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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Week of Weak

It was to be the week of a thousand miles... well 70 anyhow. I had it all planned out, with long runs, easy runs and which trails I was going to revisit and explore. With Lynnea and Sylas taking a grandma visit I had nothing but time and growing daylight to wear myself out.

Day 1
A Brand New... Gator!
That Friday I was all set to go... out of work early at about 3:30, right? WRONG! Our agency was at the semi-annual Christmas Tree Show and we won a brand new Gator 4x4... well with a sick boss guess who got to stick around until 5:30???

That's right ME! Once sorted out I headed to a revised edition of my planned run and got in a misty, muddy 7 miles with Lily dog. However, we had run out of daylight and found ourselves with 3 miles to cover of uphill technical "running" in the dark, foggy night time along the MST. Headlamp, yeah, I had three of those in the car. We just settled into our brisk hike on a spooky woods walk back to the car.

Day 2
My throat was a little scratchy but I figured it was just from the moist run the night before. Saturday I had a long run planned so I drove to Tennessee and the nearby Roan Mtn. From Carver's Gap I ran northbound on the Appalachian Trail on a chilly in the shade, hot in the sun kind of a day. I had no idea what the trail was like, except the initial section would reach the summit of Roan Mtn. (or close to it). Up top it was icy and slick in spots with what I thought was technical trail, very rocky. Once crested I slid off the back side and found that the north side of Roan Mtn is very very very steep. From 25 minutes into the run at the crest to my countdown timer 'beep' at 70 minutes I did a lot of very steep, downhill running. VERY STEEP. In fact as I made my way down I often contemplated turning back and trying my luck going south bound for the remainder of the run... in the future it is what I might just do.

At the turn around I stood still for a few moments eating a gel and thinking... okay, tiny steps. very. tiny. steps.
After making my way gently down the mountain for 35 minutes I figured it would take an hour to get back to the crest before a gentle run off the other side to the car and something cold to drink.

Within 200m I realized my plan would be ambitious. I should walk this I thought, but I did not set out to walk so, I ran and ran and ran, about 5 1/2 inches at a time. And, don't you know... I made steady progress for 45 minutes when I reached the last step of the climb up. And, then I found myself hiking. I was about 1:50 into the run, my longest by 25 minutes to date and the trail was loose, rooty, rocky and had become less runnable for my condition... so hike was it. My heart rate stayed elevated with the effort and soon I reached the crest again. Back down to the car with the open stride and dodging the ice on the trail. And... more sore, scratchy throat. Iwas a little tired. Surely just the wet, cold running. Surely.

Day 3
10 miles on the books... and ready to run once the weather cleared... which was to be early afternoon. So I waited and then soon felt chills on the skin, a pulsing headache and then... a fever of 100.7. Change of plans. I had the flu and was condemned to the house for 7 days... ughhh. What's the line about making a plan?

I did get in a little running on the nice days of the week. Fortunately, Lynnea and Sylas were away and so did not catch the bug too.

9 days later...
Last night I was finally feeling better and determined to get in my 12-athon run. Having been in the rebuilding mode this year this is the first 12th of the month that I have been able to actually run 12 miles!!! So, watching you all from the sidelines on the 12th of each month has been motivating. The run was probably the best of the year. I was rested and got in some strong climbing with tempo on the flats and built into some 10 race effort on the return. I was able to run an aggressive pace for 86 minutes!

Lesson: Next year, I'm getting my flu shot!


  1. Glad you are healthy again, Sean. I got a flu shot this year. And still got the flu... :-)

  2. Glad you are feeling better. Been sidelined with something in my chest...It sucks.


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