Sunday, March 24, 2013

The flats of Florida

Ahhh...the good ol' flat asphalt of Florida. About as boring as running gets. Just slightly more exciting than pounding out the miles on a treadmill. Which, is exactly where I ended up today when the temperature reached 90 F and the wind gusts hit 25mph.

Floridians, please don't take offense. I actually learned to love running 12 years ago when I was high school cross country runner in Boca Raton. And every time I return to Florida I look forward to the endless flat roads that should be so fast. So why aren't they? I asked myself this question yesterday during my moderately fast (speed is relative when you're training for a hundred) tempo run yesterday.

After much debate with myself I settled on the fact that the run just becomes so monotonous that my mind goes numb and I stop pushing myself. There's no hill to push myself to the top of and there's no cruising downhill for a few minutes of needed recovery. The only change in speed and effort is when I tell myself to push it to the stop sign or when I let myself walk the last 0.2 miles home.

Except for this 7 mile bridge. I'd be happy to run this road a few time.
I biked it once with WWP, but still hope to run it some day in my life.
In the end, it's really not that bad. It just reminds me how much I love change in terrain and the excitement of trail running. It reminds of me of why I love to run. Which is a good thing less than 3 weeks out from Umstead 100 as I taper for the race and remind myself why I signed up in the first place.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Part 2 of my long run

Today marked the final day of my longest back-to-back runs for the Umstead 100. I woke up with heavy legs this morning after putting in 18 miles yesterday on the trails and thought, "this is perfect." It actually was exactly how I wanted to feel going into my long run today. Tired, fatigued, sore. My legs could attest to all of those.

I decided to hit a different set of trails today to bang out my next 20 miles and actually felt refreshed as my feet hit the trail. The first few miles were actually the worst, as my legs were still rebelling after my run yesterday, but once they caught on that I wasn't going to stop, they gave in and cooperated. By the end of the 20 miles I actually felt better than when I started.

I think these back-to-back weekend runs have been a superior way to train than just one long run. Of course, I won't really know until race day on April 6th, but for now I'm feeling stronger, faster, and less injured. The only complaint today was minor shin splints when I started and some rubbing on my residual limb where I had rubbed the skin raw yesterday. Luckily, a little Vaseline took care of that problem.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Longest run before Umstead

Today was the start of my longest run before the Umstead 100 miler on April 6th. Last year my longest run was 50 miles and afterwards my left calf was so tight that stretching it brought tears to my eyes. I frantically bought every contraption I could find that might help to loosen it- a compression sleeve, roller, etc. So this year I decided to approach my longest run a little bit differently. Instead of tackling it in one day I decided to spread it out over 2 days. This is not unusual in ultra training in order to get used to running on tired legs though most amputees avoid back-to-back long runs because of the stress on the residual limb, which often doesn't hold up with constant banging around in the prosthesis. However this is the plan Ive decided on since clearly my plan last year didn't work out! So
20 miles today and another 18 scheduled tomorrow. At least I'm feeling great after my first long run of the weekend. Even had a little photo op with Augustus Cho, from GI Jo: Retaliation, on the trails of North Forest. Ill let you know how tomorrow goes when my legs are sufficiently pooped to properly simulate the second half a 100 miler.