Saturday, June 21, 2008

Can't I just have a relaxing trail run?

THAT was the goal. With a very abnormal week of heavy trail running, Friday was planned to be my one two-a-day of the week. All week, my girls were at VBS in Kent. It was closer to head to the trails for a few hours than to head back home so I "ran" at the opportunity. So Friday arrives and I get in an easy 6 pre-dawn before work with the plan to run Pine Lane to Boston Store and back in the evening. I don't know what it is about the trails and especially a segment I know so well...I can't just chill out and take it easy when I feel good. It was about 76F, low humidity, and sunny skies. The sun really didn't matter as the trail is heavily covered by trees. By the way, if you ever want some "alone time" on the trails, Friday night is a great time to get it. Very quiet, empty parking lots, and the trail to yourself. That became more evident as the run progressed as I saw more critters than at any other time. From chipmunks, rabbits, deer, and loud-singing birds, I was surrounded by nature celebrating together on an awesome summer evening. (Did you know Friday was the official first day of summer?!?! Yea!)

Anyway, I get to Boston and the Garmin reads 35min, 28sec for 4.1 miles on the Buckeye Trail. I don't know about you, but I was dang happy about that. That's under 9min per mile on a hilly/technical trail. That's where the time trial was realized and I turned back to try and do it again. Felt great all the way back but came up 2min shy of an equal split time. Maybe I started to daydream a bit on the way back? Regardless, it was an awesome night on the trails.

This weekend is a Navy drill weekend so my heart was on the trails in the park but my physical self was parked in Cleveland. That means that my weekend long-run is not happening this weekend but I still managed to get in 50 miles so far this week. Next week should be back up over 60 miles and hopefully near 70. I'm looking forward to the Thursday night trail run with a bunch of great friends on the Buckeye Trail followed by a VERY early start on Saturday morning with 30+ miles.

OK, I'm now 4 weeks from the Buckeye Trail 50K and 6 weeks from my first 100-miler...the Burning River 100. My overall goal is to be on my legs as long as possible each week to help build endurance and stamina. My longest run each week will be on trails completely as the majority of the BR100 is on trails. Outside of that, I will work in some mid-week tempo and threshold runs with one or two two-a-days per week. Those runs will happen around my home in Rootstown on rural, asphalt, rolling country roads. Coming up on Saturday, July 5th, a group is forming to run from the 65 mile point at Happy Days Visitor Center to the finish in downtown Cuyahoga Falls...about a 35 mile run. We will start at 9pm and run through the night. This puts us running after being up all day and also puts us in the dark which is what we'll be in at this stage of the 100-miler. A perfect tune-up for the event. This run happens 4 weeks out from the BR100.

I've gotta give a shout-out to Jim Chaney for launching the live webcast page for the BR100. Those not participating can login and see where their runner is on the course as well as race updates/comments. As runners reach aid stations, their time will appear in nearly real-time. You can also click on any station or runner for more details. As well, there will be a camera focused on the finish line...refreshing every 15 seconds. This allows family/friends regardless of where in the world they are, to follow someone and see them finish. As you will see at the site, the camera is clearly not on the finish line...I'm guessing we're seeing the inside of Jim's office! See it here.

The picture here is of the Covered Bridge. On the other side is the entry/exit of the Perkins Trail section of the course. We'll reach this aid station at mile 80.8 and again at mile 84.9 after finishing the Perkins Trail in between. Only 15 miles to the finish! Most of the country will be sound asleep at this time.

Happy Trails, everyone!

"Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude."
Thomas Jefferson

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