Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Summer Track – WK #1

The on again, off again, on again Myers Park HS Summer track series was back on, and the first meet was held last night.

With all the indecision surrounding whether this series was even going to occur this year likely had an impact on the turnout last night.

Summer Track Series at Myers Park High School has been a long standing tradition with years of blood, tears, and a lot of sweat poured in to that track. Not to mention, Tim and Tom have put in a great deal of time and effort in to making sure that it continues. I know of times when they struggled against all odds to keep it afloat.

I am a big supporting of this series for several reasons. One, I ran this series for many years, and always enjoyed those 5 nights in May and June. Two, Summer Track has been, is, and should always be part of the Charlotte Running culture. It needs to remain so. Three, two things are needed to make it continue. One is runners so circulate the news. Tuesday night’s at Myers Park at 6 pm is the place to be. Second, one can never have enough volunteers. I would love to be charging off down the backstretch, but I find it equally important to help make sure others have this same opportunity. This is why; you will see me out there each week helping. Tom and Tom take the lead so if I can do some small part to help them and give them a reason to keep putting this event on, I want to do.

See you at the Myers Park HS Track next Tuesday 6 pm

The Cool Down Runner

Monday, May 27, 2019

Another day of heat

The trails were quiet and hot today when I headed out for my long run. I drank nearly a gallon of Nunn to keep from wilting under the 91 heat.

So stay hydrated.

The Cool Down Runner.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

WWC Memorial Day 8 mile trail race

Hot and humid were the words of the day. The temperature was pushing the low 80s when I stepped out of my car this morning.

By race time, it had to be pushing the low 90s. Wow, how fast have we jumped into the summer? Plenty fast, indeed.

The 5 & 8 mile races started together so it was a bit confusing to sort who was running what race. I ended up mixing it up with a 3 different guys during the race. One got away from me when we passed by the towers. The second one got away from me on the backside of the Lake Loop.

I could definitely feel the heat. Even running under the canopy of the tree, the heat was bad. I grabbed a cup of water at 5 miles. After taking a sip, I poured the rest over my head. It felt awesome, and I wished that I had taken several more cups.

The course was a different and a little longer than last year. Instead of dropping directly on to South Main after entering the woods, we ran further on North Main before circling back to pick up South Main.

I was happy to see that the maintenance crew cleaned up Toilet Bowl loop. Several trees were across the trail last weekend, but they were gone today. Kudos to them. They do an awesome job keeping the trails clean.

I finished 4 overall in 62:52. This was about a minute slower than last year. Considering they changed up the course and last year was much cooler, I felt like I had pretty good race overall. I picked up a nice WWC metal water bottle for my first place in the 50-54 age group.

Next up on my calendar is the Vertical Mile in 3 weeks. This is a new race for me, and this should be an interesting race. I don’t know which will hurt more my lungs or my quads. I suspect that they both will hurt equally bad.

Tails from the Trail

The Cool Down Runner

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Black Diamond Head Lamps

A few weeks ago, I was admiring the new Black Diamond Head Lamps at REI. I especially took note of the extra 75 Lumens that these new lamps had over my two existing Black Diamond head lamps. I made a mental to pick one up soon.

Later this year, I have several night trail races on my calendar. My two head lamps have served me well in the past, but there is no such thing as having too much light during a night trail race.

Today, I was back in REI for something else, and I circled by the Black Diamond lamps to admire them a bit more. The first thing I noticed when I walked up to their display, they were having a 25% off on these head lamps.

I couldn’t resist and it fell right in my price point.

When I got home, I tried it. I don’t remember the weight of my existing lamps, but this new one is definitely a bit heavier. I suspect most of it is from the extra AAA battery. My older lamps use 3 while this new one uses 4 batteries.

Next step, I want to do a test run with it. Nothing long but just enough of a run to get a sense of how this new lamp sets on my head while running.    

Look for me to share an update on my experience.

Tails from the Trail

The Cool Down Runner

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Solo 50k

A few months ago, I started planning my summer schedule, and I wanted to do a 50k each month fromMay through September. When I could not find a race that lined up with my schedule, I decided that I would just make up my own run.

Saturday at 8 AM, I headed off on my 50k run. I decided to use the WWC 50k course since it makes a nice 10ish mile loop. I can then resupply my Camelbak after each lap.

Of course, when I started planning this adventure run, I didn’t plan on it being a 50k run on the first 90 degree day of ’19.

I went through nearly a gallon and ½ of Nunn plus a copious amount of snacks along the way.

Even with the warm start to the morning, the breeze made my first lap feel good. On the second lap, things definitely warmed up. I had thoughts of quitting. But I couldn’t. I wanted to push through it. I needed to push through it.

I made a point of drinking every half mile. I took it easy and just worked each mile, and I tried to not think about it.

Somewhere around with 3 to 4 miles left, the realization finally started to set in that my legs were going to carry me to the finish. They were tired, but they did what I asked them to do. This was my longest run of ’19 so far.

Most importantly, I checked off the first of my 50k or more runs of this summer. This run definitely put some confidence in my memory bank. I have bigger plans for later in the fall, and this is just the first step in making those plans come true.

