Sunday, December 16, 2012

Short, Sweet Trail Run

All week long I have been waiting for the weekend, for a chance to get out on a new route and off the pavement! Today I got my chance.

Somehow I was able to find a friend willing to drive an hour to run with me! (YES...She is a keeper!) E is recovering from a severe ankle injury, building her base and training by heart rate

Last 2 weeks were a bit of a shocker to the system.  After a week off from running, I jumped into a run streak challenge and this was day 17. (What was I thinking?) A recovery run off road was just what I needed..
Second growth timber along our "trail"
There are a few good roads that I count as "trails" near me: all on BLM land and open to the public. (There are many other GREAT looking roads and trails near here, but alas, they are private and permission is required, or face the consequences).

E and I went about three miles in and returned. 
  • We saw two vehicles. I wasn't sure we would see any at all, but on a weekend, traffic is heavier I guess!
  • We chatted about lots of things, and kept our heart rates nice and low.
  • We didn't see any cougars or bears :)
  • She informed me that YES, indeed, a trail ultra is harder on the body than a marathon (in her experience). I was listening, because you never know when you might decide to run a trail ultra on a whim :)

Blurry, but rainproof, runners. I predict a new fashion trend: one shorts leg higher than the other. 
Here's what I have been doing since my last race. 


There's not a lot of VO2max happening right now. Not a lot of tempo, either.  And...not a lot of weights. But I am working on the weights part twice a week (although I forget to log it), and focusing on some core work each day.

My plan for now is to rebuild some weekly mileage and, most importantly, be uninjured.
Races I am looking at are:

  • a 10 mile trail race in February 
  • a road half marathon in March
  • and a possible trail marathon or 50k in late spring (Totally conditional on my body NOT falling apart!). I am not sure I love the marathon...but maybe I can fall in love with it again.




35 comments:

  1. Hi YOU. So glad you got to get away to some trails. And with a friend too. yay! I'm sure it was beautiful. I always love getting off the pavement when I can...not always the best for some runs but certainly nice for just running with low heart rate and enjoying being out there. What half marathon will you run in March?

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    1. Looking at THIS one.
      Loved every minute of it today :) Good for the soul.

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  2. I just LOVE trail runs too! And they're even more fun with a friend :) .

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    1. Yes! Almost any kind of run is more fun with a friend! :)

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  3. Oddly, I find the opposite true about trail ultras. I have bounced back faster from mine than road marathons. However, there could be other factors- not pushing myself as much, listening more to body, etc. The FALLING, on the otherhand, is the biggest challenge for me. I've had some pretty nasty ones on the trails...

    I think what you'll love about ultramarathoning in the trails is that it is a totally different experience than racing on the road. That is what draws me to it. The two just don't compare. You'll see.

    Also, I really love your comments about having a non-t.v. household. I actually don't have cable or satellite, but do watch regular 10 ten channels occasionally. If/when I have children, I will definitely be protecting them from today's harsh media.

    And, YES, please tell us which races you've decided on. :)

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    1. OK this is really useful, and i hope to pick your brain a bit more on it, regarding the trail ultras. I have a couple in mind, but would like to research more on the courses. I realize that pace/time is totally irrelevant and would be shooting for best possibile placement. I also think that this would help rebound more. Looking at a trail ultra (most likely bark, gravel, mud and not a lot of big boulders or rocks) as a possible long run prep for a road marathon...about 4-6 weeks out from the road marathon. Thoughts??

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  4. Hitting the trails? Good for you! What I get from running on the trails is that while you're out there if feels harder, but the recovery is significantly less due to the less pounding on the legs. Moving laterally and using different muscle groups, however, makes you stronger on the roads. At least that's what I think and choose to believe:)

    Have fun on your little streak! You wild woman, you;)!!

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    1. I agree 100%. Although I find gravel annoying for speed work, the use of the little connectors and variety of terrain is so good for the body. So are "real" trails. Can't wait to get to some parks to do those.

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  5. Pics are gorgeous! WHat a beautiful, peaceful area, minus the cougars! Looks like you are relaxing and having fun with your runs--perfect!

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    1. Thanks Marcia! It was a fun day and nice to run where I am always tempted to go (Finally).

