Sunday, February 21, 2010

A little burnout = a good mileage weekend around the town

To all those who feel tired and burned out on a weekend - what are your remedies?

Fortunately, for me, one of my remedies is sunshine. When the weather is nice, I feel compelled to be outside. Outside lounging around; outside running with friends - just outside. And, the combination of the weather + avoidance of doing work on the weekends = running. This was the background for 2 great, great days of running!

On Saturday, about mid-afternoon, before the parents arrived and when the husband started playing video games, I knew it was time for some pounding on the pavement. I laced up my Montrail Masochists and headed out. The first 5 miles I had Grendel, but he overheated quickly, so I returned him to finish the final 4. Most of the miles were fast. Pavement does that to me; it makes me want to run fast - ie to have a quick clip and move. Move across the street, around people in the park, and to dodge other obstacles. So, Saturday under blue skies I coasted to two laps to = 9 miles.

Sunday had a similar weather background except this time I had human company for the first section of the run. My friend and I met at Chicopee woods, and we did a mellow 7.5 (approx). Grendel did accompany this run. Again, he tired quickly (from the heat?), but I was rejuvenated. When Grendel and I returned to town, I, by myself, took off around town. Again, my pace was quick. I almost stopped after another 5 miles, but, again, the sunshine held onto me, and I squeezed another mile for a total of 13.5 miles.

As my training has progressed, when I start running - the miles come more quickly. One current observation - sometimes it is harder to get out the door... Ah burnout/tiredness. Good reason to have friends who run - to motivate you!

Happy Sunshine for those of us in Georgia.

Monday, February 15, 2010

35 miles - new record mileage for me

Some of the GUTS guys and I had an adventure on Sunday (yes it was Valentine's day, but the hubby and I celebrated Friday night).

I woke at 3:30 am, stumbled out of bed, grabbed some food and jumped into my car - and I was off around 4:00am (luckily I had packed the night before, so I would not forget anything). Fortunately, Woody Gap in Suches, Georgia is only around 50 minutes from house (I had to stop for coffee), so I made the hopeful 5:00am arrival. When I arrived at the trail head, it was dark & cold & windy and cold. It took us some time to get going. We all bundled up, turned on our headlamps and we were off around 5:45. We were off for 10 hours of moving, um, pushing through the snow.

We started at Woody Gap, caught the Duncan Ridge Trail, and proceeded into Vogel State Park to the Coosa trail. (For anyone who has not done the Coosa trail - it is awesome! They say it is over 4000 feet of elevation gain. Approximately 13 or so miles of up and down and up and down. There is walking and recovering down hill, and some mellow -a challenge and different terrain).
Here are the GUTS guys at the top of Coosa Bald.

There was a significant amount of snow. On Woody Gap, we were breaking trail. When we first started on Coosa, some people had preceded us, and we were able to gain a little bit of speed until - the snow was deeper again... And, then on Coosa, we slowed down, again. The adventure slowed more as it started snowing, and the temperature dropped. But, we proceeded on and returned to the Duncan Ridge Trail. But, more adventure - one of the group members stopped for a quick break, and we went on - only to take a wrong trail and get lost, but we though the other member was lost. After back tracking to find our "lost" friend, who was not really lost, we found the correct trail (note the AT is ALWAYS a white blaze - ha), and tried to catch our friend, but, of course, he had taken the correct trail and beat all of us by about 30 minutes.

Overall, it was one of the best runs I have done. Good company, tough terrain & conditions & my first distance past a marathon. I thank all those who were in attendance!!!!

End picture - happy & delirious!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Recovered after feeling ill this weekend. Good week of hour long pavement runs

This weekend, on Saturday, I knew. I knew I would not be driving to Cartersville to run the Red Top Rumble, and this saddened me. My training has been consistent (for the most part); I felt strong after my performance at Hogpen, and I was hoping for a good time at Red Top. But, the sickness engulfed me, and I stayed on the couch for most of the day.

By Tuesday, I felt recovered (my sicknesses usually do not last too long), and I took Grendel for a slow hour long experiment run. It was smooth although apparent that my energy was lower than usual. Wednesday, I tried to repeat the experiment, but this time, at 50 minutes, I stopped. My body kept repeating no more until it was deafening, and I relented.

Today, I hope to repeat another hour run + hill repeats. Hopefully, I have recovered sufficiently...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Coosa + Bear Hair Gap + Extra = Happy

To all those who are unfamiliar with running in GA (here I would drop a footnote about my limited exposure, but..., as we would say, in our memos to judges - sufficient experience) Vogel State Park contains some of the best trail running - especially the Coosa trail - over 13 miles & over 4000 feet of elevation change, and the views are amazing; the climbs tear your quads, and rolling hills for recovery. Every time I run this trail, it is a different and enjoyable experience.

So with that background, we headed up on Sunday for a day in Vogel. We were well rewarded by snow on the ground; strong sunlight and perfect temperatures for 4+ hours playing on the trails. First, we did coosa, then we dropped off Grendel, so as to not ruin his joints, and then I headed over and did Bear Gap. Another great trail with good climbing. Also, cannot forget to add the approaches + the parts where wrong turns were taken, etc.. What resulted: 4+ hours of greatness.

This weekend is the Red Top Rumble - hope my training will have paid off!!!