Monday, December 31, 2012

Week 31: Ending the calendar year

Mon 12/24  4 miles on Cottonwood

Tue 12/25  4 miles on Cottonwood
Wed 12/26  4 miles on Cottonwood. Overnight 3 inches of rain fell. The Cottonwood Trail runs through the floodplain of the Lawson’s Fork Creek, and I love going there after so much rain because you can really see how the floodplain works. In the dark, I could hear the creek flowing hard and deep, and the trail itself was under water in the usual places—out by the wetlands in particular. The full moon was out, and Venus and Mars floated around it. A nicer camera would have gotten better photos.

Thu 12/27 4 miles around the neighborhood

Sat 12/29 18 miles at Croft.  I set off to run longer, but, and you’d think I’d learn after 30 years of running, I bonked from not eating enough breakfast. Generally I get up, eat, and am out to run within an hour. Today, not meeting anyone else, I dawdled at home. I should have eaten twice before I ran.  I also ran one of the hardest loops out here, with endless ups and downs, some of them steep. From what I’ve read about the Ice Age course, Croft will be good training grounds.  By the end of this one I was doing some walking, energy-less despite hitting a few gels in a row. Even though it was chilly, I didn’t drink enough water, either. Eating and drinking remain my difficulties, especially during training without aid stations to use as cues.

from Southside: Centerline to Lizard to Southside Loop over the bridge to Fairforest to Jerry Perry to New Edition to the Lake Trail to the riding ring and back across the bridge to Southside Loop to Centerline.

I love a full creek.

The floodplain in action.

Flood plain functions.

What qualifies as a peak at Croft.
I love these areas of moss, found throughout the park.

As always, Bristol the Enduro-Dog amazes me.

Required lake shot.

 Sun 12/30  8 ½ miles at Croft. I went out this afternoon in clear sunshine and chilly temperatures. I wasn’t sure how I’d respond to yesterday’s long run, especially with bonking at the end, which often leaves me feeling pretty sore. I felt good, though, and ran one of my favorite trails, with longer climbs than most out here. I have to say that it always feels good to drop mountain bikers, even when they’re just other old guys (do y’all read this blog, Ralph and Steve?), and the technical drops and climbs are my strengths.

from Dairy Ridge: Palmetto to the Chapters to Palmetto
Total  42 ½ miles in six runs

This was my first week with six runs since June, and my first over 40 miles since May. I’m starting to get that fitness feeling, and Sunday’s run was the best example: despite a long run on Saturday, I felt smooth and easy through a hard loop. The weekday runs were fun, all in the dark with a bright moon rising. Even the sloppy parts were satisfying. I could have done a longer run, but with the kids home, and my gorgeous off, taking 35 minutes or so to run from home fit well. Eventually I’ll add that longer run midweek.

As for planning, I will run a 50K once a month, and an over-20 once a month. This was a good start, with the Last Chance 50K; I’ll take the 26 ½ mile weekend. I had registered for the Uwharrie 40 mile run, but will have to drop out: travel with L for her auditions takes precedence, and with the joy of seeing my child grow and expand, I will miss it.

Just discovered this stuff this week. I find the first song remarkably moving, and all of it fun.

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