Getting motivated to run with purpose has been challenging following missing the Pinhoti 100. Nevertheless, I have adjusted my attitude and now refocused with my sights on the Rocky Raccoon 100 miler in the big state of Texas this February. With only 5,000 ft of elevation change, this should be a fairly flat course on trails and jeep roads with some alligator infested swamps (snack time). Based on some past reports I read, the real challenge will be all the large tree roots scattered everywhere, and the night time sections in the swamps making this an eerie time. The roots will be a mild challenge to navigate around during the day, but at night when the body is tired and mental focus and response is slow, a taste of Texas clay with a risk of bad falls will be the test. If it rains a lot, the trail will be a mud feast based on some of the pics I saw. The 20 mile loop course around Lake Raven, repeated 5X, is the mark. My new training plan incorporates speed work every week (something I did very little of in the past) to improve my turnover and overall pace. I’m changing my nutritional plan and will test it during my long training runs. Based on past races, this can only get better.
Today I went for a nice run out at Fort Gordon on a very familiar 3 mile dirt running track around a very large field (military parade field) in cooler then normal temps (42 deg) for this time of the year in the South. The great part of the run was after my 4th lap around, I ran into about 50 Navy personnel doing some PT around ½ the track. I had a chance to run with a few who where struggling to keep their pace, and I provided some encouragement by enforcing they can do more then they realize. Their demeanor was very relaxed until they asked if I had been in the military and I responded for 24 years and retired as a CPO. I said time to get moving so I wouldn’t be late picking up my son from wrestling practice. They said respectfully “thanks Chief” as I picked my pace up. It felt good to run with them, and it reminded me of pushing young sailors so they would get top scores on their PT test.
Tonight is transition night for me – Up all night and attempt to sleep during the day for my upcoming six days of 12 hour nightshift work stretch. This makes for good time management in order to get family time in and hold true to my training schedule.
Wishing everybody a joyful Thanksgiving. Don’t forget about our troops away from home, in harms way, so we can enjoy the freedoms we have without worry.