10 October 2009

Ice Age Trail Trial Run

As I started my run today (Saturday), three other runners were making their way in the opposite direction along the Ice Age Trail, spray paint cans in hand. I quickly realized they were marking the course for the Glacial Trail 50/50 tomorrow, and one asked me if I was running it. I said, "Next Year. This year is North Face." For some reason everything seemed wrong inside me with that statement. The Glacial Trail course is not only my 'backyard,' it's also my favorite place to run in the world (thus far, I haven't run much in Colorado, or New Jersey, for that matter). I can remember discovering this trail, on my mountain bike the day after Thanksgiving. Everyone else was laying around, and I went for a ride and couldn't believe something so difficult was so close!
Instead, I'll be going down to the Southern Kettle Moraines in a couple weeks to run an event that claims to be "95% Single Track" but is actually 95% Horse/Snowmobile Trail. And the North Face events don't exactly have the best reputation for being well-run, let alone well-marked.
So I continued on my run, duplicating a run I did shortly before Chippewa this past spring...in which a stick went straight through my shoe and into my heel...but more on that later. Not more than 10 minutes into the run, I was thinking that I could just run the first hour, and then be spontaneous and sign up for the Glacial 50K tomorrow morning and run it. Why not? That's the event I really want to run, and I've got nothing planned!
Back to earth I came, though, remembering my last post, and realizing the chances of a 50K run tomorrow being even remotely enjoyable was slim to none, considering the last two marathons. I didn't need another reason to pout.
So I used today's run (a targeted 2 hours) as a trial run for nutrition and pacing and equipment for North Face. It went well! I actually ran the course about 3 minutes faster than I did last spring and felt like it was a lot easier. I averaged 8 minute miles over the Ice Age Trail for around 15 miles and really felt like I nailed the nutrition.
Oddly enough, the same hill that I was descending when the stick went through my heel last spring caught me again. I jammed my toe big time (later finding out that I broke the toenail and it bled pretty bad) and stumbled a bit. No big deal, until about 2 miles later I realized I didn't have the key to my car in my pocket anymore. Not good.
I immediately called off the run and began slowly backtracking on the trail. I knew I had lost it at some point in the previous 30 minutes because I had checked at that point in the run. I thought to myself, "I bet it's when I jammed my toe on that root."
It didn't take long of the slow and tedious walk before I. Was. FREEZING. You see, it snowed today. A day after Al Gore delivered a speech on Global Warming ERRRR I MEAN "Climate Change," it snowed. I'm not saying...I'm just saying.
Side note, exactly 5 months ago, I ran the Journeys Marathon. It was snowing at the start. That's exactly 5 months of snow-free weather in Wisconsin. Yikes.
So anyway, I was shivering as I approached Glaven (I'm officially naming this hill 'Glaven' after it inflicted bodily harm on me twice. This Glaven inflicts emotional harm, so it's a natural progression), and sure enough, appearing under a recently fallen leaf, about a foot off the trail, is the key. I honestly couldn't believe I found it, but was thrilled, considering I had zero calories, no other clothes available, and no phone to call for a ride. And I hadn't seen anyone the entire day after the first 10 minutes of the run.
So, my last long run before North Face went pretty well. My calves are sore but manageable. I'll increase the yoga in the following two weeks and then see what happens at North Face. I posted earlier I simply want to set a 50K PR (sub 4:40) but I'd actually like to run under 4:30.
I think I may run some hills today...just kidding.

1 comment:

footfeathers said...

you run 3 hour marathons like nothing and you hope to run an extra 5 miles in 1:40???

Put it in perspective; you're going 4-4:10.