Monday, September 5, 2011

Manic Compression

Well, August ended with an Earthquake, a hurricane and lots of hills!
 The quake that was centered out of Virginia did send a rumble through North Carolina, ruining a really great nap I was taking at the time. Other than that, no damage.
    The hurricane pelted our area with rain and some wind. My evacuation plan had been set in place months before, as I had registered for the Continental Divide Trail Race. It was strategically located west of the hurricane's path, in the mountains of NC.
The weather in the mountains was great! Low humidity and cool. The course was a killer! Lots of hills, both up and down, and around mile 5.5, a nice vertical climb up a rocky face! (It was a 10K). I must say it was a great touch that there was a bagpiper right at the base of the climb!
I hung on and survived, finishing in 1:19:23. One of the hardest races I've done, for sure!

We Stayed another night in the hotel, freaking out other guests by wearing our compression calf sleeves around the lobby. The next morning we set out for a "easy" recovery run, which turned out being a ten miler with 3900' of climbing. Most of the climbing was during the first five miles, then we tagged the summit at the Blue Ridge Parkway. We then began the somewhat harrowing descent. Racing back down the mountain, semi out of control, I felt I needed one of those gravel escape ramps they have for tractor trailers, in case I missed a switchback. Needless to say, it took half the amount of time coming down as it did going up.
  What's better than a grueling recovery run the day after a hard race? Why it's jumping in a car and riding home for two hours! That gives a chance for all that blood to pool in your legs. Gotta love looking like Fred Sanford as you get out of and start walking away from your car.

  Now the focus turns from climbing hills to running flat for hours on end!  The Lake Hinson 24 Hour Run is coming up for me on September 24th. I guess I have to come up with a strategy for this run, although I might be better served by not thinking too far ahead and freaking myself out! If nothing else, it will be a good training run for my upcoming 50K.

Now that September is here, I am hoping for cooler temps and lower humidity. It will feel nice not to be loaded down like a mule with water on those long training runs!

Run Hard, Run Happy!

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