Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Hard Week

It appears the rain followed us from the previous weekend in Charleston SC and decided to stay. Last week I started my long run up at FATS with the sky incased with rain clouds. I got no further then one mile into my 30+ mile run on the trail and the deluge started. I thought to myself I should enjoy the coolness of the rain before it was over and it got hot and humid again. Well, the sky never cleared and it rained for the next 6 hours. When I realized this was going to be an all day deluge, I at first entertained the thought of turning back before it got too bad and just chalk it up as a bad day, but I couldn’t do that because it was too easy. What better way to get some practice with torrential rain.
After I accepted the fact I was going to gut this one out, it actually felt good to be running so well under the cool canopy of rain. I never got hot, and my body was craving food and handling liquids with no problems. On a few occasions I did get a little chilled and wished I had a poncho to help minimize the heat loss. With all the rain, there were also a few moments of thunder and lighting, high winds, and falling tree limbs to keep from being bored. The trail was extremely saturated and was like running in a shallow stream the entire time.
I was soaked to the bone, cold, hungry, and eaten up by deerflies (and I thought I was the only one in the woods), when I finally made my way back to the trail head when I found 3 small dogs camped-out under my Avalanche. They looked as bad as me, soaked, hungry, and looking for a dry place to go. At first I was just going to get them out of the way so I could get down the road, but I realized these dogs looked really hungry. There was a store 3 miles down the road so I went by there and got a large bag of dog food and brought it back for them. They were 3 happy campers and could hardly wait for the food to hit the ground. I felt better knowing they had a belly full of food and plenty of fresh water.
Last week was an 80 mile week with some good speed work (8X800 meter at 3:05 per repeat) and hill repeats (20 pound weight vest and 5 pound weights in each hand). The hill repeats were killer with the extra weights, and really challenged me with the last repeat feeling like my heart was jumping out my chest and legs extremely fatigued. I was thinking there was no way I was going to make the last repeat but dug in deep and pushed it as long as I could before realizing I was cresting the hill.
The only thing that didn’t go as planned was my long run today. I went out to Fort Gordon on the boring 3 mile dirt track and grinded out 36 miles. It was hot with about 10,000% humidity which did not help but needed the soup bowl conditions to get acclimated. I was really feeling it between miles 12 – 18 and just didn’t feel strong.
I was mentally not ready for this sluggish feeling and really struggled with it. I felt better after about 21 miles but never felt like I had control. It was a strange long run and hope it was only due to the high mileage and hard training from the week. I have one more long run and need it to be a good one for my confidence going into OH.


Alaskan Assassin said...

Great post!

I love the rain and long as the temps are warmer (+45 degrees).

It looks like you are doing what you need to to have a successful 100 mile race.

Do not stress if your long runs are hard. You are in the middle of training and so they will be a lot harder than race time.

Love the pics!

DawnB said...

outstanding week, it will pay off in the end. I've been in the rain like that no fun, I even remember being in races where it rained like that yuk. What a wonderful person you are to have done that for those puppies, i'm surprise they did not follow you home.

this weeks struggle will be tomorrow glory.

Beth said...

The rain I think I could handle, but the deerflies would send me packing. Oh, the humid run, too. Thank goodness I live in Minnesota because I just can't run when it's hot and humid. Your training is going great! I'm amazed by your work outs.

Lee said...

Hey, Thomas, stumbled on your blog, great thoughts going to Mohican...
I'm doing Pinhoti this year also, my first 100, so we'll have to swap training stories over the summer!