Coach Spencer Runs in the Woods

Coach Spencer Runs in the Woods

Thursday, December 24, 2009

What Did I Get Myself Into?

Freedom Park New Year's 24 Hour Race is coming up. I'm scared. Here's a quick checklist:

1) Asphalt. Race director said you can run on the grass next to the path though. I bought the first pair of road shoes I've had in almost 3 years just for this race. I figure even if I'm running in the grass a lot of the time, a 10 oz. road shoe is better than a 12 oz trail shoe.

2) Seems like it's rained for 6 weeks straight + several inches of snow there that's melting + an inch of rain they're calling for tomorrow + RAIN DURING THE RACE will make running on the grass potentially worse than the asphalt.

3) 1 mile loop. I can handle a 1 mile loop in the woods or around a lake or something. This is all out in the open in a grassy park. I've been there before for XC meets so I knew what I was getting myself into. Something... I dunno... I just don't like running in the open. Feel like people are watching me. That's one of the reasons I don't run on the roads anymore & the few times I've done it to prep for this race, I've waited until dark. Good thing the days are short now.

4) Yesterday's forecast called for low of 25 with sleet. Today, it says low of 32 with rain on the 31st. Snow Dec. 30 & Jan. 1. I would much rather have 25 & sleet than 32 & rain. I just don't want it to be muddy. It's gonna be muddy. Not like trail muddy, but like soccer field muddy. Wet feet. Poor footing. There are 100 runners. Let's say half run 1' into the grass and let's say 50 miles is the average distance people go. That's 2,500 laps people are running, churning up the mud. I'm sure the forecast will change a lot in the next week. Either way, though, I think it's gonna be muddy, dangit.

5) Undertrained. I've gotten in few 2:00-2:30 runs in the past month, but nothing longer than that. With a good summer of training and a 90 mile race 3 months ago, I should be OK, right? Semi-OK? Good enough? As good as dead? I can't decide.

I thought injury, the heat & a boring 1.5 mile loop (turned out to be nice, not boring) was going to lead to a bad race at the Hinson Lake 24 Hour Run, but I was very pleased with my performance there, so maybe things will go well at Freedom Park! And, hey, I always love bad conditions, don't I?? I'm headed up to the mountains Dec. 26-29 and am looking forward to getting in a couple of runs with the YakTrax! Can't wait to see how terrible it is at Mount Mitchell Challenge this year. So, what's a little mud, right?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Snow Slush Mud. Greensboro Watershed Trails

Ran a pretty brisk 7 miles at 11 AM at practice today and then got in the car and drove to Greensboro to run with Hannah. We ran 11 miles on the Greensboro Watershed Trails around Lake Brandt. These trails are pretty flat and normally not that technical. Some roots, but nothing too tricky. The Owl's Roost section is the toughest, but not bad- just a lot of short, steep bumps. I forgot that they got a few inches of snow in Greensboro the other day when we got an inch of 34 degree rain (I swear the ground has been mush since before Thanksgiving!). What we ran through was an inch of snow on top of three inches of mud. Squish, squish, slide. Squish, squish, slide. Had a lot of fun and it was good seeing Hannah, but what would've normally been a pretty quick run turned into 2 hours of slogging through the muck. Made it a difficult run.

Got to go to my favorite restaurant in the world with Mr. John Rash too. Binh Minh Vietnamese Restaurant. v5 with tofu and extra vegetables. Yum.