Saturday, May 30, 2020

The days after

Running 120 miles in 6 days probably was not one of my better ideas, but doing something does not always need to be a good idea. Sometime even if it sounds like a bad idea, it still might be something fun to do.

So I went 10 miles on Tuesday. The best way that I can describe it is during triathlon instead free spinning at the end of the ride, I try to crush it to the line. However, this leaves my legs totally numb when I start running. This is pretty much how I felt for the entire 10 miles.

Wednesday, my run was a little better. Friday's run was actually the first day that my legs started to feel normal again.

They still feel tired but at least they were not numb.

Recovery is always a slow process but with any challenge comes the need for recovery. In time, the body will return to normal. Then, it will be time to think about the next challenge.

The Cool Down Runner

Monday, May 25, 2020

Run-cation – Day 6 – Whitewater Center

I finished the last day of my 6 day 20 mile challenge on what I consider is my home trails – The Whitewater Center Trails. I could have run any number of trails, and I did think about running somewhere else. However, I felt that I needed to finish it where I enjoy running the most.

Frankly, after going so many other places, I was ready to hit my local trails again.

Today’s run held no surprises, and only a few people were frequenting the WWC. Social distancing was more like social isolation.

I clipped off my fastest 20 miles in 3:26:02 which also surprised me. Over the last couple of days, my quads seemed to be a bit more fatigued. Soreness became way more pronounced during the closing miles.  Then, my quads have weathered quite a few runs so maybe they do have a right to complain about how I treat them.

Being that this was my first run-cation, it provided some extra perspective. When the only things on my daily to-do list are eating, sleeping, and running, life is pretty nice.

I am glad to have wrapped up this challenge on a positive note, and I am looking forward to the rest of the summer. If racing does not pick up, I will have to come up with may own challenges, just like this one.

Challenge yourself first and your friends next,

The Cool Down Runner

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Run-cation – Day 5 – Kings Mt State Park

Last night, I decided to head down to Kings Mt State Park to recreate part of a run that I did a few years ago. This time, I would only be going 20 miles instead of those 45 Labor Day miles. That was indeed a very long day.

Kings Mt State Park is roughly 30 minutes west give or take from Charlotte. They offer a lot trail options some good and some not as good. The trails inside the military portion of the park typically are well maintained. Those outside of it, well, a good weed eater may be needed or perhaps a chainsaw in some spots. Those trails can be overgrown in places. If it were not for the trail markers, I am not sure that I was on the trail.

May be from anticipation or just from tiredness, I was up early this morning. I cruised in to their parking lot around 8:35 this morning. This was a good thing since the weatherman had forecast a temperature close to 90 degrees today.

Today’s run was 9 parts trail run and 1 part obstacle course. Those storms that rolled through Charlotte late this past week did a number on the trees in several places along the trail. I quickly realized that I was not the first through here, however. The path through the fallen trees were somewhat visible. I made every effort to follow the broken limbs.

Along the small creak, the cool air felt awesome during the first hour. Then, the trail meanders away from the branch. Sweat rolled down sides of my face and in to the ever growing beard. I finally gave up on my hat. The heat was just too much to wear it.

My course today took me out by the Kings Mt visitor center and later up the Ridgeline trail to the Boulder Overlook. This was actually the first time that I went up to the overlook. However, I didn’t climb out on it. I will leave that for another day when my legs were not so tired.

All in all, this was a good run. I am noticing that for the first 10 miles my legs have some bounce but over the last 10, the bounce quickly weans.

I have 1 more day in 20 mile 6 day challenge. Wish me luck on the final day of my run-cation.

The Cool Down Runner

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Run-cation - Day 4 – South Mountains State Park

For day 4 of my run-cation, I headed for South Mountains State Park.

When I started this little adventure, I knew that I wanted to run at least one place that I had never visited. I explored several possible locations, and I finally settled on South Mountains State Park. The next thing that I did was pull up park map and looked to see what the possible trails were. I noticed a couple of high points nearing 3k in evaluation. I marked both as places that I wanted to visit during this run. Because I was running a 20 miler, I decided that I would run on the perimeter trails.

South Mountains State Park is about 80 minutes from Charlotte along some beautiful country roads. But it is in the middle of a no cell service zone. As I pulled in to the park, my phone immediately went in to its no service mode. It never returned until I left the park. May be they have a cell phone jammer. Who knows?

I parked in the Equestrian parking lot. Since the trail that I expected to return on ended here. The moment that I stepped out my car, I noticed something different. The air was filled with two scents: wood smoke and Spruce Pine. In fact, I can still smell the Spruce Pine scent on me now.

