Monday, March 14, 2011

Things Are Warming Up

Another successful 2 weeks of training with 45 miles and 56 miles the past two weeks.  I’m pleased with this considering my demanding and busy work schedule (14 hour days).  I have two more weeks of very long working hours before I get a break with a normal schedule again.  I am feeling it, but determined to get my runs and weight training in, which also reduces my stress level.
Just got back from a 26 mile trail run which never felt better!  I actually started my trail run feeling tired with little pep in my stride.  I was thinking this was going to be a miserable long run, and my attitude followed.  After about 7 miles on the legs, I started to come out of this strange funk, as I started to really hammer the hills.  My legs never felt stronger on the hills, and I was thinking all the weight training and cycling was starting to pay dividends.  It was in the 80s (already and only March), which is why the salt lines started to show, as I start adjusting to the heat.  When I finished my 3rd loop and went back to the trail head to refill my bottles, I had 45 minutes to squeeze one more shorter 6 mile loop in before it got dark (no flashlight).  It was the loop called Deep Step, which has a fast 2 mile downhill rush, 2 miles of ups and down, and a hard 2 miles back up to the trail head.  I had to hit it hard to make it back before I got trapped in the blanket of darkness in the snake infested woods.  Needless to say, I was motivated, and made it back to my truck just as the last glimmer of light faded away.  I did get my cage rattled a little when I startled two deer, as I saw their white tails flashing right in front of me.  I’m not sure who jumped the highest (me or the deer)!  At the end of the run, I realized how much I loved to run on trails, and to appreciate the beauty nature provides us in this great natural playground.  Any issues I’m battling, or stress, just melt away when I feel the dirt under my feet.  Life gets simple again with no phones, TV, radio, emails, or other electronic distracters that sucks up our energy.  Just the harmonies sound of my feet hitting the dirt, breathing, and a light breeze moving the tall GA pines!  Nothing like being healthy, in shape, and in control of your body!  
There were also a lot of mountain bikers on the trail as well.  A brief conversation I had with one of them after coming back from my 3rd loop went like this:

Cyclist – When I passed you 2 miles back, it took you no time to get back to the trail head.
Me – I was feeling strong coming up the last section and in a good place.
Cyclist – Done for the day?
Me – No, I’m going to squeeze one more loop in before it gets dark.
Cyclist – OMG, how many have you run?
Me – 3 and need one more to get my mileage in.
Cyclist – Holy #@*%.  I’m lucky to get 1 or 2 in on a bike before ready to call it the day, and your running!  You’re a beast dude, OMG.  That’s some crazy stuff!  How far do you run each day?  What’s the furthest you ever run? What do you eat? What???
Me – Great talking with you, but I need to go so I can get this in before it gets dark.  See you around.


Char said...

I think running out in nature is amazing for your mental well-being. Even if I'm not running so well (which I'm not at the moment) just being out among the trees and the birds and the wind makes me feel just so good.

Christina said...

Snake infested woods? ugh. I saw one snake last year on the trails. It was a rattle snake and I heard him as I stepped over him and placed my foot inches away.

Anonymous said...

Very nicely said! Out on the trail is the one time when we can just forget about everything and just BE.

Have a great week!

Amy said...

Love the convo with the And I love those days when I really really don't feel like running but do it anyway, only to be reminded how much I LOVE running!

Black Knight said...

I think that every trail workout is an adventure: beautiful and dangerous (the snake).
I must try one day.

Big Daddy Diesel said...

LOL!!! Ok I admit, us bikers like to talk and talk alot, not sure why, we just do.

Nice run

Anonymous said...

Love it when a run lets us get back to basics. When a tough run turns into a good one is even better! (Wish that happened more often.)

lindsay said...

You should have offered to let him ride "with" you as you ran (before/after, depending on hills). :)

Have you run Long Cane? Good for a first time who never (rarely) runs trails?

Rooster said...

I am jealous of the dry sunny appearance of those trails. We are still under a thick cloud with lots of rain. Sounds like you are enjoying your training.

Jen said...

Lovely! It seems that the runs we least are motivated to do, end up being the best! What? The cyclist never said "I can't even drive that far" (The most common comment I always got)

Small Town Runner said...

That's a pretty funny conversation...hahaha.
All the conversations i get running are in my head, or when a "neighbor" pulls a car over and stops me.

Kate said...

I LOVE running on trails. Just did a muddy hilly trail half marathon that was a blast. Your trails look amazing...and that MTB-er is are a beast! Sounds like a great day out. :) And exercise is definitely a huge stress relief. Even though at least half the time I hate running while I run (it's getting better), I get really crabby when I'm not running regularly. In the long run, the expensive running shoes are probably cheaper than the Prozac they're likely replacing. :)