Monday, April 20, 2009

Another Good Week

Last week was a real confidence boost for my training. Speedwork and hill repeats went great and felt strong the entire time. Even felt like pushing it on the last couple of repeats which reminded me maybe it’s time to raise the bar with respect to my own expectation.
The 5 hour long run yesterday on the trails felt comfortable and learned a few more tactics to skid myself out on the hills. Normally I start off running the hills but then start using them as brisk walking breaks to keep my HR down for endurance building. This time I leveled my pace more and shortened my stride on the hills. I also stopped concentrating on the top of the hill and focused more on maintaining a shorter stride on a repeatable consistent level while keeping my eyes looking down on the trail. I found this much easier to run the hill even after 5 hours on my feet. The idea of a shorter stride on hills I got from an earlier post by Rooster, and it works (Thanks girl). My downhill pace I backed off (not trying to fly down them) and found my legs feeling stronger later in the day. Although I felt my pace was slower and my time would suffer, I actually picked-up time and had more energy later on.
I also normally feel a low around mile 18 and only last a couple of miles before snapping out of it. Mostly due to not eating enough during my long runs. Normally I slow down to a crawl knowing it will soon be over before picking up my pace again. This time I maintained my pace, pushing even harder during this low, and felt even better when I got to the other side.
I knew it would be dark before making it out of the woods so I made sure my Boy Scout qualities came out (light). Based on the number of cars at the main parking lot, I was the only one on the trails. What an eerie feeling it was under a totally dark sky, strange animal sounds (dogs and coyotes), and constantly scanning for snakes (the bad kind). I also heard a lot of unusually sounds along the sides of the trail and had a feeling of being stalked. I carry a medium size knife for self protection and rehearsed in my mind the motions I would take if confronted, while maintaining a level head, and running through spider webs. Normally, night running does not bother me, but for some reason, I had an uncomfortable feeling, and have read some stories of wild dogs in this area of the woods. My spider senses were alarming. Nonetheless, it was a good motivator to pick my pace up and get back to the trail head. This is a pic I took coming out of the woods with my light on: Really dark (Tree on right, stump on left, spider web in front, snake hiding behind tree, unknown animal following).
I’m still not totally convinced the problem I had with my feet is resolved. When I got done with my long run, the balls of my feet were tender. I‘m going to try and tape (which I never do) and see if that helps! I normally Vaseline my feet and use two pairs of performance socks (Injinji and Under Armor). I will just have to keep working on this until I find what works best for me. Opinions / solutions welcomed.
I have another hard training week coming up and will use the Buncombe race as a training run for working out the bugs.


Evan said...

Sounds like you training is solid.

I always run with my dog to help out that uneasy feeling.

In regards to your feet. I am a believer in Drymax Trail socks. I have had problems with Injinji socks and have not put a pair on since they destroyed my feet at the HURT. When I see a pair I now shudder. My feet were so trashed.

DawnB said...

thanks for your encouragement . I hope the run went well. Nice blog and beautiful family. My husband and I were in the Army almost a qtr centry aga. I was in at 17 out at 20 Hon. of course. Congratulations making Navy a career, your commitment and giving of yourself to serve and protect our country.

Socks nothing fancy Dr. Scholl's arch support blister guards. I sware by them.