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?


Amber said...

You amaze me! I thought I was doing good to run a 5K this year. Good luck and Happy Holidays.

Cody said...

Wow, Rick, you're still a glutton for punishment.

Lynne said...

I'm not liking the weather forecast much either. I hope it improves by next week.

Coach Spencer said...

It's looking a little better on race day I think. says 30% chance of wintery mix Dec. 30, 40% chance of rain Dec. 31, 30% chance of rain Jan. 1. And the other sources I've seen are better with either clear or more snow than rain. Bad news is they got 1.9" of rain yesterday. In Charlotte, we got 2.4". Why so swampy? Lynne, I'm sure we'll get a chance to meet many times on the 1 mile loop!

Dan K said...

You da man, Coach! I just took some time to look over the last couple of months of posts. Keep it up and good luck New Year's! You'll be fine!