Saturday, February 09, 2008

River Quest Turns to Slog Fest

The battle cry for this run was to reach Androscoggin River, just a mile and a half or so longer than our run starting at Bradbury Mountain State Park two weeks ago. Things didn't quite turn out that way though. I was joined by Ian, Eric and Blaine and we were off at 8am.

The first half of the run went pretty well. The trails were runnable, but noticeably softer and less packed down than they were two weeks ago. Not surprising, given all the snow we got last week. But I found the trails to be especially difficult, not being fully recovered from last weekend's 50K plus bonus mileage through soft sand and crazy winds.

After about 9 or so miles, it was evident the snowmobiles hadn't traveled these sections of trails much. Blaine made the smart call to turn around shortly before here and call it a day, but Ian and Eric and I pushed on. We postholed our way along another mile and a half at a snail's pace. Now I was spent. Really spent. Drank water and mowed down a Larabar, but it was of little help. Ka-bonk.

We all decided the river would have wait another day. The trails weren't getting any better and continuing on the last mile or so to the river would have taken enormous effort, at least for me, and I was already running on fumes.

The return "run" back was very difficult. The snow was even looser now that the temperatures were warmer and I was run-walking more than I'd like, but what can you do? Uphills were particularly tough, of course. Was very relieved to finish.

It was clear this run was not a good idea. 10 miles probably would have been a good distance for today. Just not recovered enough from last weekend. I think a smart plan is to hit the reset button, and stick with shorter distances for the next few weeks and rebuild back up. No regrets about today though. It was still fun and it was great to get out before yet another storm hits this evening.

Ran 20.7 miles @ 12:00/mile pace.
Trails with packed and loose snow.
Extremely hilly.
8 degrees to start, 32 degrees at end. Partly to mostly cloudy.
Long pants, fleece jacket (removed about halfway in), long sleeved shirt, short sleeved shirt, gloves, beanie.


Blaine Moore said...

Sorry that you guys didn't make the river - if I'd known you'd turn around in another mile or so then I would have just done the whole thing with you.

The main reason I turned around wasn't that I felt I needed to (I only raced 10 miles last weekend after all) but because as I said last week, I didn't have a need to do more than 18 or so given my much shorter racing distance of only a couple of marathons a month apart from one another.

It was some tough going on the way back though; I picked up the pace for a few miles after turning back, but by the time I got back to the hills in the park I was spent.

All I've done today since I got home was eat and sleep until about a half hour ago. And now it's time for dinner...

Anonymous said...

Nice slog fest. It sounds like my experience a month ago when I headed off on my own down the power lines. Nothing like bonking when you still have so far to go. And this is the reason I am trying hard to get dialed in on my hydration and nutritional requirements before my immersion into the world of 100 mile trail runs. I am going to try like hell to minimize my chances of becoming a walking zombie.

Time for dinner and an early bed time.

IronMatron said...

wow! You are crazy people! Fun to read about your insanely long trail runs.
I am a Mainer who is now in exile in MA, which is why I was drawn to your blog.
Someday I hope to do an ultra. I'll keep reading your blog for inspiration.:)