Tuesday, March 31, 2009
I’ve recovered just fine from my 5+ hour flogging at the Fells on Saturday. The only fallout from the Fells Trail Race was tweaking my bad ankle again. I blame it more on my bad tape job than on the minefield of rocks and roots that occupy much of the Skyline trail. I ran with my Aircast ankle brace today and didn’t feel too bad.
Total Miles: 133
Race Miles: 24
Longest Run: 24
# of Runs: 16
Avg. Miles: 8.3
Trail Miles: 68%
I plan on cutting back on the miles this week to give the ankle a chance to rest and heal.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
I ran this race last fall for the first time. I was in good shape then, having just run the Stone Cat Ale marathon 3 weeks prior. I felt very strong during that race but an ankle injury forced me to drop out earlier than expected. I knew I was going into the race this time under trained but not concerned. I was just intending to use it as a long training run with a bunch of strangers and a few friends. It would also serve as a test of my current fitness level.
I had a difficult time sleeping the night before the race. Nasal congestion and a sore throat from a cold kept me awake the good part of the night. At O-dark-thirty (4:30 AM) I decided to get out of bed. I put on a pot of coffee and made some French toast for breakfast. I had already prepared all my gear for the race the night before so there was no need to rush. After breakfast, I changed and began the tedious process of taping both feet and my right ankle. Taping the arches is really not a big deal but I have a tough time trying to tape my ankle on my own. After several tries, taping, removing the tape and taping again, I finally got right. At the start of the race I met a Physical Therapist who noticed my tape job. She then showed me hers. Where I had used several feet of tape to hold my ankle in place, she used two short strips to accomplish the same thing! I’ll have to give it a try next time.
I arrived an hour before race start and I was happy I did. The number of race entrants had doubled from last year and parking in the small lot was tight. Kevin was already there and going through his gear. We exchanged greetings and he introduced me to the PT mentioned above. A short time later, Emily arrived with my new pair of camouflage print Gator-Bait Gaiters. These gaiters are a great addition to my gear box. I used my tiger print ones during the race and didn’t get any trail debris in my shoes during my 5+ hour run. Good stuff!
Total Miles: 42
Long Run: 24
Number of Days: 4
Avg Miles: 10.5
Trail Miles: 81%
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Back in the day, I was pretty much a solitary runner and preferred it that way. If fact, my nick-name when I was competing on my high school track and cross country teams was 'The Hermit'. I earned this label because of my propensity to leave my teammates during organized training runs and wander off on my own, only to return to the school gym locker room after my teammates had already showered, changed and were heading home for dinner.
Train leaving the station.
Chatting with 'Nipmuck' Dave
Happy bunch of runners!Photo Credits: Kevin Z.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Total Miles: 30
Long Run: 16
# of Runs: 4
Avg Miles: 7.5
Trail Miles: 53%
Next up is the Fells Trail Race. The distance is 8 - 40 miles on the Syline trail depending on your level of insanity. I'm only aming for 16 but I may attempt 24. We'll see.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
After reviewing my inventory, please feel free to comment on anything you think could be a useful item that I am lacking. REI is just down the block from where I work and any excuse to visit is fine with me!
One bottle Fuel Belt - good for runs up to one hour. The zippered rear pocket is small but can carry your car keys and a packet of gel. Fine for short runs
REI Mini Multi-Tool - This little gadget is made with tough stainless-steel components and has an anodized aluminum handle. It is compact enough to fit in your pocket and light enough (around 2 oz) to carry on your trail runs. Hey, you never know what you'll encounter out there that may require the use of one of these handy tools. This little wonder has a pliers, wire cutter, a straight-edge blade and saw, a phillips screwdriver, standard screwdriver, bottle opener, wire stripper, file and scissors.
Time to go shopping....
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Total Miles: 35
Long Run: 15
# of Runs: 4
Avg. Miles: 8.8
Trail Miles: 73%
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Much of the run was on twisting single track but we also ran on wide trails, grass covered hills and also crossed a very long boardwalk spanning a partially frozen marsh. It was awesome! In fact, I have never run over so many boardwalks as I did on this run. And how could I forget the hills! We climbed Holt Hill and Boston Hill, both over 400 feet high and offering spectacular views for many miles.
