Tuesday, November 16, 2010

111410 Trail Daze

Goal: run, get diet back under control.

Results: run, MTB ride

Thoughts: Saturday left me a little tired and it took me until Sunday night to update about my run Saturday. Now it is already Tuesday and I am just now updating for Sunday. Luckily, nothing worthwhile happened Monday so I am going to skip it.

I woke up Sunday and had three missions- One was mandatory, the other somewhere between mandatory and optional, and the last optional but highly sought after by me. The mandatory task was cleaning the mess in my closet where a stack containing a box of power tools, two large boxes of remodelling scraps, my construction tool bag and belt, and my around the house tool bag all fell over. Wouldn't you guess they were all either open or opened upon their fall leaving a 70 square foot disaster of tools and about 3,000 nails, screws, etc on the floor. It took 2 hours to sort everything back to it's correct tool box or bag.

After this was completed I could move on to my other two tasks. The next task in priority was my run. The plan called for a 5 mile half marathon pace run. I have set loops in town I run for workouts under 5 miles. At this distance their is no single loop I can run. For extra long runs I have an out and back into the country I can run, but 5 miles is too short for this road. As I dressed and headed outside I came up with an idea. Just past a mile down my out and back route there is a museum.

This museum is the Iredell county history museum (or something like that). It has a small log homestead and a small mill; behind it is a small loop trail. I remember it from finding a geocache on it a few years back. I decided i would run to the musuem, run the loop so that i could measure it with the garmin, and then add in whatever distance was needed to complete the 5 miles by using neighborhood streets.

Before I moved here whenever I went through a get fit or lose weight epic fail I always ran at a local park that was located a block away. This was a sprawling park with a lake, boathouse, bait shop, amphitheatre, community center and a ton of other attractions. With a park this big, there are 4 interconnected trails that you could run. Individually they ranged from 1 mile to 6 miles and since they connect you could make any distance you wanted. In the past if I was going to run, it was always on these trails.

Since moving here I spent 6 months on a treadmill and as you know have been road running since June. I had not ran a trail since the move. This was exactly the break I needed. Although I struggled to be able to keep my pace, I loved every off-road second. This experience also reminded me of how many more muscles it takes to run on the trails. In the end my average pace was 5 seconds slower than it was supposed to be, but given I ran 15 miles the day before, I was running on a trail, and I had to walk a huge hill on the way home, I chalk it up as a win.

Once I got back to the house, I hydrated, had a snack and was off to do the last thing on my to do list. After weeks of it calling my name I got a chance to ride my mountain bike. I removed my slicks and put the knobbies back on, ice waxed the chain, and was off. It was amazing how diferent it felt than my road bike and how GIGANTIC the tire looked when I have been staring at a 21cm tire for 5 months.

I rode down to the same trail I had just run. Halfway around it connects to dirt greenway owned by the town. According to something posted on www. mapmyride.com there is a new trail off this greenway. I saw a stone with a plaque a few months back and thought it was the trail head. I set out to explore. When I got there it turns out that it was not the trailhead, just a plaque about the trees the Boy Scouts had planted on the museum loop trail. I did not find the trail so I just rode around the loop. It was not technical for mountain biking at all, but I still enjoyed being out. It is amazing to me how I could get such a simple pleasure just by being on my bike.

When I got home I checked the map and it turns out the trail is on the other end of the greenway. i will try again another day. Unfortunately, as much as I enjoyed this ride it did not put out my off-road craving. It just made it stronger. I am planning in the next few weeks to try some other trails, there is another mountain bike trail maintained by the local bike shop just 2 miles away. In the past I would have been put off by going to ride there because I would have to pack everything up and drive to the trail. It is very nice to be at a fitness level where I can actually ride to the trail and still have the energy to actually ride the trail.

That last sentence gives me a warm fuzzy I have a hard time putting to words. I have talked before about milestones, this is one. Even more is that this is an unexpected one, which leaves me even happier.


Steve Stenzel said...

Hi Luke-

I commented on my blog based on your question, but I figured I'd comment here too just to make sure you saw it. Here's what I said:

Luke, if you haven't done an indoor tri yourself, go do one! That's the best way to figure out how to run one. I've been talking off-and-on with the local middle-school swim team at my Y, but we haven't gone forward with anything yet. I'm trying to get the swim coach to come do an indoor event with me to see what goes into it.

Basically, here's what you might need:

- Some length-counters in the pool (1 person can count 2 people), and maybe someone else to keep time.

- A few people in the spinning studio to keep time, refill water bottles, give out towels, and then get the total mileage of everyone when they're done. Oh, and you'll need working computers on the bikes. Most I've done simply mount cheap bike odometers to the bikes, and tape a magnet to the flywheel to count "distance."

- A few people in the treadmill area to do similar stuff as the spinning studio. Make sure to tell everyone to press PAUSE when their time is up so that their milage stays on the computer - many treadmills will clear the milage if you just hit STOP.

If each wave starts 20:00 apart, everything lines up well for a multi-wave indoor with a 10 swim, 10 T1, 30 spin, 5 T2, and 20 run. If you're just doing 1 wave, it's easier.

If you haven't / can't do one yourself, do a walkthrough "fake" one of your own. You might see issues as they come up.

Oh, and all of this was for the style of indoor tris that I've done: do each event for a certain length of time, and then give points for distance. There are other indoors that are more "traditional:" swim XX laps, bike XX miles, run X miles, fastest time wins. That second idea SOUNDS better, but it's more of a logistical nightmare for multiple waves. But it's easy with 1 wave.

Andrew Opala said...

Great to hear about your trail run experience!

But I'm sad that you catch yourself in these "FAILS" so often - not that you fail, because I don't think you do, but that you make such harsh rules for yourself ... try going a month of two fails a week - two times when you can go crazy ... if you decide to miss one crazy time, you can bank it for later ... I think if you opened yourself up to being friends with yourself, all your desires would work together knowing they were all serving the same purpose ...

what do I know ... I'm just a wannabe!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

At least you got to play a little on the MTB, even if it wasnt flying one way as the bike flew the other, like i did

Kovas Palubinskas said...

Trails are always good. So cool that you are fit enough to bike to the trail and then ride it!