Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Good and the Bad

It's been a good week of training. I got 4 of my 9 runs in on trails, plus some of the other 5 runs were on trails some of the time. Tuesday was my big workout of the week. I decided, or more accurately my body decided and I just learned to listen, that I would only plan one important workout for each week. I generally plan a second workout of lower intensity or abbreviated in some way. If I'm not feeling it, I don't do a second workout. I do try to get in something longish one day a week, long for me being anything 15 miles and over in one run. This was my adjustment to getting older and my body not recovering as quickly. It has worked pretty well for the last couple of years.

So back to Tuesday, I did 10 x mile with 1 minute recovery. I hadn't done that many mile repeats since the fall of '09. I did the first 9 in 5.58 and the 10th in 5.57. (In '09, it was 1-9 in 5.56 and 10th in 5.55.) I was very encouraged by the workout to say the least. It was a good sign my fitness is coming back from my layoff. Plus, I wasn't too fatigued in the following days, just a little dullness in the legs.

Saturday, Cory and I went back out to Longbottom to do a 17 mile loop up the mountain, across the Blue Ridge Parkway, and back down. It has about 2600' of climbing, so not too tough a run. It passed quickly for both of us and had a little comedy. Cory had just recently run 15 with me out there which was his longest run. At the vehicle I recommend he carry a small bottle, plus I gave him some food to carry. He decided against the bottle since there was one creek to get water at. He also decided on just the Clif Bloks, so just 100 calories for the 2 and 1/2 hours. I said it was doable, but if he got hungry or thirsty, I may not share. It's a little of every man for himself. The final set up is that it was warm at the bottom, 50s. As we neared the top, the temp had definitely dropped more than was predicting for the top of the mountain. Add the strong winds and the wind chill was right at 30 degrees. (I checked when I got home.) I had gone gloveless and singlet, but thankfully with arm warmers. My hands are very sensitive to cold and were turning various shade of red and white by halfway across the 7 mile along the BRP. Cory ended up carrying my bottle so I could keep my hands pulled up in the arm warmers. Of course he teased me a little about the whole thing. My hard, "every man for himself" side at the bottom had turning into the beggar in the cold. I told him he was my hero for the day. It only sort of evened out as he finished off the bottle on the way down when he started to bonk a little. At the bottom again, it was warm and Cory finished the run shirtless. Cory is going to be a tough trail racer if he decides racing is worth his time at some point. It was a fun day on the mountain even with the severe weather change.

I hadn't planned on it but I went back out to that area again today. I ran up the mountain on the Mountain to Sea trail through Stone Mountain State Park just a little east of Longbottom. It is 2600' of climbing as well. (The Highgear watch I have is awesome.) I was prepared for the weather difference today. I was rolling pretty good too, which I wasn't really trying to do. (Average HR: 142) It was the fastest that I've ever run that trail. I've been getting in some good time in the mountains this month. Hopefully it'll be good for my strength and fitness, but I don't care too much. It has been good for my spirit. I'm looking forward to some racing. I have Uwharrie 20 Mile on Feb. 4, probably the Ugly Mudder in PA on Feb. 26, and the big one, Nueces 50 Mile on Mar. 3. Nueces is the USA 50 Mile Trail Championship and I'm hoping to get my 8th top 3 at a Championship. Of course, 1st would be favorite top 3 position. My 7 top 3 placings are all 3rd.

I almost forgot to write about the bad, maybe that's good. I had a x-ray on Wednesday and the ulna in my left arm is not healing. So 2 more months of not using my left arm. That will take me to 5 months. So now I start a bone stimulator. The atrophy in that arm is becoming very noticeable, kind of comical and sad. If God's yoke is well-fitted, it's not always comfortable.

Quotes out of context:
Alison, "I've already licked myself."
Jason, "Not all goats' beards grow evenly."
Cory, a 23 year old, "I've seen everything."
The original is still the best. Andrew Hinde, "I don't know why dead cows have to go so fast."

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