Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Time on my feet

It was another good weekend with some good mileage on the MMT course on Saturday. Going into the planned run, I had reservations about this section. Because I was at such a low during this point in the race, I don't look forward to training on it.

When I ran from Woodstock to Powells Fort, I had a bit of a "that was it?" moment as it seemed to take forever during the race. When your feet feel like they've been smashed and the last thing you want to do is take another step, of course it will feel like forever to get from one aid station to the next. I didn't remember a lot of the terrain, course, or the area, but maybe it was a good thing. It was also very foggy, so I couldn't enjoy much of the scenery around me, but I'll save that for another day. I'm sure I'll hit this section at least two more times.

Powells Fort up to the turn onto the blue blazed Tuscarora trail is very run able, so I ran it. I ran at a pace that I would love to manage race day, but I just didn't want to push it. Mentally, I wasn't looking forward to the climb up Tuscarora to Meneka because I dreaded the 4 mile descent. Already I was thinking of bagging the rest of the run and ending it at the Elizabeth Furnace parking lot after 12.7 miles. I was thinking about some aches and pains and how my feet were already bothering me, and I just didn't want to face the climb up to Shawl Gap. I finally decided to do it, and just gutted it out. It's about a 2.5 mile climb that took me 49 minutes. I think it took me over an hour on race day. If I can get it down a bit more, I'd be happy. It was nice to get to the top and run a section of the Massanutten Trail that I've never run before. It was another 2.3 miles to the next turn, but it was absolutely gorgeous out. The fog had been heavy most of the day, and it just crawled across the ridge and opened up the valley. There was a small layer of snow on everything, and everything was untouched - ground, trees, rocks. I had to stop and take it all in. I tried to get a picture with my phone, but it's not the greatest quality. It was just beautiful and I'm glad I decided to continue the run or else I would've missed it.

I thought I missed the turn onto Sherman Gap trail, but I didn't and enjoyed a nice, rocky downhill run for 2.6 miles. I'm thinking of doing the Elizabeth Furnace Fat Ass 50K on 3/15, where I'll be climbing this section. I'm sure it make me a stronger climber, but I'm still on the fence about doing it or not. I covered the section from Shawl Gap to Sherman Gap to Botts Trail and back to the parking lot in about the time I thought I would. Granted, my GF cut her hike short and had been waiting for me for 2 hrs, but that's another story.

All in all, I got in about 21 miles in 5:45. On Sunday I headed up to Sugarloaf Mountain and did an easy 5 mile hike. The legs were sore as were the feet, but nothing a good Epsom salt soak and a rub down couldn't cure.

I still feel slow and that I'm not moving like I should. What that means, I'm not sure, but I just feel like I don't have good flexibility in my hips and that I'm running with a very low leg lift. Basically, I feel like it looks like I'm "jogging" and not running.

There's plenty of running to do in the next couple of weeks with the following events coming up:

March 1 - Seneca Greenway Trail Marathon
March 8 - MMT Training Run #3 (20-30 miles)
March 15 - Elizabeth Furnace FA 50k (?)
March 22 - Chocolate Bunny 50k (night run from 211 to Woodstock + an out/back)
March 29 - HAT Run 50k

I'm looking forward to the time on the trails and the time on my feet.


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