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Monday, February 7, 2011

Long and Loopy

This week I was able to get out and enjoy the "warm"weather as I completed a 2-hour run on The Dragon Trail. I went about this by completing the top loop (25 minutes each ) 3 times and then finishing with a loop down to the river and back up over Guy Mountain before returning to the house.

As you would expect the first loop was just an ease into the day kind of thing, allowing the feet to find the terrain and the heart rate to settle into the effort. With recent moisture the trail was sloppy, really sloppy and I found myself prone occasionally. This first loop went by and soon I was off for the next 3 mile segment.

Each loop is essentially run as an out and back, to maximize the distance covered on the section of trail. Each time the total elevation is zero, because I am starting and stopping at the same point, within this though I am gaining about 800 feet at various inclines. So, as the third time out began, I was beginning to feel the zippiness gone from the quads at least.

I had shed a layer at this point and dropped the hat and gloves and even had thought about going to shorts... a luxury of running from home I suppose, but I held onto the leg covers remembering that it is still February. Within 10 minutes the day turned on me, well not me personally but I was affected. Suddenly the river gorge was locked in with frigid fog. The views were gone and so was the sun. I made it back home and quickly re-donned my long sleeve, hat and gloves and proceeded onward after a quick water... no fuel ingested.

Running to the River... still too cold for a swim
This time, after 3 loops and 75 minutes on the same ~1.5 mile segment I mixed it up and headed toward the river. This gives a long, 15-20 minutes (depending on route chosen) downhill which I enjoyed very much. I reached the river at the 90 minute mark of the run and still felt good in the legs but I could feel the heart rate was responding more to smaller stimuli and the power reserves were just about gone now.

Well, perfect, because now was the crux of the run. 25 minutes climbing back up Guy Mountain before the cool down descent home. The hill is mostly gradual with a few spikes in grade. I was able to stay aerobic, focus on power in the stride and complete the run in just over 2 hours, which is arbitrary since I was just going for aerobic time on the feet- of two hours. All told about 16 miles of running with no residual soreness or fatigue. I should be able to complete this style run just about weekly with some longer stuff every third week working to 3 hours on the feet.

With Boston as the next major race, then Chattooga 50k in June before taking on a 24 hour run this fall, I am feeling better by the week about my ability to perform and improve!!  Happy running!

1 comment:

  1. Gotta love it when the weather plays tricks on you like that! Great job out there!

    Also, regarding Boston, please shoot me an email so I can get you set up with the Blog/Dailymile Meet-up info!!!


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