Monday, January 26, 2009

In the long run...

I got in a couple good runs this weekend right before starting a rest week. The build up of weekend long runs was thwarted a little be Jan 17-18 when I said 'enough' at mile 22 of MMT Training run #1 (Buzzards to Camp Roosevelt). It was my longest run so far, and the thought of 9 more miles (2.1 part of the ridonculous climb out of Habron) wasn't too pleasing. A warm car and clothes, and copious amount of water, were awaiting me, and that's the tough part of having my GF there volunteering - cutting runs short is easy.

The following day was supposed to be a 25 mile run from "Gap to Gap" with a jaunt down to Bird Knob before coming back north, and my day ended at mile 9 at the Visitors Center. While crossing 211 from Crisman Hollow Road, I stepped on the edge of the road and twisted my ankle. There's never a trail run where I don't twist my ankle, but I never go down to the ground, and I was on the shoulder of the road in a hurry. I was back up pretty quickly, too, as embarrassing as falling is, and limped my way to the cars. Done. With a race in 3 weeks and it still only January I didn't want to push it and run on it anymore.

So after a couple runs during the week, I wanted to end the week on a good note with a couple long runs on a couple familiar courses - Bull Run and MMT. I got dropped off at Bull Run Marina a little later than I had hoped and headed south on the trail passing a few familiar faces en route to Fountainhead. I kept splits at each mile marker and did a 2 min on/2 min off workout for 40 min after a 20 min warm up. Once at Fountainhead, I picked up the blue blazed horse trail out towards Hampton Rd and crossed over the road entering the park on my way out to the 'Do Loop'. I tweaked my again and, damn, did it hurt. I walked a bit on my way out and around the blue and orange horse trail known as the Do Loop. It was hard to see the trail at times - footing and blazes - but I found my way and continued to turn my ankle numerous times. Very frustrating. I did a :30/1:00 hard/easy workout on this section and hope to do it as repeats in the near future. I hit the lap split on the way out and again when I reached Fountainhead. I had plans to be back at the Marina in 5 hours and was pretty well on target. Another runner took off from Fountainhead just in front of me and I tried to keep him in my sights as I started another :30/1:00 workout from mile markers 1-5. I was hoping to keep the mile splits about the same, but it was a little slower. Overall I was happy with the effort and came in at 4:45.

On Sunday the gal pal and I headed out to Camp Roosevelt within George Washington National Forest. Again, a little later start than we had hoped for, but we still got out there! Temps were a little chilly, so we were both anxious to start our separate ventures. She and the dog were going to head up the orange trail towards Kennedy's Peak and I was doing a semi figure 8 loop of the MMT course. The plan was to follow the course from Camp Roosevelt to Gap, up Jawbone and over Kerns Mtn to Crisman Hollow Road. Instead of following the road down to 211/Visitors Center as it will for the race, I took Waterfall down to the Connector and stayed on the orange trail (blue on that map) from there up to Scothorn over to Crisman Hollow Road. Depending on the road conditions, the gal pal would either meet me there, at Gap, or back at Camp Roosevelt if the gates were closed.

I kept splits at the start of the Gap Trail, top of Gap, at Gap aid, top of Jawbone, at Crisman Hollow Rd (off of Kerns), at the Connector, at Scothorn, and back at CHR off of Scothorn. All told, I was moving nicely even on tired legs from Saturday's run. A few sections felt longer than I remembered, but I hope to become more familiar (and faster!) with them during future training runs. I did my :30/1:00 up Gap and over Gap as well as across Kerns Mt (1 hr, 45 min.. ugh). The last 4 miles was just an effort to get to the end. Total mileage was just under 16 miles.

I tried to get better about nutrition and hydration. I think I've been having such 'low' feelings during my runs because I'm not eating or drinking enough. I take 3L out with me in the back and barely drink half of that for 5 hours. I know it's not very warm out, but that's no excuse. Rarely do I have to go pee when I'm out there, and it's not uncommon to not have to go until I get home. I drink as soon as I finish (Recovorite and Ensure) and a Nalgene full of water on the ride home to stay/get hydrated.

I'm looking forward to an easier week and want to spend some more time on stretching and using The Stick or the foam roller to loosen things up. I have a full schedule starting up soon and want to make sure I'm good and ready. I've also moved up to 28th on the wait list for MMT and joined the lottery for the Bull Run Run 50 miler in April. I hope all goes well and I eventually get into both, but I will continue to train and prepare myself as if I'm already in.


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