Monday, March 18, 2013

Long run on the Mason-Dixon Trail (24 miles)

RUNS: This weekend was to be the longest long run that I have done that wasnt an organized race in a very long time. We decided to run part of the Mason-Dixon trail here in PA. Rik has run all of the sections that we ran today but never from the start/end point that we did today.

We decided to park at the edge of Apollo Park and run south from there. The goal was to run 28 miles but I was a little slower moving then usual and we decided to turn around a bit earlier. We also decided to start our run in the afternoon and knew that we would be finishing in the dark! This was something completely different. We always start our long runs in the AM.

At about the 5.5 mile point we ran through a camp ground and on the other side was this cool bridge that we had to go across....
Rik on the trail.
Headed down to the water crossing.
Surprisingly not as cold as we thought it would be.
This large water crossing was at about the 10 mile point. It started to sleet pretty good here and we debated turning around then before crossing the water. But ultimately we continued on for a few more miles and I am really glad we did.

We ended up turning around just past the 12 mile point for a total of over 24 miles and almost 4000ft of elevation ascent. We had periods of rain, sleet and wind. The only part that was bad was a section of road that was fields on either side. Of course this is where it was blowing and raining the most! We were glad to finally hit the trail again after that.

Here we are oh so happy to almost be done. It is at an over look looking out over the Susquehanna River.
We ended up finishing the run after dusk but it was still just light enough that we didnt need to break out the head lamps.

The next day we did our back to back run. I ended up running 10 miles around Lake Redman. My legs were a mess! They certainly did not want to be running the morning after a 24 miler. No pain. Just legs like jello!

Now to see if I can do it all again next week. That will be the true test.

EATS: During the 24 miles (6hrs) I had 2 GUs, 2 fig newtons, 3 Shot Bloks, peanut M&Ms, several ounces of grape Gatorade and a pack full of water. I felt I fueled very well on this run.

Post run fuel consisted of a veggie burger, potato chips and soda. Oh, and one of these!
Vodka, cranberry juice and pineapple juice.
In the morning I had some cold cereal and 2 glasses of water before the 10 miler. Only water during that run. I didnt feel like I needed anything else but was very hungry within minutes of finishing so we quick went home and got cleaned up and head out to our local burrito joint for some of the good stuff....
Rik gets the potato burrito and I just get the bean burrito.
I plan to hit up the grocery store tomorrow and do some food prep for the up coming week, color my hair and I am also looking forward to going to yoga with my older son (20yo)! Sounds like a busy day for a rest day. :)

Do you have any post long run rituals? 
We seem to like to do the burrito thing.


Monday, March 4, 2013

Horseshoe Elevation Fest FatAss Run (2013)

RUNS: Horseshoe Elevation Fest!!
This was the third year of the Horseshoe Elevation Fest and the second year that we attended. It is a FatAss race/run held on the Horseshoe Trail with a great group of people. It is a 10k loop and you can do as many loops as you please up to a 50k. The timing of this event is great because many of us are using it as a training run for some upcoming ultra. The loop is about 4 miles trail and 2 miles road. We are to go opposite directions each loop.

We gather bright and not to early at Stephan's house. See he lives right on the HST. It actually goes directly across his long and winding driveway. About 100 people show up to run. Everyone has brought a bunch of food for the aid station and for the after party. It is cold and windy outside with snow flurries off and on. Much different then the warm and misty rain of last year.

We gather for the group picture. Stephan gives us some brief instructions and we head off down the driveway.
Gathered at the start.
Once you get to the bottom of his driveway you round the corner and head back up his neighbors driveway and immediately onto the Horseshoe Trail which is a field crossing...

Right from the start my legs are heavy and I am slow moving. It is extremely cold and windy. And I tell Rik to go ahead and go. Not to wait for me. I catch up with a small group of girls just as we are entering the woods and I hang with them for the rest of the first loop. Particularly a chick named Jo. We run and talk and she tells me that she is an experienced ultra runner and has run many of the upcoming races Rik is doing this year.

We finish up the trail portion and come out on to the road portion. Run for about 2 miles and hit up the Horseshoe Trail again that brings us back around to Stephans house. I manage to lose Jo and the other girls on the last hill up to his house.

I continue to feel crappy but am moving at an okay pace. I already know that I am only going to do two loops so I only eat an orange slice and sips of Gatorade at the aid station and stuff some M&Ms and swedish fish in my pocket to go! Then I quickly head back out.

Since I am doing this loop in opposite it is downhill to start but rocky....
Then back out onto the road for a bit. I am moving pretty good on the road but the longer I run it the more my body hurts. I cant really explain it except to say that I hurt. First my one knee then the other and my hip for awhile. I can clearly tell that my body just is not happy with the running.

I played games with my head for a bit trying to talk my body into feeling better so that I could do one more loop. I kept thinking that yes, I could do another loop and get my mileage but really, what difference does it make come tomorrow if I ran 6ish more miles or not. My body was tired and sore all over and it probably just wasnt worth it.

So I just continued to enjoy my run the best that I could. I love doing a loop like this. Especially when you do the reverse order. That way you are continually passing people and everyone is so happy and encouraging. Asking how many loops are you doing, how many have you done, how are you feeling, the trails are thawing and getting muddy warnings, etc. It really was a good time!

One of the last hills here before some downhill to the field....

I finished up and immediately head inside to get warm! How cool is it that Stephan puts on this run but even cooler that he and his family allow us into their home to eat, hang out, use the bathroom, etc. Last year it was nice enough that we were able to hang out on his very large porch. But this year it was just to cold. He did have one of those big heater things out there and a bunch of the guys hung out there but not me. No way I hung inside...where it was warm...where the food was!

EATS: Speaking of food! We took bananas and cookies for the aid station and I made my usual Quinoa Fruit Salad for the after party...

And here are some pics of the other food available (I seriously only got a small portion of what was actually available!)...
Goulash, Chili, Hummus and veggies, My Quinoa salad.
More veggies and dip, fruit and dip, German potato salad and not sure what the other one was.
This was all washed down with some delightful beverages all while I sat here.....
In front of that HUGE fireplace!
We eventually drove home and I immediately took a nap before I even took a shower or put anything away. For some reason I was exhausted! What a great day with friends :)

Have you ever run a FatAss event?!

Happy Trails.