We got our groove back

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July 23, 2012 by trailcats

West Trail at Kennesaw

Two months ago I ran my longest distance at Kennesaw – a whopping 16 miles. That run felt easy just about the whole way, though on about mile 9 I developed the top of foot pain that set me back a couple of months. Since then I’ve been focusing on getting used to my minimalist shoes, doing some cross-training (biking the Silver Comet), reading every trail running blog I can find online, and thinking about things like nutrition and hydration during the long runs. I have been running with a waist pack although sometimes I find myself wanting more water and more room for supplies and food. Yesterday we went to REI and Harley picked out his first waist pack and I got the Camelbak Aurora hydration pack. I was planning on getting a Nathan hydration vest but I didn’t feel like it had enough stowage room so I left with the Camelbak. I still wondered if this was an appropriate back pack for longer runs – as in would it bounce around and irritate the bejesus out of me?

So today was the day the Adams decided they would take back the mountain! I was so nervous on the drive there thinking would I get hurt and would my backpack get on my nerves? I have been on the fence about the Buncombe Trails 55k on September 16th. I would be less apprehensive if it were a month later, but as it is – it’s less than 2 months away! I told myself though, if I can make it through today’s run I would go ahead and register.

We hit the trail at 9AM. I generally wear a running skirt as I feel it offers the best protection against chaffing but today I donned some shorts. That was new plus the extra 3ish pounds I had on my back. I packed a Cliff Bar, some electrolyte tabs, salt tabs, salted nuts, and my phone so that I could use the MapMyRun app which has served me well in the past. About a ½ mile into the run the app informed us we had gone a mile and a few minutes later it told us we had gone 2 miles in 13 minutes.  Liar!!! We definitely don’t run that fast on the trails! We went ahead and turned it off – I’ll have to check it out later while driving or at the Hooch where the ½ miles are well-marked.

So we were off with a good slow and steady pace which served us well all the way through. Since we both had easy access to water, we stayed well hydrated the entire time. It turns out – I love my Aurora pack! I noticed some mild chaffing on my chest early on where the sternum trap is. Luckily Harley had an extra wristband and I just slipped it on there and was good to go. We were very mindful to stop every hour and have something to eat which I noticed gave me some immediate pep – more than usual. By 11:30 the heat and humidity started to kick in but we muscled through it. Instead of running straight from the Visitor’s Center to Kolb Farm we took the West Trail for a side diversion which turned out to be such a nice detour from the main path. Nice, but more challenging with some steep climbs. By adding on some extra trail and me backtracking at the end – I ended up doing 17 miles in 3:15 – my new longest distance!!  Not only was the run much easier for me this time but this afternoon we have remained fairly busy running errands and the like, whereas last time – the 16 mile run kept us on the couch for the rest of the day. I would definitely call that progress.

Afterwards Harley and I talked about what we can do differently on our next long run. We failed to take any of the Hammerhead Enduralytes or salt tabs today and I definitely we could have benefited from both. Next time we will replace the lytes at about the 2 hour mark and then hourly and the s-tabs about every 30-45 minutes. Once I make it past the 4 hour mark – I’ll have to start thinking about bringing real food like sandwiches or potatoes. That might very well be next Sunday! I have a final exam on Saturday and thought I would either punish or reward myself with a carbon copy of today’s run plus all or part of Kolb’s Farm loop- so somewhere between 16-21.5 miles. Yiggity!!!!

A recap of this week’s mileage from Sunday to Saturday (today’s run will count towards next week):

S 10, M 3.5, T 9, W 4, Th rest, F 9, S rest = 35.5 total miles!!!

Oh, I emailed Terri Hayes, the race director for the Buncombe Trails 55k, and I am in! Holy moly that is 34 miles – I have some running to do it sounds like!

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Holly & Harley

A couple of trail running lovebirds who have their minds set on going the distance!

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