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Monday, March 22, 2010

Valle Crucis 25k Course Preview

Another big weekend brought itself in despite my fatigue from the accumulation of training. Friday night brought me to the course for next month's Valle Crucis 25k race. It was a magnificent afternoon for running and I even considered leaving the shirt behind... though we are not quite there yet for long shaded runs up in the hills here in the high country.

Soften the Quads
So I prepped the water and hit the start button and began toward the base of the climb. The first 3 miles take you up about 1000ft and I could really feel the training affecting me on the last mile of this section. Soon enough the grade gives way and there is a nice flat section before the climb to 5.5 miles. I was averaging 8 minute miles to this point and feeling like tempo effort so, I knew that I was in fact, tired still. Despite the whole day off on Thursday, lingering physiological fatigue remained.

Freeing the Stride
The next 10 miles are flat with declines from 2-20% allowing the legs to get moving and affording the runner to work on that skill of downhill running which often separates runners over a hilly course. Though I was unable to run super hard on the climbs, I could take advantage of this free fall back into the river valley. The views from atop this ridge are astonishing, some of the best in the southeast, for my time and effort.

Finding the Pace
Back to the flat valley of the river side I decided to move the legs over a couple of miles. The effort was taxing and a little disheartening to see 6:50's flash across the Timex's face... further evidence of over-training... yes, the Big "O".

Rigid Stats
2009 Race Time: 1:42:30
Course Preview: 1:48:30

What do these numbers mean? Well, I actually felt faster later in the training than last year's race. I am confident that after another month of training and a solid taper I will go under 1:40 in this year's race. The scary thing... the Course Record out here is somewhere around 1:32... now, that is moving!

Just Move It
Saturday I was able to get out for 10+ at dusk, finishing up in the dark when Lynnea met me out on the roads to rescue me from the darkness. She was worried I had been lost forever to the road-side ditches of Watauga county. While she was experiencing such angst I was easing into one of the best runs of the year. After allowing myself to relax and slow down and just enjoy the movement I was soon moving through the vacuum of the night, surrounded by bird chirps, river's falling and stars shining above- a special kind of moment to enjoy.

Hope ya'll had as enjoyable weekend as I did. FYI- Sunday was an exhausting lift day.


  1. I'm going to try to work "soften the quads" into more of my conversations today.

  2. "..I was soon moving through the vacuum of the night..."
    Isn't that the best, when you can just relax and lose yourself in your surroundings? Great description.

  3. Running in the dark just scares me. That's when all the murderers and rapists come out!

  4. I like to run the same race as the year before, since it's the only true way to see if you're improving (unless, of course, they completely alter the course!).

    I'm betting you get closer to that course record than you think.

  5. Hi Sean,
    I would put money down that you smoke last years time:) I have faith in you:)

  6. Don't you just love this time of year! If this doesn't charge your batteries, nothing will! Great write!

  7. lol @ razz.

    Wow, you really have some hills over there. 20% downhill grade? Amazing.

    I can't wait to see what you can do on this race course. Sub 140? wow.

  8. Nice times for 25K. That's 7:00 miles for a little over 15.5 miles. Awesome! You da man!

    Your going to have a really nice race.

  9. Sounds like you are ready to rock the race. BTW--Keep forgetting to comment on your banner; such fantastic scenery! I want to run there!


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