Saturday, January 30, 2010

Dawson forest

After roaming around Hall County with the husband, I finally, at 3pmish, felt ready to do some running. (my legs had been sore since Thursday after a good mileage week and some hill repeats). I opted to meet fellow runners and some GUTS members at Dawson Forest outside of Dawsonville. - off 400

The weather was warmer, and there was little precipitation. I arrived late and missed the 3pm group, so I was only able to run 1 lap. When they did arrive, we took off. the chatting, much to my surprise began immediately. Everyone was friendly and we shared stories of trails run - ultra & marathons - our injuries and employment. I think it was about 5.5 miles. The course was a typical georgia state park trail: muddy, rocky and had some good climbs. not too much elevation gain or lost; consistent. Enjoyable.

A good reminder of why I love trail running - can finally share what many people view as not normal or they shake their heads in bewilderment when you tell them what you did last weekend. Good company today. Hope Jon meets his goal!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Signed up for my First 50k

I just signed up for my first 50k. October 9, 2010. I am very excited!
New River 50k

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Although I am sure I am not the first person to use this term, it describes the activity well. For most, I deduce, it includes rather flat and rolling terrain where the leg turnover is high, and the rate of stopping is low. This description is in contrast to the type of running I usually enjoy. Usually, I prefer climbing, climbing and more climbing with breaks, and on trails.

On Saturday, I opted for camaraderie with others who were pavementing down in Flowery Branch as opposed to solitary running in the woods. We started with laps around a parking lot to warm up and to wait for others, and then we set off. I have to admit - it was enjoyable. We spent the next 2+ hours running a loop of about 6 miles. It had some rollling hills, but mostly it was flat. We kept our pace quick, yet there was plenty of conversation. We had the company of middle and high schoolers who filled me in on the latest video games and cool movies. I ended up meeting some nice women with whom I finished running. We started the finishing miles slowly, and then ended the last 2 miles with a quick pace. My legs were thankful to be done and hoped for trails soon.

Overall, an enjoyable and relatively high mileage day. Although I was supposed to do 20 miles one day, I ran 16 on Saturday, and have run 5 today, so I guess I did my goal - just in 2 days? Although as I have mentioned before, my miles have been greater this go-around - I still need to get a 20 miler somewhere - next weekend, next weekend!

Friday, January 22, 2010

A training plan & keeping up the motivation

This blog was intended as an expression of the frustration and rewards of training for the marathon, and to assist when I lose motivation. Then, after I so enjoyed my marathon, I decided to keep blogging about my running experiences and reach out to others who enjoy long distances. Now, i am looking forward to running my first ultra - hopefully the New River 50k.
My second marathon will be the Mt. Mitchell Marathon in Black Mountain, NC (where I got married in sept!!), and for the first time, I am really trying to follow a training plan for the marathon. (last year, I got sick in the middle, and gave up and just tried to run miles).
For example - trying to run double digit runs back to back. And, one pretty long run during the week. Some weeks are great, and I am really close to the 50 mile a week, but some weeks, I am too tired from work, etc etc. For as much as I love to run, it is difficult to stay on schedule, week after week. Training for a marathon, ultra - takes up significant time, and sometimes I really just want to sit on the couch with my hubby & Grendel. Or, read a book (from my stack of unread books). Or, any alternative but go to the woods.

Ode - to trail running and the mountains/ frustration for the hours out pounding mile after mile

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Quasi-Race Report - Hogpen Hill Climb 17k

In thinking about those who compose long and interesting race reports with photos, etc, I did not think I could title my Post as such. Mine will be short and without pictures.

Hogpen. We arrived early enough for some warming up (although we missed the pre-race meeting), some water gulping and gauging the temperature. We started on a road behind the main road through Helen, and we started our climb.

