The Scenic City Trail Marathon was not on my radar this year but after missing the local Dirty South race due to the flu I was looking around for a replacement. I’m starting to think trail marathons are my favorite kind of race. I’m very comfortable running for 2-5 hours on the trails. Anything shorter and it seems over too quickly, anything longer and I’m forced into a pace that just isn’t fun. I like to have some speed when I’m out there. At some point I may be able to extend my speed into the longer races, but not at the moment.
don’t trust your watch
My GPS watches have been off before during trail races. The satellite reception in the mountains tends to be spotty. They are usually off by 5% or less, so still good enough to be a gauge for how well you’re doing. No luck this time. My Garmin was way off, and even worse I had no idea it was way off. It was consistently under shooting my pace, so I ran far faster than I should have in order to compensate. I hit the halfway point 15 minutes sooner than planned, then the last half was the usual crash and burn, bonking death march to the finish line.
Still, I’m happy with a 4:07, it’s a fast course. A sub 4 would have been easy if I’d planned better, I’ll be shooting for 3:45 or better next year.
There’s been more walking and hiking in my training lately, mainly due to an upcoming hundred miler I’m worried about being prepared for. The longer the race the slower the pace, so walking will be a large part of this hundred. I’ve also been struggling with an “underuse” injury. Not sure what else to call it because I can’t find anything on it. After being caught in bed with the flu for an extended period, I somehow started stiffening up and really hurting in my ankles. Normally I’d think that resting would help things heal up, but not so this time. When I got back to running, even just walking around was pretty painful. It’s been over a month now with increasing miles and just far more pain than I’m used to. It’s better now luckily, but I don’t know what the problem is. Perhaps its an age thing.
It’s been a tough slog getting through the winter and early spring. I got stuck with running too much on the roads. Not enough variety tends to lead to staleness. I’m back on track now and looking forward to the next 4 months of just running, mostly on the trails.I also had to cut down on all the routine data gathering. It was starting to get in the way of enjoying the run. I’ll be doing semi regular MAF runs and other measurements down the road, but I’m not going to be a slave to the data. Running should be fun, not another job.
There’s a slight bulge in my Achilles that I’m hoping to keep in check. It’s been there for almost a year with a couple flare ups. I’m expecting it to cause some added discomfort leading into the 100 mile race. Hopefully it will hold. After the race I’ll be taking extra care of it. Some cross training might be on the menu. cheers