Sunday, January 30, 2011

First blood and the week that was...

Week of Jan 24, 2011: 75 miles (7:04 avg pace)

First blood.

Considering the race that I had at Mountain Mist last Saturday, I felt really good this week.   I was able to comfortably run 7:20 pace Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.  In contrast, after each of my road marathons, I struggled to run 9 min pace for the first couple days afterward.  I was tired and sore to be sure, the muscles just weren't locked down like they were after the marathons.  By Wednesday, I was feeling pretty much recovered, so I ran a light tempo on Thursday.  I ran with a new group of guys on Saturday and we did a 5 mi tempo run at 5:45 pace in the middle of 17 total miles.  A little quicker than I would have done on my own probably, but I was feeling good and enjoying the company, so I rolled with it.

Sunday I hit the trails of Mt Airy forest where the Stone Steps 50k was held a few months back.  Temperatures around 40 degrees were quickly melting the 5 inches of snow we received over a week ago.  I have discovered that slushy trails are very slippery.  There is simply nothing to grip on toe-off, so I was slipping on virtually every stride and the pace was frustratingly slow.  But, I was out there for time on my feet and not speed, so I decided to trudge through and try to enjoy the scenery and relatively warm temperatures.  There were a few spots where direct sunlight had already melted all the snow leaving very wet mud behind.  A mile from finishing my run, as I was trying to finish strong, I slipped in the mud on a technical downhill section of trail and went down.  I pride myself on not falling very often, but snow has changed that a little.  I fell once when living in and running trails in Alabama, but have fallen 3 times this winter on Cincinnati trails - all directly attributable to snow cover.

This one was special though, because it was my first fall to draw blood.  When I finished Mtn Mist this year, a crowd immediately gathered around me and searched my body for any sign of blood or a fall.  I had a couple close calls at the Mist, but never went completely down.  I had no badges of honor.  Well, now the trails have drawn blood and I have the picture to prove it.  Granted, it's not very serious at all, but it's something.  So there you have it, I fall down sometimes too.  Apparently I just need a little help from the snow.

I am stoked to have gotten in 75 miles this week and felt good doing it.  Hopefully I don't regret it next week. I've got unfinished business at Sylamore in 3 weeks.

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