Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wet Nasty Billboards

I’m still riding the trainer every morning and getting into the groove. I have ridden the trainer more minutes this month than I think all last year!

I have also continued to increase my running mileage during this holiday. The day after the 15 miles I met Charles and Jim on the trace to mark out the Steam Whistle 12k (about 7.45 miles) route. I did an easy warm-up from my house to Jackson Station (1.4 miles) and met Charles. A few minutes later Jim arrived. It was a beautiful day with the temperature in the 50’s. We marked the start / finish lines and headed west. Charles and I had reconfigured our GPS watches to read kilometers. Charles seems to start a little fast and Jim and I jumped in line behind him.

We ran past Lake Thoreau Drive and then past even Clyde Depot. The turnaround for the route would be just past the ‘Christmas Tree’ about a quarter of a mile west of the depot. Charles stopped and got a drink of water and said to not wait up for him. Jim and I ran and pushed each other with several surges between marking the course – I still had to stop every kilometer.

Once we past Lake Thoreau again we were at the home stretch. I was thinking how this would feel on race day. It is a pretty good ways to the finish – about 2 kilometers (1.2 miles). This will be a HARD home stretch. Jim and I finished up. We crossed paths with Charles as he was running back into Jackson Station. I had invited Jim and Charles over for a beer after the run. Charles said he was going to drive because he did not think he would want to run the 1.4 miles back to his car after the beer. Charles would beat Jim and me to my house.

We had a beer and talked about more running plans. I had already filled out the First Light Half Marathon race registration and gave it to Jim. I told him to decide if we wanted to drive down the day of the race (Jan 10 – we will have to leave town at about 4:00AM to do the race). We all also committed to running the Billboards the following day. I ended up with just over 10 miles for the day.

On Wednesday I did the bike trainer again. I had some breakfast and headed to Jim’s house to run the Billboards. Charles had called me and said that he would meet us at the Billboards in case the weather turned nasty. And nasty it did turn. As I drove to Jim’s house the rain had started to pick up. It went from a drizzle to steady state. We were committed.

I got to Jim’s house and changed clothes. I had brought a wind breaker type cycling jacket and I put on a short sleeved shirt on underneath. I had planned ahead and had a change of shoes. I knew it was going to be wet and I was running in the same shoes from the Powerlines.

It was 1.6 miles from Jim’s house to the Billboards. We met Charles right when we turned off of the road. The temperature had dropped and it was wet and muddy. We hit the hills. I had never run the Billboards.

The Billboards are a red clay packed earthen road that parallels a major highway. It is rolling hills. It was also muddy but nothing like the Powerlines from the week before. We did 4 lengths of the Billboards - a length being one way so 2 laps – to use swimming terms. It was a good challenging work out. I only got 7.8 miles for this day. But, that was 7.8 miles that I would not have normally gotten.

We all commented that the weather was so nasty that NONE of us would have ran if we had not made the commitment. That is called being accountable. This accountability will allow each of us to achieve our goals at the Mardi Gras Marathon!


Mike Russell said...

Dang James, you are going to blow the lid off of the Mardi Gras Marathon with the mileage you are logging. In the rain and mud? Crap buddy, you are truly hard core.

Happy Feet 26.2 said...

Awesome! The billboards are tough under great conditions, I think I would have "wimped out." Way to be determined. You can also run the hill from the YMCA up to the Shell station if the billboard is too muddy. It's about 1 mile up hill, different, but challenging too. Fun Stuff! Can't wait to get back to it.

Marci said...

Wow you really made a commitment there to run in those tyes of conditions. Happy New Year!

KC (my 140 point 6 mile journey) said...

good job on a what sounds like a great hill workout! i'll be sending you good vibes on feb 28th when you are running the marathon and i'll be running a 1/2 here in tampa at the gasparilla event. look forward to reading more posts as you progress.