Saturday, June 26, 2010

Pigeon Down

It has been a very interesting week for me. I took a few recovery days and they were very much needed. When I did run again I ended up doing some up tempo without realizing it. I just let my body run what it felt like. I didn’t realize that I had thrown in a couple 7:30 min and 8 min miles over a 6 mile run. My long run this week was going to be on the bike path with Coach Nikon. We had talked about doing 22-25 miles.

On the morning of the run it was raining. Really! Raining this late in June. I was not thrilled to be running 25 miles in rain. But as I gathered my stuff it stopped raining. But I am not sure what I would want more, rain or the humid muggy weather we had that day. For me, not the humid I think I would want the rain. So the run didn’t start in rain, but it ended in sunshine with temperatures that felt very warm due to the humidity. Now usually on the long run Coach Nikon is like clockwork, this time it was me telling him I needed to go to the bathroom and we were only 5.6 miles into our long run. He got a real chuckle out of this because I usually don’t have to go a run. But when nature calls it calls, and all I could think about was how far until the bathroom? Lucky for me it was only around the corner. It is amazing how much better I felt. This was a very interesting run from the start. Rain, humidity, Coach Nikon ran into a dead rat, which scared both of us. I was in the lead at one point and up ahead I saw a coyote just running on the bike path. It stopped me in my tracks. I didn’t want to face it. The coyote did run up into the brush, but I am sure it was watching us.

We ran around the lake and on the way back in Coach Nikon picked he pace up and would run ahead and then turn around and run towards me. A couple of times I surprised him by being closer than he had expected. He even asked me if I was trying to negative split. My answer to him was “It doesn’t fell like a negative split.” In reality I was just trying to hold it together, I was stiff again. My quads and hips were feeling the flat terrain that day and pretty soon my run was turning into a slow shuffle. But my slow shuffle was still holding 9:30 min miles. Along the run I would use Coach Nikon and tell myself “O.K. just keep him in my sights.” It worked for a bit. I also tried speeding up hoping it would help loosen me up and get the stiffness out. That also worked because soon enough we were back at the foot bridge and we only had one last hill to tackle. That is just what we did. We both finished strong and for me it ended up being a 21 mile run in 3 hrs and 19 min, a little shy of our original goal. But I am O.K. with that. I still have the weekly miles I was aiming for.
After getting home I rolled on my foam roller which helped a lot. My long run routine is soaking my legs in cold water. I also went to the pool and played with my nephew a bit, which of course was after a nap. That run drained me. It was a good thing I took my nap because my dad was in town and we had dinner at my brother’s house with the rest of the family that evening.

Grandpa and Lil Man

Saturday, Coach Nikon couldn’t run with me so I was on my own. I headed out to Cavitt and decided on a nice and easy 12 mile run. Overall this run felt great on my body. The terrain is a nice and rolling and is very easy to get a good rhythm. It wasn’t overly hot but it was warming up a bit. I knew that on the way back in the fire road was going to be really since it is pretty exposed.
Pretty cool tree

Down by the waters edge

I set a nice and steady pace, whatever my body was feeling was what I ran. I was enjoying being alone. I did come across a few runners on the trail, and I even ran upon a horse. I hit my turn around point and started back. On the way back in I ran into one of my pacers from AR50 and we talked a bit. She is training for a race in a few weeks. After running into her not maybe five minutes later I ran into Wonder woman who was out doing a 13 mile loop of her own. What a small world. We talked for a bit and off we went in separate directions.
Horse I had to pass

I only had 4 miles left. I hadn’t even gone half a mile when I was face first in the dirt. What just happened!!!! I was on the easiest section of single track and I tripped over I don’t know what. Usually when I trip I can catch myself before falling, but this time I think both of my feet hit and I couldn’t do anything about it. I did a great superman face first into the dirt. I lost focus and that is what happened. I thought, hmmm how can I take a picture. You see I was by myself and it is not a matter of if I was going to fall, but when I was going to fall. And will it happened with no witnesses. I could have left it out of this post but that wouldn’t have been fair. After falling I did what any ultra runner does, I got up brushed the dirt off and continued on my way. I still can’t believe I fell. After the fall I was more focused because I didn’t want it to happen again. I hit the fire road and only had 2 miles left. I picked up the pace and made it back in one piece, well sort of.

I am glad that I went out today even if I did fall. Tahoe Rim Trail is just around the corner and next week Coach Nikon and I might do the canyons one last time. Than it is a taper for me, which I am not very good at. But I know I am going to need it. The plan after Tahoe is to recover and then start training for the Sierra Nevada Double Marathon in September.

Ride around the block!

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