Monday, October 31, 2011

Rain, Faceplants and "Tebowing" on the Trail

After not getting many miles in during the week, I was able to work in two nice trail runs over the weekend.  Saturday's run was a bit of a mental challenge, due to the fact that when I woke up at 5am it was 39 degrees and pouring rain. I was scheduled to me my friend Lauren, a talented and strong ultra runner, at 6:30am for a 12 miler at Umstead State Park. Driving to the park, I began to have doubts that we would be running at all! Heavy rain pelted my car as I semi hydroplaned along the road. By the time I met Lauren at the Tile Store parking lot, the rain had subsided. We both put on our hats and gloves and headed down the road leading to the park, where I was promptly almost run over by a car.
Entering the safety and security of the park, we started pounding out the miles. The plan was to do six miles out and six miles back. Around mile five, the rain returned. The trails were empty, with most folks electing to sleep in and avoid the rain. We finally saw our friends Amy and Joey at around mile nine, they were just starting their run!
By mile ten I began to feel very heavy. Water had penetrated every inch of my gear, including my shoes and sox. We pushed on, and before I knew it, we were back out on the road and headed to the car. We were wet, cold and tired, but proud we had gutted it out.
 I headed home and then took one of the greatest showers of my life!

  Sunday morning I treated myself and slept in. I knew I wanted to run, I just didn't know where it would be. I finally decided on Raven Rock State Park. The "Campbell Creek" Trail is a five mile loop that goes down to the Cape Fear River. The skies were crystal clear and temps were warmer, a really beautiful fall day.
I felt good as I completed the first five mile loop. At the start of the second lap, I hooked my right foot on a root, resulting in a rather spectacular "Pete Rose" style face plant! Stunned for a second, I immediately began laughing hysterically at nyself. It was quite liberating, I must say.
  Dusting myself off, I pressed on, taking a short side trail to Lanier Falls, then back up a section of stairs to the main trail.

  Reaching the finish, I could not resist. I got a shot of myself "Tebowing".

The Derby 50K is in four weeks. Time to get in some miles!

Have a great week!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sunday Morning Umstead coming down

I got up at the ass crack of dawn Sunday morning to meet my friend Mika at Umstead State Park for a 12 mile run along the Bike and Bridal trails. It was a little more challenging getting out of a warm bed when the outdoor temperature was 41 degrees, as opposed to the last few months where we were running early to escape the heat!
I normally use the half hour drive to the park to fully wake up and prime all the vital organs, but I was feeling sluggish this morning, even with the two cups of coffee I downed back at the house. I texted Mika upon my arrival, and she wrote back she would be there in five minutes and that she was moving slow this morning. Great news!
There were already scores of people at the park. like some kind of mini Vail, CO right in the heart of Raleigh. This was indeed inspiring, but not quite enough to free me from my morning fog.
I greeted Mika, we both talked about how we thought of texting one another about bailing on the run, then we were off!
The crisp Autumn morning air quickly brought me to life and we settled into a nice pace along the trail.
Mika had to take off her jacket by mile one, hanging on a tree along side the trail. ( Which we completely forgot about on our way back)
The sun was up now, and it was a beautiful morning indeed. We stayed at a comfortable, steady pace, only walking in a couple of spots to take in some water and fuel. The conversation flowed, encompassing a wide array of topics, and the miles passed by quickly. We hit the turn around at mile six and spotted four deer crossing the trail ahead of us, including a rather large buck.
Before we knew it we were in the home stretch, blissfully blowing by Mika's jacket at mile 11 and headed for the barn.
Needless to say, we got in an additional 2 mile "cool down" going back to retrieve the jacket.

12 miles in 2hr 11 min. 3800' ft of elevation. 2 mile run/walk cool down, and the awesome feeling of finishing a workout you almost thought about blowing off.
All this before 10 am!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

home made gluten free vegan pizza

While having made many a home made pizza using traditional flour, this was my first attempt at a gluten free crust. I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free pizza crust mix. Not bad at all, I must say. The crust was a little thicker than I wanted, so it was more "deep dish" than thin crust, but a tasty crust nonetheless Some olive oil spread on the crust, then chopped garlic, then pizza sauce. Topped it off with some Daiya mozzarella "cheese", a little salt and oregano, and that was it! Total prep time was about 30 minutes. Bake time 18 minutes at 425 with the baking stone!

Ultr - O - Lantern

Happy Halloween!

 Now get out there and run and take advantage of the beautiful fall weather!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Trail Buddies

Nice shot of me and some of my trail hommies! At Lake Hinson 24 Hour Ultra.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Triple Lakes Half/New addition to support crew

Had a good run at the Triple Lakes Trail Half yesterday. Beautiful weather for a race! Temp was around 50 degrees at the start time of 8am. The first mile was paved trail, so I went out faster than I should have. (As I am known to do!) My first mile split was somewhere around 8:30, which is usually my 5K pace, but I felt good, so I dialed it back just a little and continued on my way. I felt really good up untill mile 8 or so, then I began to pay for my quick start. The terrain became a little bit hillier, and I was having to work hard to stay in a nice rhythm. I also was nearly run over by four deer that came scampering through the woods around mile 9! I held my form together and emerged from the woods thinking the finish was right in front of me, but there was a surprise waiting for me. We had to run on a grassy loop around a small lake, then run uphill to the finish! One final staggering push later, I was done. Finished in 2:25, a little slower than I wanted, but I was happy none the less.
Watching on crutches from the sideline was my buddy and training partner Hannah. A fractured Talar (ankle) has her off the trails for a while, which makes us both sad.
In the meantime, there has been an addition to my training/support crew, a 10 month old hound mix named Culliver. We picked him up from the shelter a week ago and he is such a good boy! There have only been several "accidents" so far, and he is a pretty chill dog! I have not taken him out on a run with me yet, still waiting for his bones to mature, plus he has no ability to run in a straight line! He does however seem to have that whole "taper" thing down already!

Now the plan is to get in some nice long runs in preparation for the Derby 50K. I am not entered in any races until then, but you never know...............