Coach Spencer Runs in the Woods

Coach Spencer Runs in the Woods

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Running Camp

I brought 25 runners from my team to Brevard Distance Runners Camp. All went well. I got a little homesick and missed Wren a lot, but had a great time with the kids & running. This is my second trip as a coach, but I came as a camper in the mid-1980s. I got in 100 miles, but just barely. My legs were toast on Saturday morning & instead of getting a nice long run in, I had to stop at 9 miles to reach 100. All of the afternoon runs were at Pisgah National Forest or DuPont State Forest. Many trails were double track or dirt forest service roads, but there was some singletrack. I was disappointed that there were no views except John Rock and Hooker Falls. Last year, there were a few more.

The toughest run I did was 16 miles along Sycamore Flats, part of Art Loeb and Black Mountain trails, all three of which are steep. My favorite was the run up Cat Gap Trail to John Rock. The camp calls it their Graduation Run. It’s an 1100’ climb over about 3.5 miles onto a rock face with an excellent view.

One day, I stopped into a local outfitter to ask where I could fit in a relatively easy 6-10 mile loop when I had some time. She suggested Coontree Loop. After climbing 1000’ in the first 35 minutes, I was a little confused about her definition of “easy.” Cruel joke!

Camp reinforced a few things I already knew:
1) The easiest way to get 100 miles for the week is not 11 runs. UGH! I would have much rather have done fewer, longer runs to get the mileage in chunks, but the schedule didn’t allow for it.
2) We’ve got some fast girls! …and our guys are coming along & will do very well for themselves. I couldn’t be more excited for Cross Country season to start!
3) I’m an awful climber. I felt really strong and remarkably fresh on the flats, downhills, & gradual uphills, but when the trail really turned upwards, I struggled.

I’ve been really happy with my training lately, having run an average of over 10 miles per day this summer, including several days off (just not this past week!). It felt weird to go into the woods this week just for 45-90 minutes at a time. 10-12 mile training runs feel as standard as 4-5 milers used to. Not a lot of speed these days, but that’s OK.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What's more hardcore, running 100 miles in the mountains or being brave enough to take 25 teenagers for a week!