on 2 more miles to our turn around spot and came back to 107. This was the part I was not expecting to do, but it all worked out in the end. Having company for the return trip was well worth it.
We were a bit slower on the return trip and made it back to the starting point 6 hours after we'd begun (Except Dan of course).
I know I cut that return trip short - but other notes I want to throw in:
-Trail was very clean except for just a few pieces of trash.
-There were 2 or 3 points where it is Easy to get off trail. One heading out on Big Bend near the intersection with Foothills and others on Foothills. One spot, Dan had us stop to see where we could miss a turn off. On the way back, he and Jason both ran thru it and I noticed the log in the way that caught my attention earlier. I certainly did not need to be running further than necessary!
-My PB&J bagel gave me a great lift at our 1st stop 12 miles in. Wish I had a 2nd one for that last 3-4 miles. I imagine the aid station will be well received!
-I carried a bottle of water and my 3L bladder in my camelbak. Finished with 1L left, so definitely the right amount. I would have not felt as comfortable if I had finished with no water left.
-Good conversations: training and ultras of course, horrors movies about a big yellow bee, family, etc. All made the time & miles go by.
-My previous long (by time) run was my 1st marathon at 4:18. NYC 2008 could count because after the 4:08 race, there was a good 2 miles of walking. Either way - I beat it by another 90 minutes! I feel good about the 50k. Just need to keep the miles up and I'll be fine. 6-7 hour finish is likely.
- After last weeks personal high mileage - I beat it this week with about 46 miles. Next 2 weeks will be back in the 30's (Thankfully!). Felt pretty good after the run, even thru last night. This morning have a couple spots that are more sore. Left lower shin/ankle and the outside left/back just above the knee.
-Final thank you to Jason, Dan and the others for making it possible - to run that far and to enjoy the Trails again!
4-18-10: Adding Photos!

Monday, March 22, 2010


Oh yeah - Congrats to two of my friends who completed their first marathon's this past weekend!!
Marty (my co-worker) at The National Marathon in DC. He's got the bug now (and a very nice medal).
Megarunr completed the Shamrock Marathon in Va Beach! Knew you'd do it!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Swamp Rabbit Tram Trail

For a great description of the Swamp Rabbit - See
Megarunr's blog.
I have only been on it once as part of the 2009 Spinx Half Marathon, but this was a new section for me. After my 18 mile trail run at Paris Mtn, I went over to Travelers Rest to meet my wife/daughter and some friends. They had already walked there from Furman, so I met them, ate, and walked back with them. Nothing like adding some easy miles to my already longest-distance week! It's true what is said about it - it's pretty flat, well used with bikers, walkers, a rollerblader (I actually knew her!) and runners.
Still no soreness from my run - I am pretty excited about that!
This next week will dial the miles back a little to about 38 - and I may do something new next weekend, we'll see!

Paris Mtn trails

Went out to Paris Mountain for my 18 miler. It was much warmer than I was expecting (and warmer than Mauldin it seemed) but that was just fine. My plan was to go out just a bit slower than previous trail runs so my last of the three 6-mile loops was not so difficult. Beautiful day and quite a few people were out - many I saw numerous times. Still very nice views from the trail as the trees were still mostly bare on this last day of winter. Brissy Ridge heading to Kanuga is very runnable. Once on Kanuga - the first half is not completely runnable. Mostly on and off. I'd read on some ultra blog or the like that if you can't see over it - you should walk it, so I tried to do that as much as possible. Once you get halfway on that trail - exactly where the Firetower Trail enters, it is almost all runnable, mostly downhill until you hit the North Lake trail. You can get some good speed on some sections and can open it up if you feel like it. Be careful of the rocks, roots, and a little mud though. There were some campers right at the trail junction by the lake as I made my first pass. This lake trail is 95% runnable (ok - really 100%, but there was one short section I chose to walk each time in order to save some energy for later on). Took my 1st Gu 30 minutes into my run and that kept my energy up. Made the turn onto Pipsissewa and it starts out runnable, then becomes and on and off things like Kanuga and continues like that until the last 1/2 mile back to the parking lot on Brissy Ridge. 1st loop took ~58 minutes. Took my planned 3 minute break at my car for some water, emptying dirt from my shoes and just a little rest. My camelbak worked fine, but still doesn't seem to fit the best. No awkward rubbing or anything though. Headed back out feeling very good for loop 2. Took the same plan into this loop but seemed to walk a bit more than loop 1. Even so, my time was still right at 58 minutes again. Another 3 minute break (1/2 bagel, water) and back out again. Was starting to feel the energy fading and slowed down just a bit. Always in the back of my mind was how much further 31 miles was going to be. Was I going to be doing any running those last 10 miles?
Slower, but moving along, took it a bit more careful on the downhill leading to the lake loop. Just before that intersection, with the campsite just on my left, my foot hit a root or something and down I went. I must say I don't fall often, but I landed like a pro! Fell into it and rolled slightly. Other than a small scrape on my right palm and left knee, some dirt and leaves to brush off - I was fine. After a quick peek to see if the campers noticed (I don't think so), I went on my way, walking a good bit more. Stopped at one point on a bench to empty out the shoes again, but kept running where I could and finished loop three in 1:03 or so. Total time: 3 hrs 5 minutes for ~18 miles. (only 13 miles, or 2+ laps to go!). Funny thing was, had no soreness, pains or anything negative during the run really. Guess it was just a lack of energy. 2 Gu's probably wasn't enough, forgetting my power bar in the car didn't help.
Left to head up to Travelers Rest - more on that soon!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