On Sunday I managed to crank out 15 miles even though my legs were a little sluggish from my run through Ward Reservation. I discovered another new single-track trail in Lynn Woods running along the banks of Breeds Pond for almost it's entire length. This is the best running in Lynn Woods as far as I'm concerned. The trail is sort of an out-of-the-way trail so I hope it remains relatively undiscovered.
Friday, March 13, 2009
On Sunday it's back to my unusual stomping grounds for a 16 mile run though Breakheart Reservation and Lynn Woods. I haven't run this double woods run since August of last year so even though I'm very familiar with both parks it will still feel like new to me.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Another thing that prompted me to make this purchase was the fall, and subsequent ankle break, of a friend during a training run on ice. My screw shoes have served me well on many runs this winter but the Kahtoolas offer a more aggressive grip that gives an added measure of safety when descending steep, ice-covered trails. I hope I don’t need these until next winter but it’s nice to know I’m good to go if Old Man Winter decides to hang around a little longer.
I can't make a first-hand recommendation but I've gotten several good reports from trail-runner friends that used the microspikes this winter. I'll do a complete product review after I actually get to run in them. Hopefully, not for a long while!
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Monday, March 9, 2009
I walked slowly towards the deer trying to get a better view. The deer remained still, all the while keeping a watchful eye on me. When I got as close as I thought I could without scaring off the deer I stopped and took a few more photos. The deer seemed to be a bit curious but not overly concerned with my presence. The deer was steering me down, almost taunting me alla Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver. I did make a move and the deer ran off. I guess I showed him, her?
Are you talking to me?
I spend most of the next 2.5 hours slogging though mud and water and tippy-toeing my way across long stretches of ice. I approached all the ice fields with extreme caution not wanting a repeat of last week's ankle-breaking experience. No B.S., a friend of mine actually broke her ankle from a fall on an icy trail in Middlesex Fells. This obviously effected my overall pace but I was still happy with my 10:35 average for the 14.4 miles. I was most pleased that I didn't need to take any walking breaks, not even up the hill to stone tower, which I ran twice. I think the snowshoe running I did this winter made me stronger on the hills. I sure hope so because I need help in that area of my running.
I knew I wanted to run around 14 mile but didn't plan out a route in advance. I figured I would wander around on the fire roads until I thought I had done enough running to hit the 14 mile mark by the time I returned to the parking lot. Fortunately, I underestimated the distance and as I neared the finish saw that I was about a mile short. I made a detour off the road and picked up a trail I had never run before. This trail tuned out to be a real jewel! It's single-track undulated up and down and twisted it's way along the banks of Breed Pond, and it was snow and ice free! This is one of the coolest things about trail running. No matter how often you run somewhere there is always something new to discover if you are willing lose your way and let nature guide you.
equipment: brooks cascadia 3, injinji wool socks, race ready shorts, ems long-sleeved shirt, camelbak xc octane.
nourishment: 50oz succeed ultra, 2 packets of gu, 1 succeed s-cap
weather: 50 degrees, wind 17 mph
Sunday, March 8, 2009
I am still dealing with the same medical problems and want to remain as injury free as possible. Overtraining or racing too so could increase my symptoms and prevent me from running the entire year. So why not use the same strategy in 2009 that was successful in 2008? That seems to make the most sense. With that in mind, I plan to focus all my training this year towards running the Stone Cat Ale 50 Mile in November.
I will use many of the longer Grand Tree Series Races and other events as training or tempo runs to prepare me for this daunting undertaking. I will use a logical progression to prepare myself to cover the 50 mile distance. My plan is to run a trail marathon in June, possibly Nipmuck if I can bribe, err; convince Nipmuck Dave to let me enter. He has instituted an entry requirement this year and I missed making it by the skin of my teeth.
After the marathon I will enter a 50K in September, most likely the Pisgah 50K in New Hampshire. I am also keeping the New River Trail 50K in VA as a backup but it’s a little late on the calendar and I also prefer to run one closer to home if possible. I have a lot of hard training ahead but if all goes well I should be ready to take on the mischievous stone cats of Willowdale!
The best laid plans……