Last week I ended the week with a sore foot after DNFing at the Finger Lakes 50's. In an effort to try to save my chances of running at the Vermont 100 Mile Endurance Run in 2 weeks, I dug the road bike out of hibernation and that became my main training vehicle for this past week. With 6 consecutive days on the road bike, the butt has finally adapted to road riding. Each day also included at least a mile of running/stretching to see how and if I was progressing.
Highlights of the week:
Tuesday night at the Catamount Family Outdoor Center. The usual trail series 5K run did not happen for me. Instead I ran the cadet loop this week on the yellow course which was about 2 miles. I was up against some good competition, 8, 9 and 10 year olds mostly. In the end, I took 6th place overall but won my age group. Afterwards I got in an easy mountain bike ride, riding most of the yellow course with Kelly.
Thursday night I was invited by my friend and training partner, Joe Carrara, (who is recovering from knee surgery and unable to run at the moment), to ride with the boys on their weekly tour. When I arrived most were ready to roll and all I could see where these fancy machines they were on. My mid 90's Cannondale looked like a antique from the past. We took off at sort of a slow pace until we were organized and then off we went. These guys are serious about their riding. In a tight pack and cruising. Maybe we had 15 or so of us in a line doing easily 25 mph. These guys were cruising and having fun. We hit some patches of dirt roads, not so fun, for a few miles of the ride and the pack broke up after Roger flatted on one of the dirt sections. In the end we rode about 40 miles averaging 19 mph which included a few miles of slow dirt road riding. Throughout the ride, the pack looked like a bunch of kids hammering along but when we finished and they took off their helmets, I could see the gray hair and wrinkles as most were in their 50's and 60's. Impressive! Afterwards it was cocktails out by the man pit and a bbq dinner:)
Friday was another beautiful day so I decided to get in more mental training, a trip down to VT Skydiving. I had an almost new parachute to use today with a container that actually fit instead of the loose rental gear. I also opted to jump without a jump suit and was forewarned that you lose some stability. I got to sit in the co-pilots seat as we headed up, not really a seat but on the floor next to the pilot. As we got up to 3,000 feet, Mike was heading out to do a quick hop n'pop to work on his landings. It was fun watching him drop for a while as I got a great view with the door wide open. I wasn't quite sure how the door would close but Joe rolled the plane back and the door immediately shut on it's own. Then up to 12,000 feet. On the way up I noticed my altimeter was not working correctly and was off 500-1000 feet, hmm? I made some mental adjustments for that as I didn't want to open 1000 feet too late but at least I was aware of it before exiting. At 12,000 I opened the door, saw the drop zone below and I was out doing my superman thing. Front dive into a forward flip and then belly flying. I noticed right away the instability without the jump suit but made some adjustments and it was fun. I did some more rolls and some sit flying. Without the suit you can also go faster so I thought I would try it out and went into a dive. Keeping on eye on the altimeter and the mental note of it being off, it was time to throw out the chute. Being a new chute it had way more pop to it and was very responsive in the turns, nice. And in for a landing, right on but was very conservative in the landing and leaned was back to skim the feet along so no chance of tweaking an ankle a week before a 100 mile race. (Did that last year 3 weeks before Burning River last year, not fun). Another great day of playing superman!
Friday night consisted of a guest appearance on WCAX for the 30 show to talk about the VT 100 Mile Endurance Run with Julia Hutchinson, the RD of that event. We were both a bit nervous as neither one of us had ever been on TV. A friend at the station, Alden Pellett, greeted us and gave us a quick tour of the studio. At first I thought we had 30 minutes on live tv but in the end, it was 5 minutes total. It went well I guess and I think for the first time gave some significance to this event. Here's a link to the interview: http://www.wcax.com/story/15049924/vermont-100-draws-hardcore-ultramarathon-runners
Saturday was to be a good test for the foot. I ran 1-2 miles a day all week but now I needed to see if I could get in a 20 miler and survive. I met John Izzo down at the Moosalamoo campground outside of Ripton, VT. I found John and Marsha joined us too. She came from the Sharon area. John had a variety of loops as options. The first one was a trip to the summit of Moosalamoo. Some great single track with roots, rocks and some great views. We went at a fairly slow pace which was perfect for this morning. Very enjoyable except for the stinging nettles. I ran these trails years ago and still remember the nettles from then. After the first almost 2 hour loop, Marsha headed out. John and I continued on another loop, not as hilly but lots of mud and wet grass. After this loop, we both decided to keep going so John picked out a third loop for us. It started out the same as the 2nd loop but then turned onto another trail, remember this number 43. NEVER take trail number 43 unless it's winter. What started out as just mud and muck turned into a torturous journey. Stinging nettles as high as my waist, good thing they couldn't sting through my shorts. Before we knew it, were were totally engulfed in the worst stinging nettles I have ever been exposed to and it just wouldn't end. Patches and patches of 100 yards of total torture and just when you thought it was over, there were more ahead. At one point I grabbed some dirt and coated my legs in mud for protection. Not sure if it helped but it felt good. There was nothing else we could do but just run and that we did until we hit the road. Then the deer flies came out looking for lunch. Finally we made it back to the car, 4 hours and 15 minutes of running through the trails of Moosalamoo. The foot survived with some pain but I think the nettles took my mind off my foot. Thanks John!
|Shins bathed in mud for protection from stinging nettles|
Saturday I met up with Aliza at Catamount. Although shorter, this would be a good chance to run the foot a bit faster and see how it felt. We ran the woods side of the red course. I started off slow and cautious but by the end, the foot was feeling better. And for the rest of the day, the foot almost felt normal. Weird!
The week ended with 140 miles of bike riding, one skydive and 33 miles of running and so it goes.