A fun week. Another 5+ miles of singletrack, at Carver Lake Park. First went with the boy, had a “blast”, as he put it. Then last night ran with the pig-dog as the mountain biker sissies fled with the sun ;p
Made my first “goo”, strawberry, yum! Agave, dates, strawberries, sea salt — so easy!
Do you even lift, bro? I should start, with this breakfast two days in a row — 2 eggs, onion, spinach, salmon, half an avocado, cream cheese and hot sauce. All those calories, and nary a beast mode in site.
It’s on! This fall/ winter I plan on phasing out store-bought gels and bars for a few reasons. One: Money. Two: Better ingredients/ healthier. Three: Reuseable packaging FFS. Four: It will be fun for me and the boy!
I don’t think the book was strictly necessary, and all the “look & feel great” malarkey can suck it, but there are lots of good ideas and starting points. Plus, I like Vega for smoothies.
I will probably still buy a case of salted caramel GU unless I figure that one out :)
Harmon Park Reserve, five miles of single track in the dark.
On Saturday, I felt completely beat up by the previous night’s nighttime half marathon when I hit Afton State Park for my long run eight hours later, with very little sleep in there thanks to flibberty-poopy-pants who can sense when I really, really need some sleep, and punishes me with ungodly hours. “Oh, you’re getting up at 4:30? Not sleeping much because of calf cramps? Well, I’m just going to wake up at 4:00, just because. And no, I won’t go back to sleep.” Cretin. He gets it all from his Mom.
Tonight I felt fully back on, though. Everything felt great — especially my ankles and behind my left knee, where one tendon was really tender after the half. Harmon is a fun park, day or night — look at all those twists! I really enjoy adding the .7 mile loop at the end, and pushing it hard. It’s so twisty and tight, and the dog loves it too. As much as I give that shithound grief, he’s a great trail-running buddy. He’s actually really useful. Sometimes, coming back up the bluffs in the dark, he knows which path to follow and which path just goes over the damn cliff. Thanks, stinky!
Night Light Trail Run Race Report. Battle Creek, Saint Paul.
Last year I ran this race, and didn’t do so well. My ankles, IT bands, calves, brain… all went south. This year I signed up at the last minute. I didn’t really like the race last year, though I love the course at Battle Creek — constant hills. It seemed like it was thrown together at the last moment. The half marathon consisted of four loops, with an aid station at the beginning/ end. The aid station only had water, which was disappointing and probably didn’t help me in falling apart.
What a difference a year makes. My base was built up to the point where 13 miles is a recovery run instead of an absolute limit. And the race… well, they sure ran it right this year! The half marathon was three loops, crossing a road for a scenic chunk of flat in the middle, effectively taking out one or two hills per loop. There were three aid stations on every loop, at around 1.5, 3 and 4.3. Both had gatorade and water, one also with food. I saw GUs, and think there were bananas and sandwiches, but I didn’t partake.
The swag, as last year, was a pint glass. There was music, beer and food afterwards. The night was cool and dry, perfect running weather.
The run was great. I shaved 19 minutes off last year’s time, and felt strong the whole time. I ran all the hills, relieved that one long climb was left off. It was fun to run with the headlamp, on a course that I knew even better, with a body I knew could hold up on the steep downhills. I only got passed by a couple fleet 5k-ers on the second loop as they started 45 minutes after us. In the last two miles I picked it up, attacking the hills and really pushing the last half mile, passing at least four half marathoners and a bunch of 10k folks. It felt good to only pass and not be passed — not for ego, but to show that I ran my race according to plan. I’ll never be a fast dude, but I can at least work at consistency!
Last year I wouldn’t have recommended this race, but now I would encourage anyone to try it — 5k, 10k, half or relay option. And in full disclosure, the photo above is not from the race, but from Afton State Park the next morning :)
Shoofly pie. Also two pumpkin pies, cinnamon sugar pie dough cookies and roasted veggies. Because it’s cold.
Abram pointed out that cookies are baked, so we call them bakies now.
Autumn on! Acorn squash with ‘butter’, brown sugar and spices, garlic mashed potatoes and ‘stuffed harvest loaf’ or whatever — a pre-made veg loaf that is actually really good! And a Jack’d Up ale to boot. Perfect!
Sure, what’s ten more miles? Wait, by next October will the challenge get up to 300 miles??? :)
By the way, I need to figure out how to quote/ reply in a less stupiderer fashion than screenshot-and-crop. I feel like I’ve been rude for not doing so!
Thanks to MrCarlosBC’s Nike+ challenge, I got to 170 miles this month, just by the skin of my teeth. With Surf the Murph 50 Miler in 25 days, I’m feeling pretty good about it. The runs and miles are just running together, nothing really special. I thought I didn’t care about times and paces, and the other day at Pounder’s I realized I really don’t. Part of it was hearing Emelie Forsberg on Talk Ultra admitting that her weakness is that she doesn’t like to suffer. So I’ll look to suffer on my long races, but otherwise I’m just going to get back to hitting the trails and taking it easy, enjoying it. And… that’s pretty much it.
I don’t have any running pics from this weekend, so here’s one of us at the orchard. Apple pigs!
Saturday was 26.2 at Afton State Park with some UMTR folks. I was toasted by the end.
Sunday was 15 at Pounders, flatter and doable. That made 41 for the weekend, my farthest for 48 hours. Still, gotta do 50 in one day in a little over a month. Sheesh, seems kind of far… o.O
With two miles left on Sunday I came across Elmer. 85 years old, a few miles from his hotel, and heading the wrong way! His two hour nature stroll was at that point 3.5, with over 2.5 miles back to his hotel. “So, turn around, take a left under the bridge, at the other end cross under the bridge, then back over to the original side, and climb up the trail to 494. Then it’s another two miles to your hotel”… That, and he had no water! So I give him one of my water bottles and walked him in to Mendota and drove him to his hotel. A Korea vet from Virginia — nice guy, and it felt good to help. Sometimes it even feels like a gift to get an opportunity to help someone else, especially since my lone runs have included a lot of meditation and thought on the sport of ultrarunning, and how selfish and weird it seems sometimes. We seek out pain, exhaustion and to find out just what’s going to go off the rails at some point. We eat sugar out of plastic and foil packets when other people can’t get enough to eat at all. We have all this equipment to help and quantify what should be the simplest of all activities. It’s a little weird, extravagant and conspicuous. But what the hell, I can’t stop. I guess I should be thankful instead of guilty!
Random week things:
The first homebrew in a few years has matured into a tasty beast! Anise and orange, but crisp and refreshing. It’s a great beer for fall running.
Veg corn dogs for the picky dude.
National Wildlife Refuge in Bloomington. Actually a bit underwhelming, but okay. We got chiggers or something from the mud. Merp.
Ran at Harmon Park Reserve MTB trails a few times at night lately with a new, brighter headlamp — so much fun! Running is just fun again, finally. Sleep and cooler weather help do much. Without trying last weekend, on the flat Pounders trail, I got my fastest 10k and half times since I bought my watch in April. What??? Still not fast, but not bad for not pushing it.