I was unfamiliar with the course, and had been warned to start out more slowly, and then attack towards the end. So, as I was going,I kept telling myself to "hold, hold." But, then after a couple of miles, I was wondering - what am I holding for? If the hills are to be done in "granny gear," then you don't need a rested body for that - (there sometimes is a point in races where you just cannot pick up those legs)? So, I increased my pace. The beginning 5 miles were nice. The climbs were relatively under control, and you could do some turnover. There was a nice break after mile 5 before the treacherous climbing began. Then, it began, and my mind repeated: keep going; keep going; pump those knees and lift those legs. It was difficult until around mile 9, and then we had a steep break down again. But, to the end - more climbing.

Overall, it was a difficult race - strategy wise - in part - because it was hard to see people that were in front of you - usually in a race, I can pinpoint a person and try to work towards catching them, but here - you really had to do that in beginning and just hold your pace. Next year, I think I will hold onto someone early, and then hope for the best - ha!!

Overall great run! Challenging, challenging and very beautiful!!! I think I ran it in 1:32...I think i did 3rd Overall for women.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Bucket list - trail - ultras and marathons

Still trying to compile - a list of races for this year:

What is your bucket lists of races, i.e., are there races that someone MUST do! eg ultras; trail runs?

Please leave a comment of your must do race.
(someone left a comment about Western States)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Snow brings lovely winter runs

On Thursday, I ran for a couple of hours while it snowed and snowed. I did not realize how much I missed the snow until I was out in the silence with snow resting on my eye lashes as Grendel and I floated along the pavement trying not to slip. Peaceful, methodical and calm described the type of running. There was no use to hurry around the streets - the conditions did not ask for a quick gaunt. The conditions required of me and my companion a certain patience; to breathe slowly, trek lightly and watch as each different snow flake rested someplace new. I tried to hold it all in; each immeasurable moment of this infrequent experience.

Fortunately, the snow remained, and on Saturday, we went to Chicopee woods to run for a double-digit morning. To our delight, the snow remained! The trails were not icy; only covered in a nice layer of snow, which covered the leaves and smoothed the trails. This provided for a lovely couple of hours floating, again, over the rolling trails. My only complaint was a dry hacking cough that would intermittently arise, but, overall, the pace was fast, and our legs felt fresh and light.

Two great runs - I have the snow to thank

Bucket list for trail, ultras, marathons, etc?

While I was compiling a list of races for this year, a thought arose - Do other runners have bucket lists of races, i.e., are there races that someone MUST do! eg ultras; trail runs?

Please leave a comment of your must do race.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

enjoyable treadmill

For all of you - trail enjoyers & those who love being outside (this does include me)- being on a treadmill is torture (even sometimes with the aid of a music player).

Last night I had the best time on the treadmill. I am not sure if it is the stress at work; reading born to run; or some kind of general epiphany about running in general. But, I really enjoyed myself. I practiced running on the balls of my feet, keeping my back straight and pumping my knees. I was singing and had the pace up high, and I kept moving and moving (well...). I squeezed out 5.3 miles. I know i have done longer, but the emphasis here is the enjoyment. It has been a while since I have enjoyed such a previously torturous activity. Are the gurus right? Can you choose happiness so easily even in the midst of such discomfort?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Twisted Ankle Marathon

I just signed up for the Twisted Ankle Marathon in May - who hoooo!!! The training keeps going, and going, and....

Sunday, January 3, 2010

14 miles - sign of a good 2010

After making it through holiday season (too many dinner parties; too much traveling; too much flat pavement running), I embarked on an adventure with a local friend to see how my legs could stand 14 miles.

I returned to parts of the National Forest that I had avoided during the deer hunting season. I had missed the Forest's opportunity for miles of climbing; single track and unmeasurable views. The hours passed quickly as we climbed, descended and rolled over the various trails. Grendel could run and run, and we could jabber and jabber.

From my late fall (post wedding)/winter running, the miles felt easy and my legs turned over more easily than I remembered. Maybe it was just my absence - or a change in my physiology? To leave analysis, I choose to enjoy the memory of the quick turnover of our legs and easy climbing.