Being totally unfamiliar with these trails I must have looked lost. I was smart enough to print out a map of the trails and have it with me. This was a huge help because while the trails are marked, they are marked for that location only. There is no map at the junctions to help orient the runner. Often I pulled out my map to affirm that I was still going in the right direction.

From the parking lot, I followed the Turkey Ridge Trail. This was tough because I started climbing almost immediately. I switched over to the Little River Trail which led me back downhill to the Hemlock Nature Trail. I was snaking my way along these interior trails because I wanted to run the Chestnut Knob Trail. This trail leads to the Chestnut Know Trail overlook at 2,291 ft. This trail was the most rugged of all of the trails. Rocks steps, roots, stumps, super narrow off camber trails, and numerous switchbacks were the norm the entire way to the top.

I made a brief stop at the overlook to take in the view. Several people were coming and going so I decided to not linger very long.

From Chestnut Knob, I picked up Sawtooth Trail. Along this trail is where I took this panoramic picture shown above. 

The climb up is a tough but once I was on top, I was mainly running on old washed out fire roads along the ridgeline. I would climb up and down a few hundred feet. Some of the climbs and descents were gentle but others were steep in both directions.

From Sawtooth, I picked up the Upper CCC trail which transitioned to Horse Ridge Trail, then to the Lower CCC trail, to Bern Knob Trail. I was basically running the perimeter of the park at this point. Somewhere along the Bern Knob trail, I passed over the 2,894 ft mark. However, I never saw anything noting this.

In fact, I didn’t even realize that I had transitioned from the Bern Knob trail to the Raven Rock Trail. 

I simply saw a sign saying Raven Rock. This part of the trail is strange. I say strange because I am running along on this old fire road and then, I step out on a paved road about 8 feet wide with a dashed yellow line down the middle. For a moment, I thought I had missed a turn but upon checking my map, I could only conclude that this was part of the trail. Definitely, this section of pavement see no traffic since grass was growing up in the cracks.

This was the hottest section of the entire run. With the trees cut back, I was in total sunlight.

This road must have run for a couple of miles with ugly climbs and nasty downhills. Eventually, the road ended, and I saw a sign saying the Raven Rock Trail. It was all very confusing, and this was another good reason for me having my map.

My plan had been to follow the Raven Rock Trail to Saddleback Trail which led back to where I parked. Unfortunately, this trail was closed which meant I would be taking the long way back to my car. Thus, I followed Raven Rock back to Little River Trail. A long the way, I met several horseback riders. Each time, I slowed to give them plenty of room and not spook the horses.

Once along the Little River Trail, I could feel the coolness of the water. I was hot, tired, and sweaty, and I was ready to be finished.

In time, I made it back to my car. I had run further than expected - 22+ miles in 4 hours and 11 minutes but it was worth it. I got see to see some new sights, and I got to cover some new trails.

After I finished, I walked over to the stream and set down in the cold mountain water. At first, my legs stung from the cold, but once the sensation went away, oh, did it feel good. I just laid there for about 20 minutes. I wish that I could finish every run with a dip in cold mountain stream. 

The South Mountains trails are definitely on my to-do list for going back. There are probably another 20 or so miles of trails that I never got to see. I want to do them too. 

Next time, however, I will have a better idea of where I am running. I suspect that I will still need a map, however.

PS, today’s miles were recorded by my iPhone. When I pulled out of my driveway, something in the back of my mind told me that I was forgetting something. Half way to the park, I realized what it was – my Garmin. I assume that my phone was roughly accurate. I included the screen shot above. Tomorrow, I will be back on my Garmin.

The Cool Down Runner    

Run-cation - Day 3 – Latta Plantation Nature Park Trails

For day 3 of my run-cation, I headed to Latta Plantation Nature Park for some miles. Honestly, I am not sure why I don’t run here more. These trails are less than 5 miles from my house. However, I have not run on them in more than say 3 or 4 years.

I started with the Shady Trail and headed toward the western side of the park. I picked up a few of their hiking trails down by the water. But with the recent rain, some sections of the trail were flooded. I had to do some inline trekking to get around the flooded areas.

Coming back on the other side of the road, I picked up the Catawba and Buzzard Rock Trails. Buzzard Rock does give a nice of the lake, but there is another view which is even better. I picked up a couple more hiking trails before back tracking along the some of the trails. Then, I ran the Shady Trail in reverse back to parking lot.

With nearly 13 miles in the books, I headed out along the Hill trail. A long the way, I picked up the Split Rock Trail. Then I moved to the Cove Trail. Toward the midpoint of the Cove Trail, there is a short path out to the water. This little extension is work the extra run because the water's edge gives a much better view of lake. I wish I had my camera.

