Sunday, March 16, 2008

Rekindled Running

Setting your sights--2007 was the year of the ultra, with Keene and I running our first 50K and 50-mile races. The challenges for 2008 are emerging with new trail races and a new fire for morning runs.

If I'm not careful, I'm going to turn myself back into a runner. The last two weeks, I have managed three runs per week, with runs of 9, 7, and 12 miles during the week of 3/09. A couple runs have been notable.

On Sunday 3/09, I tried to introduce Landy Cook to our 10-mile Tuckahoe loop, only to find water blocking sections of trail that aren't usually wet. Our normal crossing required a canoe not to be chest deep getting from the bottom of Turkey Hill Trail over to Little Florida. So we re-grouped, and took our dip with just a couple miles left in our 9+ mile run, when Landy bonsai'ed through a thigh-deep crossing at the beginning of Pee Wees Trail. By far the wettest I have ever seen the trail and a blast for good trail running in challenging conditions.

After a 7-miler at 5:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Landy and I embarked on a dark distance exploration, starting our run at 4:30 a.m., and running 12.3 miles. We hit the first mile mark at 9:30-pace, kept it easy and wound up along Rails to Trails in Easton hitting a good 8:30-pace for the last couple miles. Our total time for the run was 1:54 and change.

Morning runs have hit a whammy bar that has rekindled my running. I'm making myself follow a schedule and enjoying the roads in the dark and the trails when we get out there. This renewed energy has also reopened my training goals and race schedule. On April 26, the Trail Dawgs in Delaware are hosting their Triple Crown and Delaware Trail Marathon. The Triple Crown is a half-marathon, followed by a 10K, followed by a 5K, run back-to-back-to-back. I have thought about that race before and it got my attention this year as well. However, we've outlined a rough training plan to have a go at the trail marathon. There, I said it. During my self-proclaimed year of the half-marathon, I've gone and busted out the "m" word. In my defense, though, it is a TRAIL marathon!

We'll see how training continues. As it stands, Keene is gunning for the Triple Crown, liking the breaks and different legs, per his triathlon training (he biked 42 miles from Wittman to Gunston School on Thursday--I'd say he's getting along towards the Eagleman). Landy and I are gunning for the marathon. Reports from those who have run Trail Dawg races have all been great.

For those with muddy intentions, and those not set on the Oxford Day 10K that weekend, take a look at the races. You can run the marathon, half-marathon, 10K, or 5K, or package the last three for the TC. Their website has some great info and links to photos, including a fantastic looking creek/stream crossing, which is way to wide to allow for log/tree fordings. Any takers, give a holler. And stayed tuned for other local, creative running challenges to be posted soon.

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