Tails from the Trail

The Cool Down Runner

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Aero Runner Treadmill

I was at the University Y working out on Monday night, and I saw that they were testing out a new type of tread mill called an Aero Runner.

An Aero Runner is not like you normal tread mill. There is no pace setting feature on it. I just jumped on and went for a run. The tread mill automatically adjust up or down to whatever pace that I am running. If I had to compare it to something, it is like attempting to run on a barrel in water. I found myself grabbing on to the bars from time to time. It is a definitely a bit of adjustment from your normal thread mill which runs at a set pace. I do like the belt and the structure of it. The bed is of a concave design.

If you get a chance, check it out.

Tails from the Trail,

The Cool Down Runner

Deep Tissue Roller

Recently, I picked up a new Foam Roller. For years, I have used a Trigger Point Roller, and I have gotten some great use out of it. However, with time and age, it has taken a beating.

My Trigger point roller has a smooth surface, and my legs have grown use to it. This new roller is quite the contrast. This new roller has a knobby surface. The first time I rolled my legs over it, I wanted to cry. It dug in to spots that I didn’t even know were sore.

I have been using it regularly now. I think that is good to shake things up once in a while. My old legs need all the attention that they can get.

Tails from the Trail,

The Cool Down Runner

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Stumpy Pond Trail ½ Marathon Recap 5/11/19

Today, I headed down to the Ann Springs Greenway for the Stumpy Pond Trail ½ marathon. I have not run on the Ann Spring Greenway in years. Add to it, I have never run on some of the sections of this race so I was going to be doing some new exploring.

Running was going to be rough for this race. The temperature was in the mid 70s but making life miserable for all of us runners was the humidity. It was absolutely awful.

The course was marked pretty well. There a few long sections where I could have used some confidence markers. However, after the race I was talking with one of the guys that marked the course. He told me that they didn’t believe in confidence markers. I understood him but just because he didn’t believe in them that doesn’t mean that they would be nice to have for the runners. After all, in those long sections with no markings, I am left question if I missed something along the way.

We had a long leadout in to the trails so the runners well strung out as we entered. I settled in to a comfortable pace and worked the trail. There were no real long climbs but boy does it roll. In some sections, I felt like a yo-yo.

I was churning along through about 7 miles when we finally turned to head back to the finish. This section of the trail had no wind blowing, and I was starting to overheat badly.

Those final miles were a struggle.

I finished in 1:51:41, placing 6 OA, and 1st MM. I hadn’t won a MM in several years, and I was pleasantly surprised to win it.

I was glad that I did this race. I spend a lot of time running on the WWC trails. Getting the chance to run some different trails is always nice. I would venture down there again for another run.

Overall, most of the trails were very runnable. There were only a few sections where they got technical, and I had to really watch my footing.

Tails from the Trail

The Cool Down Runner

Friday, May 10, 2019

WWC River Jam 10k – May Edition

Warmer days are here again so that must mean one thing. The WWC Thursday night River Jam races are back on again.

Last night was like a reunion. So many faces that I hadn’t seen since last September. I shook a lot hands, and I caught up on what has been going on with everyone.

So let’s get down to the details.

They moved the race start/finish back a short distance but otherwise, the course was pretty much the same.

The overcast cloud hinted of rain but the course was pretty much dry. I had no issues running in my racing flats.

Everyone seemed to be going out hard, and I felt that I was struggling to keep up. I hit the trails right behind Andrew, and I had another guy on my “six”. We worked those first couple of miles with each one of us taking a turn towing the others along.  

Over by the WeighStation trail, they both got in front of me. I was doing my best to main contact. We turned on to the Lake Loop. I could feel the pace increasing. However, my legs were not handling it well. By the time, we hit the back side of the Lake Loop, Andrew and the other guys started to gap me. With the growth along the trail, they were soon out of sight. It wasn’t so much that I was slowing down as they were running faster.

By the time we exited the trail and headed to the finish, they were well ahead of me.
I ran 46:34 which was about a minute slower than last year. I don’t know where that I finished. They didn’t post the results on the monitors, and the results have not been posted on their website. Hopefully, they will do it soon.

Being that I was over a minute off of my time from last year means I have 4 weeks to get a little better i.e. a little faster.

We shall see.

Don’t forget that the River Jam races are the 2nd Thursday for the next 4 months. If you are looking for a little running, a little music, and a little food, the WWC is the place to be.

Tails from the Trail,

The Cool Down Runner

* Updated. WWC Race team posted the results. I finished 8 overall and 1st in the 50-54 age group. 


Thursday, May 2, 2019

No 19 Summer Track

Sadly, I was copied on an email from Tim explaining that our local summer track series normally held at Myers Park High School was being canceled for ’19. Expectations were set that the series would return in ’20.

From what I understood reading the email, Myers Park Track or Stadium was undergoing some type of maintenance which would not permit it being available for the series.

Tim even went so far as to look for other venues which were similarly located to host it but he couldn’t get one locked down.

I am sure that summer track series will missed throughout our entire running community. Each year it gave us to a chance to once again feel the need for speed, see faces that we don’t often see, and swap stories. But all this will just have to wait until the summer of ’20, and by then, we will have twice the number of stories to swap.

See you at summer track in ‘20

The Cool Down Runner