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  • bqx40 11:31 pm on February 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Lost and battle scarred 18 miler yesterday morning [warning: pictures] 

    Bloody knee at the end of the run

    It’s been a while since I’ve taken a spill during a run…  seems like it’s been a year and a half since my last fall, and almost 5 years since one similar in nastiness to this one, and that one was at mile 2 of a 10 mile race.

    There I was, lost in a neighborhood close to Highview, on the edge of Fern Creek.  I had begun this planned 18 miler unsure if I could finish any more than 10 miles.

    My first 5 miles were a familiar route that I’ve used before for 7 to 23 milers, part of an out-and-back route that makes an intentionally indirect weaving path through a neighborhood close to the Gene Snyder Freeway that forms the outer access belt of the county. It’s a sidewalk and low-traffic neighborhood route that usually provides 6.8 filler miles in my wanderings through southeast Louisville. I’ve also used the route to the point that I pretty much hate it–more so than the treadmill.

    And so, at mile 5, I needed a different route to keep going. I started veering off toward a route on the other side of Bardstown Rd., thinking that I’d just add a few miles off the busy street before continuing on my more regularly used route.

    However, on my diverted route, I decided to explore a street I had never been through before. The first street of the diversion was easy enough to remember, but then I came across a nice little loop road that continued on to another neighborhood.  I took the loop road and then exited to another set of roads.

    On my way back, I got back on the loop road and tried to find my way back–making at least two loops in the process. Once I finally found my way back to the street I started with, I was mentally fatigued from realizing that I was lost. As I went down the sidewalk on the road back, I didn’t notice that there was an unevenness in the sidewalk, and tripped and went for a nice flop onto the concrete.

    Because of the cold, the landing on the ground was a dulled shock to the system. I had shake off the cobwebs and force myself up off the ground. Somehow, that spill around mile 10 challenged my ego enough to get me through another 8 miles that were originally in doubt.

    It took me a couple of blocks to get moving with any rhythm again, and my leg strength was weakened by the fall. Those last 8 miles were rough and hilly, but the fall somehow made me determined to finish the planned 18–I just couldn’t quit because of a little fall.

    I’m sure anyone who saw me those last few miles (including several runners) were probably horrified by the looks of the wound. Of course, the wound cleaned up in the shower into a tiny little scrape, but I’m glad that the skin on the knee doesn’t seem to feel as much some other areas.

    18 miles in 2:55:57

    Bloody knee after cleaning

     

     
  • bqx40 8:30 pm on September 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , risk, roadkill   

    Do not try this at home. 

    I was aiming for 16 miles today, and planned to get moving as close to 5:30 as possible.

    Instead, I intentionally disabled my 5:30 alarm at 5:15 and then woke up just before my 6:30 alarm. I ate one of those Little Debbie Brownie things for pre-run fuel. Awful nutrition, I know, but I didn’t have any gels, so this brownie-like substance was going to burn off quickly.

    I sat in the dark quietly feigning hamstring stretches, but I was really trying to buy time to wake up. Ever since my injury and subsequent backing off of double run days, I’ve struggled to wake up in the morning. I strangely miss the exhaustion.

    On my way out, I did my usual run from Fairground Rd southbound on Bardstown Rd for a 3.4 mile segment that I double-back on for every run over 15 miles. Every once in a while, I come out on to Seatonville Rd and follow it over I-265 and out Broad Run until there is no longer enough shoulder width for safety.

    Today, I decided to head down that path at about 2 miles into my run. The problem with improvising is that the end of the run WILL be full of surprises. This time, I passed up Broad Run and continued on Seatonville until Billtown Rd, intent on making a single loop without any scenery repeats.

    I’ve seen a couple runners on Billtown Rd in areas with a decent shoulder, but cars go 60 mph down this 2-lane road with a soft or non-existent shoulder. They’re crazy.

    Today, I was one of the crazy ones. I found that there are 1/4 mile stretches where thick weeds consume the shoulder and pose a huge tripping risk. I was also more disturbed by two dead animals than usual. This was probably a once in a lifetime adventure, but I feel I empathize with cyclists much more now.

    I also managed to run through the Gaslight Festival booths which were set up and just opening up at 8:30 am. Watterson Trail and Taylorsville Road in this area are generally not runnable roads, but have sidewalks in exchange. Due to the booths, I found that I had to run down the middle of the roads. Nothing all that unusual for me, except for the fact that this was probably the first time I had ever barreled down the middle of a road and not been in a race.

    Since I had made most of my loop thus far on main roads, I committed myself to following as much of the main roads as I usually use for the rest of the loop, instead of cutting across neighborhood roads. This added about 2 miles to my course today. While I would have been short without doubling back somewhere along the way, I ran out of steam past 15.5 miles, do to fuel and general lack of training recently.

    Results: 17.66 miles in 2:53:56 [ 9:51 / mile ]

     
  • bqx40 11:26 am on September 17, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , mud   

    Best run ever 

    In terms of overall enjoyment, this was probably my best run ever, 5.3 miles in 44:31 minutes.

    69’F, sunny, slight breeze, Friday, no big meetings left this week, legs fairly fresh…  if every run felt like this, I’d run 100s of miles per week.

    I’ve spent the last week trying to squeeze in double workouts every day… morning run [50 minutes easy] and lunch exercise bike [10-14 miles on a “hilly” course at 13-15 mph and “flats” at 20 mph].

    Today, I slept in, and had to move my run to lunch–which meant that I had to run through the office park.  Now, on a slightly warm, perfectly clear day, in which there hasn’t been more than a slight drizzle in the last week [and nothing in the last 24 hours] mud shouldn’t be a problem.

    When I saw a muddy run-off on the sidewalk ahead of me, I made the quick assumption that it was thin layer of mud that would get my shoes slightly muddy.  By running on the forefoot more I would *SPLASH*.

    No.  Not a film of mud.  3+ inches of mud, a little thinner than mud from a mudslide would probably be.  At 1.5 miles into my run, this would probably have killed my run the rest of the way, but not today.

    I was happy to be out running.  I was happy to be free from the bike, which had punished my quads and muscles on the back of my legs that I didn’t know I had.  I was happy to be comfortably running off the treadmill.  I was happy to be running sub-8:30 pace comfortably in spurts instead of struggling to break 10 minute pace.

    I started thinking about my Chicago Marathon goal.  3:15 would be stupid at this point,  but maybe 3:30 [still a PR] was at least physically in my reach.  It’s too soon to make those assumptions.  I haven’t run 20 miles since before I took nearly 3 weeks off of running.  13 felt okay last Saturday and, I’m going to target 16 tomorrow.  Then, I’ll see.

    When I got back from the run, I spent 5-10 minutes trying to rinse/scrub the mud off of one of the shoes.  There wasn’t enough water pressure to do much.  My legs were coated from the top of my sock to my knee, and I had mud on my arm in spots.

    After showering and scrubbing, I wiped my legs dry with the towel and it turned brown from the mud residue.  My legs were starting to itch, and I started thinking about what that “mud” could have been run-off from.  After cleaning up some more, I rubbed my legs down with Purell.  Hopefully, the itchiness was an allergic reaction to weeds or something, but I found myself creeped out, nonetheless.

    I’m sure I got some weird looks from being so coated in mud on a clear and dry day.  Oh, well.  It’s good to be running again.

    Muddy shoes after an attempt to wash them off.

     
c
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