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  6. Ooh-yes you never do know when you might want to run a trail ultra on a whim!! IN my case, a whim not entirely smart OR possible with my current mileage base which was nearly single digits this week-ha ha! That being said, a trail ultra often dances in my head:)

    So fun to get out there and with a friend, even better!!

    Love the new fashion!! I am so behind the times. I always wear my shorts legs evenly. Who knew!!!!

    Love the pics!! Yay on the races!! Thinking of you lots this Christmas season:) XO

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    1. Always love to hear from you, my friend. I am not sure an ultra is the best bet for me either...but maybe by then I will have a big enough base under me.

      I am never up on the fashion trends...except for my running gear..haha.

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  7. You live in pure bliss. I would have the most difficult time sitting at my desk all day with that surrounding me.

    trail 50k! Will this be your first ultra?

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    1. It will be my first ultra..IF i do it! Ha! I hope the trails are more forgiving than the road.

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  8. I am glad that your friend was able to come and run with you. She does sound like a keeper. Whenever I see your running pictures it reminds me of where I grew up.

    A 50K would be awesome if you decide to do it. Would this be your first ultra? If you don't run the 50K you could always come to Spokane in May and run Windermere with me. :-)

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    1. Anyone who will come this direction for an hour run is a good running friend. She fits the ticket. Windermere..giving it some thought...would be fun to see you again, Tasha!

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  9. Ooh, what trail race are you doing in Feb? So far, I'm just signed up for that Cascade Half in January and maybe doing Eugene this spring.

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    1. I am planning on one at Elijah Bristol State Park...would be fun to see you there!

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  10. I've heard about people doing running streaks, but it seems like they usually have a couple of one mile days. Your short day was a 5K. You get an A+!

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    1. Thanks Tina..wouldn't mind a one mile day tomorrow. :) ha!

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  11. Oh wow, I am fascinated with those stats. I had no idea you could even tell your V02 max without a huge contraption over your mouth and nose. Seriously, that is so cool!!

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    1. Thanks Kristen! They are not very fast right now- as the VO2max numbers indicate :) . My online log does the statistics for me, via my Garmin stats. A given pace over any distance can be awarded a Vdot number which correlates to Vo2max. Jack Daniels pioneered the research with the huge contraptions and his tables, from his book RUNNING FORMULA, are probably where my log draws it's numbers from.

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  12. I feel like trail running is harder on your stabilizer muscles, but I love that it saves you from the jarring and repetitive-motion injuries. I hope you get to do the 50k!

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  13. Solid training, and sounds like a good plan for 2013. Love the pics.

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  14. Trail running may be harder on the body (in a good way!), but it's easy on the soul! I've been looking wistfully at the mountains a lot lately myself.....

    Is it possible to be jealous of someone's heart rate? :^) I love how nice and low yours is at those paces. I must have rabbit in me because mine is so much higher. Going to use the altitude here as an excuse (though I don't believe that excuse myself....)

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  15. That sounds like a beautiful run. Lucky you to find a good friend to join, also!
    I like the idea of a 10 mile trail race. I've eyed some 1/2s, but that just seems like too much.

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  16. Dang girl, you are amazing. And your friend really is a keeper. =)

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  17. I have to live vicariously through you with these beautiful pictures! I have NONE of this scenery here in the desert!! Jealous! ;-)

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  18. Merry Christmas and happy new year to you and family.

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    1. A VERY merry Christmas to you too, Stefano. Things are beautiful there in Italy for the holy day. Blessings to you and yours and warm wishes for 2013.

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  19. I haven't worked out my spring races at all beyond January's marathon, but I'm starting to think about it. Your plan sounds good! I definitely understand waiting on the full/ultra to see how your body handles training. I'm the same with the long distances.
    Have a wonderful Christmas, Raina!

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  20. Sorry, week 4 is out there. Merry Christmas!!

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    1. FOund it :) Merry Christmas to you all Michael!

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  21. I am definitely not up to trail running but one day I hope to be, this looks like a beautiful place to run

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  22. I've never run a marathon. And honestly, I'm not sure how I feel about running a road marathon. But get me onto a trail, and it's a whole different story. I love it out there. Everything about it. The dirt paths, the scenery, the hills, the downhills... It's like I get entrances in just running and enjoying everything! (And I think less about how much it hurts, heh).

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