Thursday, April 10, 2008

Ignorance is bliss?

This was another good weekend of training as the race date closes in. I did one of my last runs on the MMT course on Sunday, and it came at a good time. I hope to get out there maybe one or two more times, but I think I've covered as much as I can do, and want to do, before the race in May.

On Saturday, I did about 11 miles on the BRR course - out/back to Fountainhead starting at Bull Run Marina - and commented to my sister on the drive home how great the weather was that day. Looking at weather reports the night before, it was supposed to rain all day, but turned out to be a beautiful and sunny day. We were very fortunate, and I said how lucky we were to have such good weather for all our weekend runs and races.

So much for that luck when it was cool and rainy Sunday morning. But for me, it was perfect. I would've much rather been in the mountains by myself than on the roads of DC in the Cherry Blossom 10 miler.

My sister dropped me off at Habron. The plan was to go from Habron to Camp Roosevelt, from CR to Gap I/II, and climb up and over Jawbone to Moreland. Total distance was just over 17 miles. My sister was parking at Moreland and would a few miles up Short Mountain, and thought about coming back and going up Jawbone to meet me. She nixed the 'back' portion, but got in a good run of her own by running Short Mountain for the first time in the daylight.

The stretch from Habron to CR runs long. This was my second time running this stretch - my first was during the race last year. When I arrived at CR, my sister was sure I was going to drop there. It was only 50k into the race.. and I looked "that bad"?? Apparently that section of trail wore on me, and it showed. I didn't want that to happen again this year, so I made it a point to tackle the climb out of Habron at some point before the race.

I'll admit upfront that I had no recollection of this section. None. I often looked back just to see if where I came from looked familiar at all and it didn't. I was hoping this would be a good thing since many folks dread the climb out of Habron. It wasn't as bad as I thought, but I hadn't covered 20 miles prior. I was happy with how I did, took mental notes on how long it took to get to the MMT trail, to Stephens Trail, and to CR.

I covered the next section from Camp Roosevelt to Moreland as part of MMT Training Run #2. I was sure I covered the stretch in 2:45 and wanted to do so again, or faster, on this run. I was slow leaving CR and running along the small creek as I thought I missed the turn onto the blue trail. I cautiously looked ahead and behind to see if anything looked familiar, and it did not. I didn't want to end up at 211, either, and have to backtrack. Fortunately I recognized some landmarks (small water crossings and the tepee campsite markings) and found my way. I remembered the handful of switchbacks on the climb and was soon up and over. I enjoyed a nice rocky, wet, and muddy run down to Gap Creek, which was the sort of training I was hoping to do. We've had such great weather so far and I was hoping for a less than ideal day since who knows what the weather will be like race day. I'd rather try out a few sections of the course when it's at its worse than when it's at its best. I worked my way up Jawbone and hurried my way down and across the rocks to come into Moreland about 10 minutes faster than I did during the training run. I was very pleased with my effort. I can only hope to do, and feel, so well come race day.

I'm not sure how much knowing the course helps or hinders me, but I know that training out there has helped. I'm going into the Bull Run Run 50 miler this weekend, which will be my longest run before the 100 miler. For some, I might seem a little under trained, which is possible, but I'm learning from some mistakes from last year and just trying to be smarter about my approach. We'll find out soon how well it worked.


Post a Comment

<< Home