4 days in a row...

Tomorrow will be my 4th day in a row running. Make that one more first for me this year. I've done three runs in 24 hours (and will again in ~6 weeks), but never this quantity and distance either. Felt good today for my 3 miles, what I will call my Maintenance day. Yesterday's 6.8 I was feeling in my legs, but was able to keep my pace. Yoga at lunch helped I'm sure. 6 on Wednesday should be fine...the test will come after Friday's run when I am planning on 18 trail miles Saturday at Paris Mtn. Think I will need to slow down, maybe 5 extra minutes on each loop, for about a 3hr 15 minute run. I keep wondering if my legs will ever get to the point where they are not heavy after so many miles...if I get up to 40-45 miles a week, will they be stronger for the first 35 miles? Guess I'll have to get the mileage up there, hold it, and find out!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Back to the Long run...

No mention of the switch to Daylight Savings after this sentence. :-)
Moved my Sat. long run to Sunday on account of a late night Friday, so got up at 4:50am this morning for an 18 miler. Will post more (hopefully) on this soon, but let's say it went great! 2:42 - No pains and ran comfortably with the 2nd half a bit faster than the first half. Only saw 2 cars the entire time, and only 1 person until the last 2 miles, so it was just me out there doing loops, watching the slow sunrise and the geese/ducks on the lake.
Hit 36.7 miles this week (my 3rd most ever) but "should" beat that next week, staring with 6.8 tomorrow. If my schedule holds - I will end up with ~41 next week (or ~59 over a 7 day period! eek!)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Reedy River 10k Race Report

Decent week training - two yoga classes bookending two ~7 mile runs before the Reedy River Run Saturday morning. The 33° temp at 8am felt more like 40° and the sun was very nice. Saw alot of friends (DNR team, GTC friends) and I as looking for a rabbit to run me a 45:59. My PR was from Cooper River 2001 where I ran 46:04. Hadn't run under 49 until last year's 47:14 and this is the only distance I did not PR in 2009. PR's in the 5k, 8k, 10mi, half marathon, 30k and full marathon, and I was truly doubting my ability to ever break the 10k one. It was definitely an abnormality in the whole range of my PR's - -how did I ever run that fast?
At the start I found my rabbit - KB, who had a very similar time in the Green Valley race even though she is clearly a better runner than myself. We found ourselves up front just behind the elites (and just ahead of some walkers) and crossed the start line 4 seconds after the gun. Two quick left turns and we were off on a fast pace. Too fast it seemed and I was right as we went thru in 7:03. Kept it up thru the next two miles running side by side with KB in 7:07 and 7:06 splits. Three miles in 21:16. Hmmm, what is my 5k PR again? 22:06?! So I was Ahead of my 5k PR by about 10 seconds. Yep - too fast. KB kept going, but I kept her in my sights as I slowed, but kept pushing. That 4th mile - should have been a good one in Cleveland Park, but ran 7:27. Still had plenty of time to spare. A little left calf soreness, and something on one of my right toes (a blister? no way!?) but I trudged on with 7:29. A few more hills in the last mile as I tried to do the math...if I hit 6 miles in about 44:40, I'd be close! Clock read 44:03 and I knew I had it. Still pushed as I knew the faster I ran, the sooner I'd be done, and more satisfied I'd be with breaking my old PR. Hit the mat in 45:24!! Another 40 seconds off my PR. I keep surprising myself, even with not so fresh legs. Felt great afterwards (calf soreness went away quickly and the toe thing I forgot about until I took my sock off and the was blood all over one toe. No blister - but a nail had cut into the next toe. Must take care of that before the next run!)
Having a race threw off my schedule, so I planned to run Sunday. Ended up working out that Paris Mtn fit into our day, so one loop around the upper lake (dodging many bicycles) and then down to Lake Placid for about 8.25 miles. Somewhat heavy legs, but a minute faster around the upper loop than my first loop last week, and a quick trip downhill before leveling off on the Mountain Creek trail.
I need to slow down a good bit for next weekend's run - 3 loops = 18miles.As tough as it is on my legs - I hope that means they are getting stronger!!