After taking two weeks off from running and then climbing back slowly for the two weeks following that break, it felt amazing to get out and run trails for four hours this morning. I met up with Michael at 6am and we took off down the path at TNP. Michael, a good 17 years younger than me, runs those hills like a champ. I try to run them but end up walking them instead. He is way faster than I am but is patient and waits for me at the top of the hills. A true gentleman.
I had my first wipeout last weekend up at South Mountain. I was just getting warmed up and nearing the end of the first loop on the mountain, wrapping my head around a faster second loop when boom! Down I fell. My toe hit a rock and I went flying with a nice 3 foot slide for a landing. My left palm took the brunt of may fall and I scraped my right knee. That was no big deal despite the gushing blood as I declared, “It’s only a flesh wound” in my best Monty Python rendition. My palm swelled instantly and with some quick thinking I pulled out the bladder from my hydration pack because I had ice cold water in there. As I was running back to my car I kept thinking out loud whether or not I could still do that second loop.
I’m pretty sure my two friends thought I was quite nuts when they heard that.
Needless to say, I did the right thing and went home. I iced it all day and took some ibuprofen. The swelling was gone by the next morning and I was rearing to get in a good run on Sunday.
Oh – nothing’s broken, and I’m proud of my trail wounds.
Sunday, Laurie and I hit up Jacobsburg State Park which is beautiful but has THE WORST trail maps and course markings I have ever seen. Trails which are marked the same color split and criss cross each other, you never have a clear idea of where you are at any point.
Our only goal was to run for four hours so we stopped trying to figure out the map and simply ran. We figured that eventually we’d find our car again, which we did a couple of times. Since Laurie is training for her third 100 miler I offered to go out on some of her long runs with her. I’d like to start pushing my time on the trials further and further. I’m averaging 3-4 hours, having gotten up to 4 hours 40 minutes already. My goal for July is to get a 5 hour run in and in August work my way up to 6 hours. That is going very well so far. By the end of 4 hours I’m a bit tired but could definitely go for longer.
Jacobsburg was a nice change of pace for me since it’s much less hilly than what I’ve been running lately, and this enabled us to push the pace a bit faster.
Running has been going very well for me lately. I continue to run hard on the weekend and easy during the week, a formula that seems to be working for me. I’ve whittled my mid-week runs down to Tuesdays and Thursdays with a bike ride on Wednesdays. The early sun enables me to get out much earlier than I have cared to do over the spring months and it feels good to get those runs finished so early in the day.
Weekends consist of strictly trail running, enlisting anyone I can to join me and sometimes going it alone. The inherent problem lies in the fact that I like to go out as early as possible and most people don’t want to meet up before 7:30. So far my only friend who is willing to meet up at 5am on any given day is my friend Laurie. That’s been working out great for a few reasons.
My goal is to go out long every weekend for three out of four runs a month, and take a step-back weekend once per month. By going long I mean that I continue to push the number of hours I’m out there. Yesterday was 4 hours, my longest this month was 4hrs 40min when I ran on the Appalachian Trail. Laurie is currently training for a hundred mile race which takes place this fall, I plan on meeting up with her for a bunch of her long runs. I’m hoping to build up to 6 or more hours on any given day, a goal which is totally within reach, even now.
So far, I’ve been sticking to trails nearby but I am itching to venture a bit further away and explore some new trails. The trail I’ve been consistently running is at Trexler Nature Preserve which is crazy hilly. Since I’m often the lone girl amongst guys I either have to keep the pace or stray far behind. I find that running with the guys and running all of those hills is making me a much stronger runner. One goal of mine this summer was to build up to two loops at Trexler, and I’ve already done that twice in June alone. My other goal is to be able to run at least one of those hills; I still haven’t hit that but I’m working on it.
It’s still not quite the end of June and right now my main focus is Quadzilla, which is coming up in three weeks, but after that I plan to kick things up a notch with my running and set a loose goal for the fall. Not sure yet what that will be but keeping my mind open to the possiblilities. Happy Trails!