Saturday, June 23, 2007

Squak Mountain 12.25 miles

Current Mile total: 757 miles

I've done a lot of running, but today's run was especially awesome!! It was my first run in the 16 week training program hosted by SRC to prepare me for my 50 miler that I signed up for on Oct 6th. We ran just over 12 miles which in itself is not very difficult but given the terrain it was pretty tough. It ran along the actual course of the race so its ideal training.

I get there and meet the other runners. The majority of which are doing the 50k race and not the full 50 miler. There are just 4 of us doing the full. We're given maps by Scott and some light warm up excercises by Alison. Scott is the owner of SRC and an accomplished ultra runner. Alison is also an ultra runner and just so happens to be the person I had my grand fall in front of just a week and a half ago.

So enough of the briefing. Its been a week since I last ran. Life finally caught up with me and told me to slow down. My body just couldn't handle what I've been putting it through. Running, working, drinking, socializing, and very little sleep. It all finally caught up and I got a cold. But I was due for a good break and I think a good cold was the only way I could see fit to stop running. It gave me a chance to spend time with my new girlfriend Jenn. She just sort of came out of nowhere. And she's fantastic. But my rest week wasn't all fun. Life has a way of balancing out all the good and bad. So to balance out the sunshine that Jenn has brought to my life, it seems that something really startling was in order. On wednesday Cody and Penny escaped the confines of the Condo and ran out in to the busy Lake City Way. Penny managed to avoid incident but Cody was hit and needed to be rushed to the emergency clinic. He's home now and doing fine. Bruised and battered but still the same happy dog he's always been. He did loose control of his left front leg due to radial nerve damage but hopefully within 4 months it shall return and he'll be right as rain. If not, then we'll amputate the leg but he'll still be Cody. So after a very eventful week full of highs and lows, I was very ready to get out and do some running.

It was just what I needed. In single file running through the woods on single track that reminded me very much of my Mt. biking days, we slowly ran around the Squak Mountain Park. It started with nearly 3 miles of accent and then balanced off with the reverse side. Going out was tough but manageable. Coming back was brutal. The hills added up and my legs grew tired. I ended up walking a lot of the uphills but it was good practice. Chances are i'll be hiking a bit of the race. Some of the course is just too steep to run. The real struggle was something I've not experienced in a long time. It was a heavy ache in my ass. That's right. My ass hurt, and badly. I broke my leg over 8 years ago and I still have the rod and two pins. Climbing such steep hills was applying pressure on the pin in my hip joint more than usual and the muscle was doing its best to adapt. I think it was also still a little sore from my Cannon Ball Dumb fall in Volunteer park. At any rate, it hurt and may continue to hurt until I build up some tolerance to it.

Coming back down the last side of the course we encountered a portion of trail that was very overgrown. So much so that you could barely see what you were stepping on and I nearly tripped and fell once. We were also lashed by the growth on either side and by the end my legs were thoroughly scratched up. It would continue to sting well into the next day. But it was so worth it. Running through the thicket was exhilarating. It took a level of trust in your ability to keep your balance and find your line. I really love the adrenaline rush you get when you throw caution to the wind and fly down the hills. Unlike urban running your mind is constantly calculating. Once again I feel like I've narrowed in on my passion, finding a way to make it far more enjoyable. Trail running combines my love of nature and my love of running. Now if Cody can just get better, maybe he can come out there with me and the pass time would be perfect.

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