Saturday, December 18, 2010

Squishy soft

Googled the web for a picture of "squishy soft" and all I get is stuffed animals. Not quite what I had in mind with that title.

Got 3 miles worth of trails on this mornings 10 mile shake out run. Hadn't even planned on running on the trails, just a last minute decision when I ran through Stones River Battlefield. This was the second run this week in the snow. This one was 1,000 times more enjoyable than the other. Sure wish I'd brought the camera.

Still working on lots of different stuff at the battlefield. The most interesting thing for me was all of the different running surfaces. The main road was resurfaced in some of the rougher sections. At least one of the asphalt trails was resurfaced with asphalt with smaller rocks and not as much tar? Really made the surface springing, almost like a track.

Couple of the paths have been surfaced with just a gravel bed and a layer of finer gravel on top, packed and rolled. That's one of my favorite surfaces. Almost similar to a packed dirt or a cinder path. Only down side to these surfaces is the length. They are all just short pathways to monuments or earthen works.

The only trail of any substance is about a mile and a half long. They put wood mulch on it after the tornado for about a third of the distance with the rest of it primarily single track through the woods. That was the most fun part of this mornings run. Just enough snow to cover the path, so I could see the deer tracks. The single track through the woods has just enough tree roots and limestone outcroppings to keep you dancing over or zigging or zagging around. Fun stuff.

Eleven weeks out from the marathon. Last weekends long run was the first run this week in the snow. We had only planned on running 14 to 16 miles, but ended up with 17 miles on the day. It was a progression run broken up into 3, 30 minute segments after a couple miles of warmup. Brutal wind all morning, made the 29 degrees seem frigid when it was in our face, but almost warm when it was at our backs. The fast master warmed up with me and BQ1 and then did his own 20 miles worth of marathon workouts. BQ1 hung with me until the last 30 minutes worth of marathon pace work. That really helped. Really surprised my splits came in on target, given the wind and the hills on the course. Tough day. Waited for BQ1 to catch back up with me for the final 3 or 4 mile slog back to the car. That's when the snow started. The wind was blowing so hard that the snow was coming in sideways.

Wednesday's workout was hill repeats and yesterdays workout was 45 minutes worth of steady state. Did it at marathon pace. Wasn't that tough of a workout, other than a another day of battling the wind. Down week for mileage at 65 miles. Next week is going to be a bruiser. 20-22 miles for tomorrows long run and then an extra quality day. Mileage will be back up into the 70's.

Let the running streak end on Tuesday, at 40 days. That was the morning after the snow and ice. Just didn't want to risk falling on the ice. I packed my bag to run on the treadmill, but decided against that. I hate running on treadmills.

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