As I was looping around the backside of the Cove Trail, I was lost in thought. Then, a noise registered in the back of mind which brought my attention front and center. I was trying to reconcile what I was hearing. Someone seemed to be singing. Was I really hearing this correctly? I rounded the bend in the trail, and here was another runner coming toward me singing. I wasn’t going crazy. He was truly singing. I didn’t recognize the song but I did remember his flaming red hair.

After passing him, the rest of my run was uneventful. But I couldn’t help but smile. In my many years of running, I don’t recall ever seeing another runner singing. That is, they were singing while running. That’s something that I don’t have the wind to do.

Changing shoes back my car, I heard a familiar sound coming in the distance. He was coming back in to the parking lot, and he was still singing. As I drove away, I wondered how much faster that he could run if wasn’t singing. Guess, I will never know.

The Cool Down Runner    

Friday, May 22, 2020

Run-cation - Day 2 – Crowders' Mt Trails

For day 2 of my run-cation, I headed down to Crowders Mt. Crowders’ is always good for some climbing but I didn’t know what would be open given our Governor’s new orders.

From the signs, nothing appeared to have changed since my visit two weeks ago. The parking lot was empty not that I expected it to be crowded. Heavy rains were forecast to fall all day so I was likely to be the only idiot on the trails.

They have mapped out a loop for people to walk which goes up the Pinnacle trail to the Turnback trail which returns back to the parking. This is about a 2.2 mile loop.

As I was going up along the Pinnacle trail, I noticed that they left trail leading over to the camp grounds open. With camping currently not being allowed, I assumed that they were still allowing people to stroll the trails and gravel road. This was fortunate for me. I wondered down in to this section last year, and I figured that this would give me an opportunity to grab some extra mileage before heading off on the Crowders’ Mt trail.

Unlike yesterday, the rain was already falling when I left my car. In some places, the water would like a torrent coming down the mountain. Dry little branches were now streams with water heading from the high spots to the low spots.

I circled the camp ground road and popped out along the power line. I guess when they built the power line years ago, this road was left over. I don’t know if anyone else ever uses it but I do. This little section adds about 3 miles out and back. It is not well maintained so footing isn’t the best. However, social distancing isn’t a problem either.

Instead of going over the rocks on the Pinnacle trail, I went around them. This was a big mistake. The footing was terrible and made worse the deluge of rain falling. The Turnback trail was flooded in several spots so grabbing the edges was my only choice to pass through.

When I reached the parking lot to end the loop, I quickly turned around and headed the opposite direction. I did not want to give myself too long to think about it.

Back up Turnback and down Pinnacle, this time through the rocks was uneventful. I only saw one other soaked hiker.

I made the hard left and headed toward Crowders’ Mt. I knew that Tower and Backside trails were partially open so I planned on running some repeats if necessary to fill out my 20 miler.

The rocks were slick so I was treading carefully. When I popped out on the from the Crowders’ trail to the Backside trail, I saw the barricades instructing hikers to not proceed to the top. I touched the barrier and headed down Backside to Tower. Then, I ran up Tower to where it intersects with Rock Top. Here, the rangers also had a barricade. I touched it and headed back down. Now, I had a pretty good idea of where I could run. I could run from barrier to barrier which would give me some good climbing.

On the way down Tower, I met a Park Ranger driving up. I suspect that he was wondering what kind of fool would be out in this weather running. Honestly, I was envious of his nice warm truck.

I touched the Backside barrier for the 2nd time and started my second repeat. On the climb back up Tower, I met Park Ranger coming down. He said nothing to me. I guess that he was leaving me to suffer in silence.

Rounding the turn at the Rock Top, I suddenly realize that the barricade was gone along with the signs. Apparently, Crowders Mt is now fully open for business. I couldn’t resist the temptation. I pushed on to the top. I was likely going to be the first person to stand atop Crowders in several months. Some things are just too enticing to fight back. .

Of course, the view was lost in the white fluffy clouds so in my big moment, I couldn't see anything. The rain was still falling so I only indulged myself for a second or two. Time to head back down the trail and finish up this run.

All told, I only saw 4 people during the entire run. Everyone looked pretty much liked I did – soaked.

Tomorrow, I am off to Latta Plantation for some miles.

The Cool Down Runner    

Run-cation – Day 1 – Kings Mt Gateway Trail

Rain was expected to fall pretty much all day so I opted to start my run-cation on an easy course. This would be the Kings Mt. Gateway Trail. Interested in checking out the Gateway Trail, more info can be found here -

I had run a couple of races on this trail in the past few years so I knew the location of the trail head and the course. This made my starting day logistics a lot easier. The course is less trail and more crushed gravel. Still, this is easier on my legs than asphalt or concrete.

