Sunday, April 12, 2009

Pacific Crest Trail Near Panther Creek Washington 7.5 miles

Current Mile total: 90 miles

Google Earth, you suck. Let me rephrase, cause I love Google Earth. Google Earth, you're wrong. You're terribly wrong and you don't know how to measure trails. At least that's my view and I'm going to stick with it.

I knew I'd forget something when I moved down to the Gorge. Of all things I forgot my garmin forerunner. Now, when I want to know a distance I've run I have to use Google Earth to calculate my runs. I figured it would be somewhat accurate but after today's run I can be sure it's not. Why? Because it claims I ran only 2.3 miles in 24 minutes. That's over a ten minute mile. Now if I was climbing a hill I could believe that but I was returning from an out and back on the PCT and it was all down hill. And I was moving fast. Well, fast for me. And fast for a recovery run. I figure I was doing somewhere between a 6 and a 7 minute mile. EASILY. There's just no way I was running a 10 minute mile downhill. SO... now I have to questimate all my trail runs. I know the road calculations are somewhat accurate so it must be that there's no way for Google Earth to account for all the many twists and turns in the trail as well as the elevation gain's effect on distance.

At any rate, it now makes me question how much I ran yesterday and other days since using this method. But that's good too. In a way, Google Earth is helping me. If I think I'm running less than I am I will eventually get aclimated to running longer distances. If I think I only ran 13.5 miles yesterday but really ran 16-17 miles than when I get up into the 20s I might be closer to 30s. It will be a real psychological edge to my training. I take it back Google Earth. You were just trying to help me. Thanks buddy.

Anyways, today I ran a recovery run. What a lousy day to be out. It was cold and raining really hard. I ran out for 40 minutes and most of it was uphill. Slow going for some really tired legs. But by the time I reached the top it seemed my legs had shaken out most of the stiffness. Unlike yesterday I did not take it easy coming down. As I said, it was cold and raining and I was soaked to the core so I decided to pick up the pace. I didn't go crazy and apply any effort I just let the gravity take me down. There was also a nice headwind(depending on which switchback you were on) and that certainly helped my pace.

The only other notable thing would be the carnage on the trail. There were spots on the trail that were completely impassable and I needed to either climb over large trees or completely find another route.

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