Monday, January 18, 2010


Yesterday marked the third day in a row with a 3 hour run.  While most serious runners can complete a 3 hour run before breakfast and be unphased, and the distance isn't to challenging for me either, I had never run that amount of time three days in a row.  It would be a test of my recovery and my ability to run through pain and different levels of fatigue.

The first day was a Friday.  I took off of work a little early and headed to the trail.  The usual physical aspects of the run were no challenge at all but the sun went down around hour 2.  In Colorado sunset can cause a drastic drop in temperature and I spent the last hour of the run freezing my ass off.  With chattering teeth and numb fingers I reached the trail head at 2:53.  Rather than doddle around on the trail for another 7 minutes, I cut it short, got in my truck, threw off my sweaty (and freezing) shirt, and hoped the truck would warm up as soon as possible.   I arrived home, took a cool shower, refueled, and iced my knees (my usual trouble spot).

The forecast of the second day called for temperatures in the 50s--a welcome warm in Colorado in January.  I was eager to get the run underway but I knew it wouldn't warm up until 10:00am or so.  I messed with the playlist on my iPod and charged my Garmin to waste time but I just couldn't sit inside anymore.  I was approaching 300 miles on my current shoes so it was time for some new ones.  I figured I'd head to the running store and get a new pair--that would give the temperature some time to rise.  After taking about 6 pairs on test jogs around the block, there were two clear front-runners: the Saucony ProGrid Ride 2 and a New Balance model.  As far as brands go, I have the most respect for New Balance with their committment to U.S. manufacturing, etc... and I try to buy them whenever possible.  But, that day, the Saucony was far more comfortable (albeit a hideous shoe) so I went with that one.  By the time I reached the trail head to actually get running it was quite warm out.  Shorts and short sleeves were all that was required.  This day's trail was far more technical and my knees screamed for the first 5 miles or so.  After that, they either warmed up or went numb; either way, the pain stopped and the rest of the run was fairly pain free.  I struggled with some nauseau during the last hour but I had deviated from my normal fueling regime.  At one point, during the 3rd hour, I was struggling to ascend a rocky incline that I had climbed twice already duing the run.  I approached two kids, probably around 4 or 5 years old, who were hiking with their mom.  The two kids turned and saw me struggling up the terrain and immediately started clapping and cheering "GO!, GO!, GO!".  They had definitely attended some race before and I started laughing.  It was just what I needed to make it over the top.

Given the sharp inclines in the trail I had to walk quite a bit to keep my HR under control but it provided much more mental stimulation and the 3 hours went by in no time.  Despite being physically harder, I'd take a run on technical terrain over something long and flat any day.  I arrived home, took an ice bath, and ate some Chipotle.

I awoke on the thrid day and headed straight out to the trail.  The temperature was again supposed to be in the 50s but the clouds had yet to clear and it was around 30 degrees.  I dressed accordingly knowing that I'd have to come back to the car in an hour or so to switch to my old shoes--I was breaking in the new ones.  The first hour was cold but by the time I got back to the car it was about 50 degrees.  I stripped off my layers, put on a new dry shirt, changed my shoes, and I was off.  The last two hours of the run were uneventful.  My knees did hurt some but nothing compared to pain I had endured on other runs. 

Today, my legs are surprisingly almost pain free.  The only area of tenderness are my calves that feel like concrete blocks on the back of my legs.  I'm sure I'll get more sore throughout the day and tomorrow morning will probably be a different story.  I'll try to work in a massage this week.  Next weekend, if the weather improves, I'll be heading to Moab to get some runs in on the course of the Red Hot 50K+ so I know what I'm in for next month.  



1 comment:

  1. Best of luck to you...motivating post! Looking forward to at least a back to back three hour before my first 50 mile trail run in April.

    Thanks for sharing!