Coach Spencer Runs in the Woods

Coach Spencer Runs in the Woods

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Nice Runs Over Break

Nothing earthshattering, but I had some nice runs over the Thanksgiving break. Good to get back into the swing of things and enjoy some down time from school.

Wednesday- 1 hour at Beatty Park in Matthews with some WHS runners. We train here a few days a week over the summer but it's been a little while since I've been. Rooty as always and those roots were hidden under the leaf cover this time but no one fell.

Thursday- 1 hour at Fisher Farm Park in Davidson. This one was a new one to me. I was up at my parents for Thanksgiving & planned on running at North Meck Park but changed my mind the night before. I got a little lost before I understood the concept of these trails (Part of that was b/c I went backwards, apparently.). If you just follow green, you have a 2.8 mile loop or something like that. There are also blue and black spurs here & there, but it all comes back into the green... at least I think. There are a total of about 4 miles of trails here from what I gather. I went on all of them at least once. You go through woods & open fields. I kind of liked the open fields. Some of the trails in the woods were a little too tight to get much flow. Felt like they were trying to cram too much trail into small patches of woods. Then again, I guess the green trails were pretty easy to run. The black diamond had lots of little 6' dips and quick turns. Hadn't rained in 3 days but the trails were still a lot more muddy than Beatty the day before. I'm sure I'll go back to Fisher Farm Park since my parents live 4 miles from there, but this is not a destination trail. The fog & 45 degree temps of the morning were half the fun.

Friday- 1 hour on Smoketree Trail + gravel & paved roads, Beech Mountain. 25 degrees & 20-30 mph sustained winds with gusts over 50 mph! A little snow on the ground too. I can't describe how much I love the cold & miserable conditions. Wore tri shorts, tights, long sleeves, short sleeves, thin Brooks Infiniti jacket & toboggan. I was a little toasty under the jacket when climbing, but my ears & face stayed cold the whole time. Legs were perfect. I was a lot more cold watching Wren sled afterwards! I've done this loop a few times when I've been up here. It follows some abandoned dirt roads that have washed out. Rocky. Passes a couple of small waterfalls, which had icicles on them this time. When I was on this trail over the summer, I saw a bear scampering away from me. I think they were smarter than me this time & found a warm place to be.

Saturday- 2:10 on several trails & roads on Beech Mountain. I had planned on starting at 4900' where we stayed, but instead, got dropped off at 3400' and made my way up. Total climb of 2900'. Ugh. After injury and illness, I don't think I've run over an hour in the 2 months since the 24 hour race. 2:10 on rolling terrain would've been OK, but the fact that is was my longest run and by far the hardest, ugh... I really struggled, but got through it.

Sunday- Thought about running. Decided against it. Calves, achilles, sciatic nerve enjoyed the day off.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Freedom Park 24 Hour New Year's Race

After the problems I've had this fall, I'm not sure how smart it is, but I signed up for the Freedom Park 24 Hour New Year's Race put on by Brown Mountain Running Club in Morganton, NC. This race is on a 1 mile PAVED loop. Paved. I said I'd never run another paved marathon. I thought about running 6 hours of this race last year & asked the race director if I could run in the grass instead of the asphalt. He said OK. Hopefully that stands for this year too. Until this week, I didn't have a decent pair of road shoes & hadn't for over a year. I plan on doing more road running in the month leading up to the race. This really may not be a good idea. We'll see.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Brooks Inspire Daily Program

I was recently selected to be a part of Brooks' Inspire Daily Program. From their website:

Brooks I.D. stands for Inspire Daily. These two simple words guide the principles of the program. Brooks I.D. is made up of over 2,000 members who are active in their running communities and share a passion for the Brooks brand. They are runners who are winners in their own right: Winning their age divisions, accomplishing their personal goals, pushing their own limits, and, by extension, encouraging others to do the same. They are coaches, mentors, and leaders.

I've tried a number of shoes over the years. I've had more Brooks than any, but Saucony & New Balance would probably be the next two. I've had a few pairs of Adidas & Asics. 1 pair of Mizunos. 1 pair of Nikes in the mid 1980s. No Reeboks. Back in the 80s, I had some Turntecs, Converse (yes, they made running shoes), & Etonics. More recently, I've tried Montrails, ENDs & Inov-8s. I keep coming back to the Brooks though. From the Chariot of 1985 to the Hyperion of 2001 to the Cascadias I can't get enough of now, I've put a lot of miles in Brooks. They also happen to make the shorts (Sherpa II) I liked so much I bought 5 pairs of.

The ID program gives members a 40% discount and some free gear from time to time (some of which are new test models). I've never seen myself as a pitchman, but I'm glad to be a part of this program. Being loyal to the products I like isn't hard.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Good Hiker

Wren prides herself on being a good hiker. "The best in the world." We went to Crowders Mountain yesterday and climbed Kings Pinnacle. It's a 3.5 mile hike roundtrip and is listed as "strenuous." The Pinnacle Trail goes steadily up for about .75 mile, gets a little rolling for about .4 and then really turns upward to the summit. Wren did a great job and said she liked it better when it got steep. She loved jumping from rock to rock on the trail. It's a pretty rocky trail. Several people on the trail commented how well she did & that they were getting shown up by a 5 year old.

I hiked up with the family & then ran back down and up and down Crowders Mountain. It was my first hour long run in a month. Still coughing a lot when I run, but I'm a lot better. Today will be the 9th day I've run in a row. Mostly just 5-6 milers though.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Rough Period

I ran today for 45 minutes & thought I'd die! Before that, I'd run once in 16 days. I had bronchitis and the flu at the same time. Coughing & wheezing. The other day I ran made the coughing much worse. I think today's run was hard not only because it's been so long since I've run, but I'm also still having a lot of trouble breathing.

The team I coach has been wiped out by the flu. Unlike anything I've ever seen. The boys didn't make it to the state meet though they were ranked 7th in the state. The girls had even more cases of the flu (7 of top 8!) + injuries. We managed 4th in the state meet yesterday. Ready to get myself & the team well!