Monday, May 04, 2009

Weekend, Review, and Final workouts

This past weekend I was lucky enough to join 4 other runners in an 18 mile jaunt in George Washington National Forest. I had been on these trails before, nothing new to me, but running some of them at night was new to me. I started off in the back of the pack and stayed there most of the night. I was in no rush as the group split, regrouped, split, regrouped, then split for good until the finish, which was 5.5 hours after starting.

I took it very, very easy and walked probably 2/3 of the course. I got in my climbs, I got in the time on my feet, I about polished off my 3L Camelbak (drinking at night is usually a problem), and I got to try out my new Drymax socks. It was my first real run in the socks, and my reviews are inconclusive. I've been a fan of the Injinji toe socks, but their anti-blister system was almost too good to pass up! My GF surprised me with a couple pairs before Bull Run 50, but this was my first long trail run where I could try them out. They promise that:

"Because Drymax socks stay dry, the skin stays dry too; therefore blisters normally caused by sweat or sweat vapor are prevented."

Apparently slogging through ankle deep mud and water isn't on the trails that these socks were tested on since I returned with wet socks, pruned feet and the skin on my heel peeling off where it was fulling intact before the start of the run. And their Extra Foot Protection -

"Trail dirt inside a sock is a bad thing; it can easily cause blisters or rib the skin raw. To help prevent dirt from getting inside Drymax Trail socks, we did not include vents. In addition, the Trail socks’ double welted leg has extra padding around the ankle. This extra padding protects the leg, and seals the top of the shoe to keep out dirt & debris."

I've had a couple black toenails since February (fall off already!!), but came back with so much dirt and grit on my toes that they all looked black/grey.

I love you, Drymax! And believe me, I've heard wonderful things about these socks and I want to like you, but maybe this was an off day for the socks. Better them than me. I guess they held up to their promise of no blisters, but this was an 18 mile walk fest, and who knows how they'll hold up to longer miles and more pounding. I don't have any more long runs on the trail planned until next week, so I'll probably stick with the Injini's and bring them along just in case.

After the run, I cleaned off with some Wet Wipes and crawled into the sleeping bag I had rolled out in the back of the CR-V. Quarters were cramped, but I got a lovely 3.5 hours of sleep before getting up and getting ready for some trail work. I was part of a crew that was to clear and re-blaze the section we had just run the night before, and there wasn't much work to do. We worked on Bear Wallow and Sidewinder Trail and a bit of Tuscarora before heading back to Elizabeth's Furnace picnic area and clearing some of the overgrown brush on the MT/Tuscarora Trail. It rained off and on and wasn't the best day to repaint blazes, nor were they in much need of a fresh coat, so we disbanded early.

It was nice to be out there caring for the trails that I've spent so much time on this year. I have my last couple weeks of workouts lined up and, weather permitting, hope to follow through. If not, I've finally got the erg set up and will hammer out a workout there as I did last night. It was quite the spit fest and "only" ten minutes (of pain). I'm looking to go Tue-Thurs this week with a couple TBD workouts Saturday and Sunday (more on that later this week), but nothing on trails is planned for either day. Next week will be interval runs on Tuesday and Thursday. No need to push it at this point. I plan on getting plenty of sleep even if that means going to bed before the end of any hockey game and just keep the nutrition in check. I haven't gone too overboard and have been able to maintain my weight for the last month. Packing and planning will take up the rest of the week as will doing my best to stay calm.

The past few months have flown by with one weekend left before the big race. Whether or not I'm ready, it will still happen, and I have these last few workouts to do to put the final touches on this years training...

.. and then it's time to get fat again!! woohoo!! Pints of Ben & Jerry's ice cream.. look out!!


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