Coach Spencer Runs in the Woods

Coach Spencer Runs in the Woods

Saturday, August 29, 2009

73 Miles of Appalachian Trail Video

Finally, what you've all been waiting for- my film making debut. if having a blog isn't self-important, now I'm making movies of myself. :)

Click here for the 9 minute video of the trip.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Wild Hare Marathon

Ran the Wild Hare Marathon today. Low key free event put on by Brown Mountain Running Club. Minimal support, but enough to get you through & not lost. This is the same (new) course as the Ridge to Bridge Marathon and it goes from Jonas Ridge to... I don't know. Sort of near Morganton? There's nearly a 3,000' of elevation drop which sounds easy but it wasn't as easy as I expected. The first 6 miles were on asphalt & rolling terrain. That's the only asphalt. The rest was on gravel roads through Pisgah National Forest. After the rolling 6 miles, you drop most of the 3,000' in the next 9 miles. There are a couple of decent sized uphills in there too, but for the most part, you're just descending. A little rough on the quads, knees, hips & back, but didn't feel like work. At mile 15, there's an abrupt change, as is flattens out and you come out of the woods & onto a different road. From there, it rolls gently for another 6 miles and the last 5 miles is mostly a gentle downhill.

I thought I'd be about 3:35. I finished in 3:49 after taking about 10 minutes to "check out the woods" a record 5 times. Without that, I would've been 3:39. Around miles 15-20, I didn't work as hard as I could've because I knew my time was shot. Had I not been in the woods, I may have pushed it in these miles & hit 3:35. If, if, if. Excuses, excuses, excuses. I felt fine. Enjoyed myself. Ran every step. No leg, blister or fatigue problems. Good experience. Had a good time going up there with Kevin & Brad who also ran.

Worst part is I sort of realized I'll never see the other side of 3:30 again unless I make some big changes. If I can't do it on a course like that...

Next stop, Hinson Lake 24 Hour Race Sept. 19-20. No concrete goals. Somewhere between 70-100 miles would be nice. More excited about the start of Cross Country season. First meet is Tuesday.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Rotten Recovery

I am amazed everything felt fine during the 50 mile night run this week. I wouldn't say I felt great, but not to have the hint of a problem for 9 hours is fantastic. The days since then haven't been so good though. I haven't been sore at all. Strange. Had other problems though.

24 hours after the run, I spent the night throwing up. Not sure why. Spent most of yesterday in bed. I ate a cup of rice & 1/2 can of beans at 3 PM & a decent dinner, but that's all I felt like eating all day. Today, I woke up at 6:30 AM & had a Powerbar before practice. Ran 2 loops of the 5K XC course at Wingate University & picked it up the last 2 miles. Afterwards, I mowed my parents' grass & then came home & mowed my own. Hot today. By 3:30 PM, all I'd had to eat all day was that Powerbar. I did drink a lot. I was making something to eat & ended up on the kitchen floor. Jennifer said I was leaning on the counter mumbling & she lowered me to the ground. I think I was only passed out or whatever for a minute, but I was very much out of it for 20 minutes & fuzzy for 30 minutes after that. From 5 PM on, things have been OK & I ate like a normal person.

I always stress taking care of your body & the importance of recovery to my athletes, but I guess I should take my own advice. Crummy last 2 days. Yesterday was my birthday too. :(

Friday, August 7, 2009

Running All Night

The night before last, I ran from 9 PM-6 AM. Not a race, just a solo training "fun run." There were a couple of notable things about this uneventful event. 1) I ran the whole way. Because it was easy terrain, there was no excuse to walk and I realized about 7 hours into it, I hadn't walked any. I got in somewhere around 50 miles in 9 hours because of the easy terrain & I kept running; 2) I ran at school and had planned on doing the 3 mile loop over & over again. A midnight storm & downpour flooded the trails so I had to run on asphalt the rest of the night. Usually kills me, but I was OK; 3) I'm not sore. At all. It's weird. No blisters. Nothing. Legs are absolutely fine.

I didn't run at practice 2 hours after finishing, but I could have. I would have run the 14 miles they're doing today, but was up all night with a stomach virus. Yuck. It's a nice birthday present. Today's the big 3-6.

Good Summer

I haven't taken any big trips over the summer, but I think I've done more running in the mountains than at home, which is nice. I've had a lot of 3-4 day weekend trips over the summer and have really had a good time. With the school year & Cross Country season approaching, I've been thinking about all I've been able to cram into these past 2 months. Pictures from last weekend's run at Julian Price Park off the Blue Ridge Parkway, near Blowing Rock, NC.