Friday, August 20, 2010

Wrong turn at Stillwell

Yesterday's run (Stillwell Woods): 5.17 miles at 9:29

I had a tough time getting going on Thursday despite going to bed relatively early and sleeping past 6:00 AM. I realize now that it was related to a combination of a sinus condition and an issue with my glasses. At the time it was a mystery as to why I was so darn tired. It was hard to get moving and it took me two hours to finally get out for my run at Stillwell Woods. My plan was to follow the relatively flat eastern loop within the woods running it three times to get some mileage in before I rest until race day. If all had gone according to plan I would have totaled 6 miles at a fairly brisk pace before declaring the end of my taper. Things didn't go according to plan.

I was still feeling a little sluggish when I set off on the trail but the canopy shielded me well from the sun and the breezes channeled through the trees were cool and invigorating. The trails at Stillwell are not well marked and I'm often thrown off course. After my first loop I made a slight mistake that put me on a shorter trail back to my starting point. No harm done but it did disrupt my three loop plan. Once back on track I continued to follow the planned path but for some reason I chose the wrong trail at around mile four and the trail led to a low lying area surrounded by four steep paths. This forced me to go up one of these trails that are angled at 40 degrees or more. I picked the one that I thought would put me back towards my intended route and I managed to get up despite the fact that I was running in my Brooks GTS 9's. This hill climb took a lot out of me and once I reached the top I re-oriented myself and ran another mile back to the trail head. That last mile was at 10:16 and frankly I was surprised I broke 11:00 by the way I felt.

I was exhausted and dizzy at the end and probably overdid it on the run. I'm hoping that despite that rough experience I gained some marginal conditioning that will help me on race day.  I'll know soon enough. In the meantime I'll rest and recover and hopefully peak at 8:00 on Sunday.

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