Wednesday, August 8, 2012

G&T Training Run

Running Grays and Torreys from the I-70 parking lot is a 14 mile classic training run. Previously, I always ran this for a new PR, but this time I was more interested in not getting hurt, and spending a little more time higher up. Normally, I crash pretty hard once or twice, since the footing is treacherous. I'm sure a lot of flat-landers freak when they see someone running through jagged rocks, some anchored and some loose. How does he keep from falling?! He doesn't - he crashes and hopes not to break something. That's why I wear bike gloves when I trail-run. Only I forgot to bring my bike gloves. So another reason to simmer-down and get a good, safe workout. The whole point is to gain ground, not lose ground. I brought two Buffs, those tubes of stretchy, breathable fabric that are so versatile. I had a drinking bottle in one hand and a Buff wrapped in a figure-8 on the other. Not quite as good as bike gloves, but better than nothing.

 For a time-trial PR, it requires a strict strategy. All I bring is a large drink bottle, a hooded wind-shirt in a cargo pocket in my shorts, and a couple of Vi gel-paks. Before leaving, I drink a whole quart of Gatorade with a little extra salt added, and I eat a couple of trailbars for breakfast. Then I wait around about 15 minutes, stretching while this liquid bolus gets absorbed. Then I take off on a quick power-hike. Once warmed up, I start walking-jogging (wogging) up the road.
Skin absorbs water when you ascend. It puffs up like a sponge. You can't tell, but it's robbing your organs of fluids. That's another reason you have to drink extra fluids when in the mountains. However, when you descend, the process reverses. So when moving very quickly up and down, you can allow yourself to run very low on water on the ascent, and barely have enough to wet your throat on the descent. If I arrive at my car a little dehydrated, then another quart of Gatorade awaits.

This time, I didn't follow this strategy. I just loaded up with a 2 liter hydration bladder and a large water bottle, 1st-aid kit, wind-shirt, trailbars, gels, Buffs, phone (camera), and even still had my wallet. So a PR wasn't even planned. I think it took about 4:20, or something like that. My PR was exactly 3:45.

I ended up straining my left quad when putting on the brakes to avoid a civilian. (That's what I jokingly refer to as regular folks on the trail.) I figure normal people have right-of-way, especially if they have kids. I had to take Sunday completely off training to make sure my quad wasn't going to be a full-blown injury.
Tuesday, I ran barefoot on the asphalt around a couple of blocks in my neighborhood. Wash Park has so many geese and so much goose shit paving the roads and trails that I don't think it's safe to run barefoot. My neighborhood has fairly clean streets, and a pedestrian path a couple blocks away. The asphalt is just rough enough to allow some good toughening of the feet without ripping them up. Eventually, I hope to be able to do the 2-mile Harvard Gulch Park route completely barefoot. For some reason the geese haven't discovered that park.

A couple of days before, on Thursday, I road my bike at Bear Creek Lake Park. It looked like the sky would dump an ocean on me as I drove there, but it only sprinkled as I was parking and getting my bike out. That's another reason I ignore the weather. It lies all the time. Too many woulda-coulda-shoulda's. Now I just "do".

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