Monday, March 14, 2011

Boston Marathon Trail Training

Yes, I got the memo. Boston is a road marathon, but I just can't bring myself to running on the road, so I'm sticking to the trails.
I had a fantastic run yesterday at the Jackrabbit Trails here in Hayesville, NC. They are mostly used by mountain bikers, but foot traffic is welcome. The trails aren't too difficult. No big climbs like last week's mountain run. Just a simple trail run. The trails are numerous and cover over 13 miles. I chose to do all but 2 of them for two loops, going in one direction for the first and the opposite direction for the second, and came out to about 20.75 miles. Link to my Garmin
The day was gorgeous. A little on the hot side for me at first, but after the first 5 or 6 miles, a cool breeze came in off the lake making it perfect. There were a few mountain bikers for the first 15 miles, but after that, they just kept coming and coming. I was happy to be close to finishing since it was starting to get old jumping off the trail for all the bikes. I really didn't mind, though; the mountain bikers are the ones who made these trails, so I was perfectly fine with giving them all the right-of-way. I've been experimenting with better fueling lately. I'm not a big fan of gels, sports beans, etc., but I've been using them some. I do like the Jelly Belly Sport Beans somewhat. I was chosen as a tester for Liquid Gold Organic Energy last year. It's pretty good, but I didn't feel it really gave me the energy I needed, and the molasses is kind of strong. I have been using the Perfect Foods Bar for my pre-race meal with great success, so I'll probably continue that, but yesterday, I decided to experiment with the Big Sur Bar, and it is by far the best energy bar I've ever had. These bars are packed with about 600 calories a piece. I ate half of one around mile 11 and the pick-me-up it gave me was amazing. So I'm planning to use this for Boston. My only issue is figuring out how to pack it since it's like a small brick. I'm thinking of slicing it and putting it in a ziplock and in my skirt pocket. We'll see.
Next week is another 20 miler somewhere around western NC. Bryan is on the Appalachian Trail right now for a section hike. He started at Springer Mtn. on March 3rd, and I dropped him off at Winding Stair Gap today. He should be at Fontana Dam by Friday or Saturday, where he thinks he might want to stop. If he does continue on, he's planning to skip the Smokies so he doesn't have to worry about having Chill on the trail. We got away with sneaking Coy through without an issue in 2003, but we've gotten two tickets before for having Coy on a trail AND off-leash in Crater Lake National Park, and it's pretty pricey. I don't think he's up for another $200 dog ticket.
If Bryan does stop at Fontana, then we're all moving back into the van and doing a little traveling along the AT for dayhikes and trail running until about April 11th. We have to go back to Fort Bragg to get our stuff out of storage for the drive to New Hampshire. Then, it's Boston Marathon weekend. So we'll be busy. If Bryan stays on the trail, then I'll just go up to Massachusetts for the marathon with John and then come back down here to pick Bryan up at the end of April. It's kind of up in the air right now. I do have to be in Mass by May 5th since I'm doing the Cape Relay starting on the 6th.
I'm starting to get anxious about getting this new chapter of our lives started. It's a little scary knowing that the Army paycheck, healthcare, etc. are about to cease, but I know we'll be fine. I think we'll be pretty settled by the end of July near Plymouth, NH somewhere.
I've managed to keep with the flow of normalcy by setting up my race schedule for most of 2011. I just added the Cranmore Hill Climb to my list yesterday. I used to carry my son up and down Cranmore Mountain when he was a little over a year old. It was not easy just to walk it. Running it will be a whole different story, but I'm not looking to win or even do that well. It's the USA Mountain Running Championships this year, so there will be plenty of elite runners there who will be racing for the win. This will just be a "fun" run for me.
I'm looking forward to all the New Hampshire races I have coming up. The trails are typically more technical than here in North Carolina, so it will be a whole different ball game, and I'm hoping to get in better mountain running shape over the summer. Next winter, the plan is to try snowshoe racing, too.
So, I have a lot of things planned. How that goes over with whatever job I find, I don't know, but I'll do my best to fit it all in.
So, anyway, this has a been a pretty boring blog entry. I think I had a more interesting idea of what to write while I was running yesterday, but I tend to leave my best thoughts out on the trail.

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