Saturday, April 28, 2012

Sick week

What I don't like about traveling for work is that I often come home and get sick. After a wonderful run last weekend, I went out for my usual Monday morning 4 miles and it felt horrible. I stopped after 2.4 miles and wondered what was going on. That afternoon it started hitting me - a head cold. Luckily, I think I kicked it pretty quickly; worked from home 2 days and ran again Friday (6 miles - felt much more normal) after 3 days off.
Tomorrow I will do an easy 15 I think (have family in town) very early. That'll make 23 for the week, a true recovery week!
Two other notes today: How difficult running that Monday was and the first few miles of my Friday run makes me realize how much my body really was affected during the 2012 Harbison run from my cold that full week before. No wonder I was practically done after 12 miles.
Also - this week got to the end of my MS Excel worksheet. Columns in my version only go to IV. That covered from Dec 2007 until now. I moved 2012 to a new tab and in another 5 years or so, I'll have to open a new one!

One more thing - I am leaning towards the October running of the New River 50k for my "other" fall race instead of the Triple Lakes 40 miler. My friend Dan already registered for it, so that is a bonus. This will go along with the Buncombe 55k (Sept) and the Camp Croft Half (Nov). A little break before my return to Harbison!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Foothills Trail "Bench Marathon"

Let's start with that. It's just a set distance (who knows how long it actually is) that people go out and run for fun. Back in March I ran some of this, but had time to run the whole thing today. Viktor came out also and we ran together for all but the last 45 minutes or so - that was nice. Running with company is always nice and sure makes it seem easier.
So we started about 8:45 this morning and set off from the Laurel Valley parking lot heading towards Lake Jocassee. Climbs a good bit the first mile or two, then we actually started running as it headed (mostly) downhill for a good 6ish miles. The first stop was Virginia Hawkins Falls as we made it there in 1:00. (Actually exact to the second to what I ran this in March!)
The next section is a wonderful section - very runnable, near the creek with most of the 14 bridges we crossed (one-way!) thru here. On the way back - these crossings provided some much needed opportunities for cooling off. 36 minutes for this section and we took some more photos of Laurel Fork Falls emptying into the lake. Headed past the boat ramp side trail and onto new territory for me.
Still feeling good too after 8+ miles.
Different feel thru here. Some old logging roads (saw two 4-wheelers on a side road too) and of course more steps. I was walking all the down steps as my shoes have little traction on slippery surfaces and one section in particular was just too steep in my opinion. Ups and downs and eventually we made it to the Bench! 2:45 in for about 12.5 miles (according to a Foothills guide). 1:08 from the LF Falls.

Trip back was uneventful. Never had any pain, just some feet that got a little sore. Viktor and I talked about how much hiking we do, but at our level - that's normal and we are ok with that!
1:18 back to the LF Falls and continued back by the creek, over the bridges, and up the steps.
48 minutes to VH Falls - Definitely felt slower thru here.
Viktor started falling behind a little here and I kept going and felt stronger as I kept moving. I had no reference for where I was in relation to the end. A slight road/trail crossing at 55 minutes, then you start seeing the road thru the trees. It was getting closer and closer to the 6 hour mark and I started pushing - running some uphills too. At 5:58 I had basically given up, but then I saw the parking lot and I came down the steps and finished at 5:59:02!
An overall tiredness, but no muscle weakness/soreness whatsoever. I'm sure enjoying this...
More photos are here (of last two Foothills runs):


Viktor running

Long climb (with no steps)

at the Bench

Lake Jocassee (water somewhere over there on the left)

Laurel Fork Creek

creekside trail - the best


Friday, April 20, 2012

Table Rock/Sassafras run & Black Mountain Monster 12hr

I have finally signed up for this race:
The 12hour individual. Not ready to try for more (yet). My training is still going well. Last weekend I went out to Table Rock State Park. Starting at the parking lot, goal was to get to Sassafras and return. Never been up there before - and about 8+ years since I'd been to Table Rock at all. Hiked most of the uphills - and there was alot! Trails in TRSP were just ok. I took a quick detour to see Mill Creek Falls and once I made it onto the Foothills Trails (outside TRSP), the trails became very nice, mostly runnable. Surprisingly easy to follow - but I went thru a campsite not paying attention and ended up going a mile or so down (and it was downhill...) a logging road. I knew it didn't seem right, and checked my FHT section outline and it said "logging road", so I kept on going down, not seeing blazes, before heading back. What's some extra mileage when you have nowhere to be...

Back on trail kept moving decently, but really had my mileage/time muddled. Certain landmarks at associated mileages I just could not find and after just over 3 hours - really had no clue how close I was to Sassafras (Highest point in SC at over 3500 feet). Finally saw the road thru the trees and I was there. Spent some time at the overlook for some photos, went up the road a bit closer to the actual "top" before heading back after 3:30.
Brought my 20oz handheld and only my 2 liter bladder in my Camelbak. Down about half of it and because it was much lighter - moved around a bit more. Didn't like running with it like that - so did something I expect many non-runners will laugh about - but put two good sized rocks in my pack to weigh it down. Worked great for a few miles, until it dug into my back a bit, then took them out. Really enjoyed this section and my legs felt really good. There was a point or two that my legs felt it and didn't like going up so much, but I worked thru it and kept moving.
Once I got back to Table Rock (without backtracking the two "detours") - the running got slower with the steep, technical descents. Finished up in 5:49. Legs still felt good...wonder how long I could have gone??
Just spent the week away for work in El Paso and Juarez - so only 3 short runs on the dreaded treadmill. Blah. Calling that a recovery week that I didn't seem to need, but likely good for me in the long term.
So today - I signed up for that 12 hour race and after what has been 8 weeks (tomorrow) of averaging right under 40 mi/wk - a 50 mile goal in 12 hours seems reasonable. 6 weeks away - just need to keep it up!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Gotta be the shoes! (or is it the training?!)

So it looks like I'll only be posting every 2 weeks or so these days...blogging takes a back seat to most things. Hope my few readers don't mind! Sadly - Not much is being missed other than just running. Still no races. Getting a bit antsy and halfway wish I was running SweetH2O on the 21st.
Training is going well. (Is it "training" if I am not scheduled for a race?). How well?

In my 6th week of between 36-43 miles/wk - averaging just over 39 mi/wk. My typical is more towards 33mi/wk going into this.. I have done 39 a week before, for 3 weeks, as I was training for Chicago Marathon and my running was going particularly well. I was running a bit faster then, but I'm getting that back too.
Speedwork, temp runs and 2 hill sessions seem to be working. Last 4 long runs have been 17,18,13&18. If I do 20 this weekend (may do more, we'll see), that'll make 46 for the week - before playing golf Sunday.
Today after work - went out to Paris Mountain. Only been there once this year, back in January. I recently bought some Brooks Cascadias and have worn them once for a 6 miles at Lake Conestee before today. Man they feel light compared to my Asics 2160 trails shoes!!
I ran the upper loop and then came down and ran the 7k course (trails only, leaving out the road portion). Legs felt very strong for most of the 1st part and my time really showed that. I've run that loop in just under 57 minutes just a few times. Today's loop: 51:43. Whew! Wasn't even spent as I went down and ran the lower loop in my fastest time too: ~37.
Shoes or training?

Either way - I'll take it!

I need to sign up for something...Black Mountain 12hr is about to be mine!