Sunday, February 17, 2013

Week 38: Remember Snow?

Tue 2/12  4 miles, including 2 miles barefoot

Wed 2/13  7 miles at Croft. I want to get this run and its cousin 8 1/2 mile run in every week. Like last week when I had to, I ran faster than usual. This week I took a light, and felt good about the practice lifting my feet, moving them quickly up and downhill. This has been a key part of my training the past couple of years. In April I’d like to make it a little longer.

from Dairy Ridge: New Edition to Lake Johnson Connector to Palmetto

Thu 2/14 3 miles easy

Sat 2/16  6 miles at Southside. I had planned to run long with Scott, but he backed out at the last minute, and I wasn’t sorry. It was cold and rainy, and the weather report said Sunday would be sunny. I waited until the afternoon to run, hoping the rain would turn to snow. On the way home from Croft, it started snowing huge flakes. In the ten minutes it took me to drive home after it started, there was a good inch on the ground. That’s big for us, and the first snow in a couple of years.

from Southside: Fern Gully to Southside Loop to Flat Pass to Southside Loop to Centerline

Sun 2/17  21 miles at Croft. A beautiful day--clear blue sky, cold, snow on the trees and around. Bristol and I headed out about 9:45. There wasn’t enough snow to cover the trail in spots, and someone else had been hiking already, it looked like probably on Saturday. Once we hit the Chapters, though, we had about 5 1/2 miles of untracked snow until we got to the Lake Johnson Connector. The horses really leave huge mud-holes, and much of that trail is perpetually wet. Today it was sloppy and slick. 

Soon the mud got tiresome. After another 3 miles or so I took the little cutover to the Boy Scout hut and the Lake Trail. By now the day had warmed above freezing, and it got sloppier, especially once I got back onto Palmetto for the last three miles. 

I didn’t feel great at any point during the run. My legs seemed heavy and I was slow, but the day was stunning, and I just kept taking turns to add more miles. My spirits were high, and I just kept thinking about time on my feet. I figure I’ll run between 8 and 10 hours at Ice Age--that’s a long time. I won’t run that l long before then, so I’m starting to get nervous. 

from Dairy Ridge: Palmetto to the Chapters to TC’s to the little lake trail to Lake Johnson Connector to Foster’s Mill Loop to the cutover to Beech Glen to the Lake Trail to McFadden up to Hensington to Palmetto 

Total: 41 miles in five runs

Bristol on the Palmetto Trail: not enough snow to cover it.

Fresh tracks.

My biologist friend Ben says beech trees are a sign
of a mature forest, the last to come in the succession. 
Because they hold onto their leaves until the 
new ones push them off in the spring, they
stand out in the woods.

I carried potato chips for the first time (in the specially
designed potato chip pocket). I will again without a doubt.

Most of the mud-holes were much
wider than this one, but this was the deepest.

Typical Croft terrain, a deep drainage that feeds the lakes.
Note the dry south-facing slope and the snowy north-facing slope.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Weeks 36, 37: Increasing mileage

Week ending February 3, 2013

Thu 1/31  4 miles, including 2 miles barefoot. This has been an unhealthy living week so far. Felt good to get out and run after three busy evenings.

January total: 129 1/2 miles in 17 runs

Fri 2/1 4 miles on Cottonwood

Sat 2/2 7 miles at Croft

from Dairy Ridge: New Edition to Fairforest Connector to Palmetto

Sun 2/3 14 miles at Croft. with a plan to run a 50K and a 20+ run each month, these weeks are, as I say, not target weeks. Today I met Cate and Scott to run one of my favorite loops that includes some of the longest climbs at Croft, and certainly a consistent pile of climbs. From the start I did not feel very good, dead legged and without much energy. Scott is training for Boston, and is feeling very fit. He danced ahead of us all day long. After contemplating cutting off my day, I finally realized I would not feel any worse, and just kept plugging along. The last three miles I rolled with Scott as much as I could, until the last two small climbs, when again he quit toying with me and dropped me quickly.

from Dairy Ridge: New Edition to Lake to the little lake to TC’s to Palmetto

Total: 29 miles in 4 runs

Week ending Feb 10

Tue 2/5 4 miles, including 2 miles barefoot.

Wed 2/6 3 miles easy

Thu 2/7 7 miles at Croft. Bristol and I had to hustle to get out before dark, especially since I did not take a light. The speedier run felt great.

from Dairy Ridge: New Edition to Fairforest Connector to Palmetto

Sat 2/9 5 miles on the Swamp Rabbit Trail. Q was auditioning for the dance program at the SC Governor’s School, located in downtown Greenville and right on the terrific Swamp Rabbit Trail. I had a nice little run on the trail. It felt pretty good to run on the flat, paved surface, and the mile markers let me keep things nice and slow, as I looked for keeping things over 8 minute miles. I failed at that, but 7:45 still felt nice and easy.

Sun 2/10 20 miles at Croft. Not a good day. I intended to run between 25 and 30 miles in two or three loops. The first loop (12 miles) felt ok, not great, and did not bode well. After a stop at the cars, and a great visit with C, who brought me potato chips, a coke, and kisses, I set off for lap 2. About 3 miles in, I crashed. I managed to drag myself through the shortened loop, with a stop at some picnic tables to sit and see if I could salvage something. 

from Dairy Ridge: First loop: Palmetto to TC's to little lake to Lake Johnson Connector to Palmetto; second loop: Palmetto to Lake Johnson connector to Palmetto

Total 39 miles in 5 runs