TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Improving

I’ve been thinking a lot on how to cut my time and get close to my goal of cutting an HOUR off my Calico 30k time.  Besides running faster, I'm dedicated to the following practices:

1)  Spend very little time at Aid Stations.  I’m thinking 30 seconds, unless I have to refill my hydration pack. (which means no standing around cracking jokes trying to make the aid station workers laugh – I’ll have to do my silly antics as I run past them :)

2)  No hands on the hips – this has been a long-standing rule for me.  Hands on the hips is a pace killer.

3)  Keep moving – in other words, if I have to fix my pack, untangle my earphones, etc, do it running (at the very least, moving forward in some manner).

4)  Do everything fast, fast, fast.  Tie my shoes fast.  Refill on water fast.  Pee fast. 

Hopefully, these things can cut some minutes off my time (hopefully as much as 15 minutes).  But I want to cut an HOUR.  My husband said today, “Good luck with that!”  I laughed and laughed.  He’s a funny man.  Sure, maybe I can’t do it.  But I’m going to try.  (Why else on earth would I be doing speed training?  Surely not for the fun of it : )

Today, I ran the same 9 1/2 mile loop with about 1,300 feet elevation gain that I ran last Friday (Wood Canyon to Meadows, Top of the World to West Ridge, Cholla and back up through Canyon Vistas Park.)  I cut my time from last week by twelve minutes.  My fastest pace last week for this loop was 10.01, my fastest pace this week was 9.24.  I’m happy with that improvement.  But I’m more excited over these improvements:  

1)  I was able to run the downhills much faster because the uphills didn’t take all of my energy.

2)  I felt stronger in the end as opposed to wanting to collapse.

Today’s run also taught me some things.  First, I tried to take off my long sleeve shirt while still running.  I took off my pack successfully on the run.  But then I tangled my shirt in my earphone cords.  So, I had to STOP to take off my shirt.  Number one rule:  don’t stop!  At Calico, I’ll be wearing sleeves, no long sleeve shirt.  That should take care of that!

There were times today when I had to stop of course, like the outhouse stop.  Today, I was in and out as quickly as possible, without cleaning the outhouse.  Yes, I usually tidy up outhouses after I use them.  Yes, even during races. I know that’s absolutely absurd.  I do absurd things. OBVIOUSLY.  Fortunately though, there are no outhouses in the Calico race.  The point is, don’t do anything I don’t have to do.  I do however have to take pictures, and I do have to help people in need.  Everything else though is out the window!

Okay, now I’m rambling.

Miles logged this morning:  9.47

Images from today’s run:

Wood Canyon a few miles into today’s run

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So happy to finally reach top of Meadows Trail

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Running along West Ridge, about 3 miles remaining

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10 comments:

  1. Pretty Pictures! You look very happy! :) I think you will definitely get faster with those practices... It is a good thing there are no outhouses to tidy.. ;)

    I am the same way. I take entirely too many pictures for my own good. I have no idea what my prs are because I stop to photograph everything. It drives my sister (marathon runner) crazy.

    When is the Calico race? Is that in 2011?

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  2. You made me laugh really hard. Good luck, girl - you've got the right attitude!

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  3. Fantastic post! You are on the right track. Saving time at aid stations is very important and helps a great deal. Always move forward also does the trick. When you step of the track or out of the way or to position for a photo, move forward while doing it. I agree 100% with the taking of photos and helping those in need. The most important is to still have fun. You are so ready for this.

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  4. I haven't had much luck with speed training. The only thing its improved is my injury rate!

    Good luck on reducing your time.

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  5. Thanks for commenting Kate! I don't think I had ever told anyone about the outhouse thing. My husband was freaked out about the blog, he couldn't believe I did tidied up (LOL).

    The Calico Ghost Town run is mid January. www.calicotrailrun.org (the whole reason I began this trail running adventure). This will be Calico #3 for me.

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  6. Thanks Green Girl. Sometimes I have the right attitude, sometimes I don't : (

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  7. Thanks Johann. You are right! The most important thing is to have fun. I've always had it my goal to cross the finish line smiling. I don't know how ready I am for this though. I still have a little over a month to get stronger.

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  8. You will get the injury thing down Trail Jogger. I know how it is, believe me. Some times are worse than others. And just when you think you've got it beat, wham, another injury. But with each injury, I have learned lots, and never get that particular injury again (it's always off to a new injury when I conquer an old one : (

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  9. Thanks for stopping by and commenting Chris!

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