Friday, November 28, 2008

Trot for your Turkey

With the busy day ahead and large amounts of food to be consumed, the need to be in a caloric deficit was great. What better why to achieve this than a jog.

Why not give a little to charity over the holidays? The
Boy's & Girls Club of the Midlands
hosted the Turkey Trot 8k on Thanksgiving morning. The turn out was large. Some 290+ runners with the same ideas gathered for the event.

The start was quick, down in front of the Colonial Center the pace was probably faster than I'm use to but what the heck. The leaders were still in visual contact as we crossed over the Congaree River heading into Cayce. As always a goal of mine is not be chicked. As the 2nd place lady starts to get further away. The feeling of crap this is fast hits home.

The half way point comes on the right turn on Gervais St. crossing the Congaree again. The long climb up Gervais was the confirmation that my start was way too fast. Holding it together and to not be passed. A top 30 was the idea of the day but as runners started to pass with 2 miles to go the goal was slipping away. The line couldn't have come any sooner. Finished in 29th place at 33:32, 6:45 pace. Garmin confirmation had me averaging 176 HR and maxing at 201bpm. Hate it if you dare but holding a 176 HR is good training for the winter short track series to come.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Still Standing

Yet another weekend spent on two feet instead of two wheels. As the temps have dropped so has the desire to brave the wind and ride. This probably had something to do with the beat down from last Sunday's Race to the River. Since the saddle time has been at a minimum, the lack luster performance in a race situation was a given. Yet maybe my ego was damaged or just put in check. Who cares? The winter is made for a change in pace. So the running shoes have been getting most of the action lately.

The past 48 hours was a change. Saturday, I headed out to the folks house for some dirt road adventure by foot. Started out with a lap around LHS then to the dirt in some various out and back routes. Nice easy cruise pulling back into the folks house 13 miles later. Shocked as shit yet still able to function. Woke up this a.m. surprisingly feeling well. Well enough to take the dogs on a 2 hour hike/jog at Lynchs Woods. The proven method of breaking down the high drive of two bird dogs.
So this weekend had the smell of epic to it. Wow 20 miles for the weekend.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Paris Mountain 11k Trail Race

A first but definitely not the last trail race I'll run. Like racing bikes the dirt is far more exciting than the pavement. The PMTR was my first attempt at a trail race. The strategy was very similar to that of a mtb race. Go like mad to the singletrack then patience takes over. Since my ability to kill it at the beginning is far from elite.

A pre run of the opening single told me the trick was to start fast yet smart. The start saw 160 runners toe the line up at the entrance to the park. A downhill paved start, all while jockeying for position. A bit spastic yet conservative. The single track came up quick and with the 30 something folks ahead this was to be a test of patience. Luckily I had the smart-ass card tucked in my britches.

The opening trail was a lot of fun. With some wider single track aided in the passing of the hot starters. All seriousness started when the pace came to a stop on the technical sections. The set in rock steps were killing some folks. Then came some serious steep section of narrow slick trail. Here comes the SA card. Pull to the side roadie and let the dirt huggers through.

To the top, I thought I may loose it. Collecting myself I tagged onto the 6 of some chick killing it. Motivation in many ways. One to not be chicked. I'm fine with it. It happens all the time. To the top of Kanuga Trail where the course tops out and downhill we go. This is the part that sketches me out. This chick passes me cruising. So I take off after her. Putting myself in MTB downhill mode to find the groove I was missing.

Transition to the rollers of the final sections of trails. The hills were really good to me. I felt good cruising through the trees in control of my feet and lungs. Pulled in another local in the next rocky downhill section. This cat was dropping gas bombs left and right. I had to pull back a touch till the opportunity to pass came again. The out and back trail was the last section. Seeing one more runner up ahead, I could not resist the chase. Out sprinting him towards the end. Fun stuff.

Then onto the business of eating some pancakes. Yes that's right the post-race meal of hot off the griddle pancakes. Wash that down with some chocolate milk (A+). What an experience, the organization had it down. This running thing ain't so bad. Pancakes at a bike race? Anyway finals had me finishing 7mi. in 1:02, 16th overall, 3rd in my age group. Two minute off my goal, but I know where I lost that 2+ minutes.