From the trail head, I followed the main path down for about ½ mile to the beginning of the Foote path. But before handing out on the Foote path, I figured that I would hit their little Everest. This is about ½ mile climb to the top of the hill. This climb isn’t super steep but doing before I am really warmed up does leave my quads groaning about my choices. From the top, I can look off in to the distance and see the bottom half of Crowders Mt. The upper half is obscured by the clouds. I wondered if those clouds would be there the next day when I visited Crowders Mt. I pushed the thought aside since there was no point in pondering something that I would find out soon enough.

The Foote path starts with some rollers for about 2 and ½ miles. Then, the course flattens out to the turnaround at 4.5 miles. Those first few miles were pretty good. Drizzle had settled over the area, and I only had to deal with the wind on the outer half of the course.

Finishing up my first loop of the Foote path, I thought about dropping my car. However, the rain was starting fall. If I went by my car, I might just opted out, and my adventure would be over before it started. Instead, I headed up little Everest for a second time. The view from the top was even more obscured. Crowders Mt was completely hidden by the clouds.

The rain really started to fall now. The cold water was running off the back of my cap and down the back of my neck. Water coated my hands. While the temperature was only about 51 degrees, the combination of the rain and wind chilled my hands. This had been unexpected given that we are now in May. I worked my hands open and closed in hopes that this would restore some of the circulation.

If anything, the rain got harder on the way back. I wished that I had worn an extra shirt.

I finished up right and the end of the Foote a path. As if noticing that I was no longer running, the rain eased off as well.

Day 1 was in the books. With 20 miles done, I headed home to get ready for tomorrow's 20 miler.

The Cool Down Runner

Thursday, May 21, 2020


In January, I planned out most of my vacation schedule. This past Wednesday through next Tuesday, I was to be on vacation. At least, this was my plan until the bottom dropped out. With my plans gone out the window, I am falling back to having a stay-cation or better yet, a run-cation.

I started wondering what I could do for a run-cation. As I was thinking about this, I have also been eyeing this 250 mile 5 day race next year. Right, as if running 100 miles wasn't enough, I am considering something 2 and half times longer. May be I gone totally bonkers to even consider doing something this long. Currently,I am considering it, but I have not dropped any money on it just yet.

With this mind, I thought it might be interesting to do a bunch of 20 miler back to back. In other words, I planning to do 6 x 20 miles over 6 days. That's right, I said that I was planning to do 6 x 20 miles over 6 days. That's a lot of running even for me.

I am interested to see how my body handles it. I am hoping that nothing breaks or breaks down. It will be more mileage than I have done during single 7 day training period.

Look for my reports to pop up here in the next few days
The Cool Down Runner

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Keeping the feel for speed

With each passing day, I feel like I am always loosing steps - always. My leg turnover will never be what it was from even a few years ago. I hate it but I have to accept that this is a part of every runner's life.

Still, I want to do things to slow this process. However, having this Covid moratorium on races is not helping me. I am not going through my normally yearly training progression.

To at least feel like I a doing something meaningful, I have modified my weekly training routine. Three days week usually separated by a day, I have been ending my runs with a fast finish. This is a concept that I used for many years in my marathon training. I brought in to my daily runs because this gives me an opportunity to run hard without putting a lot thought in to it or overly stressful workout on my body. Usually on M, W, & Friday, I will do this fast finish over either the last 1, 2, or 3 miles. I find that I feel fluid and strong upon finishing, and I walk away from the workout feeling really positive about it. I don't exactly what other than running fast has always made me feel better.

Until races start to materialize over the horizon try doing a fast finish in your shorter workouts. I don't know that this will make me super fast. It likely never will but this will give me an easier transition back in to speed work once I have target set of races. Success comes out preparation. Preparation is the work being done now. 

Thoughts to ponder.

The Cool Down Runner

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Lake Norman State Park Marathon

Last Sunday, I was down at Crowders Mt for some miles. This week, I headed north to Lake Norman State Park for some miles. With the NC state parks reopening, I felt the time was right to venture out to other trails.

Lake Norman State Park has 30+ miles in its Itusi tail system. Probably more than most people realize. With it only being about 30 minutes from Charlotte, the drive is pretty easy and quick one.

Something else pulling me back, I did some running here several years ago, so I decided to head back and recreate this run.

Before heading out, I was loading up my CamelBak with water. As I was filling it, the thought crossed my mind that it was going to be hot today. I decided to fill it completely to the top. This adds a little more weight but having a sip of water when I am hot and tired never gets old.

I headed out from the Lake Shore Trail head running along the edge of the run until I picked up the Laurel Loop which runs roughly 10 miles. The Laurel trail is a bit on the technical side with tight meandering switchbacks. They squeezed a lot miles in to a small amount of space.

Off of the Laurel Loop, I picked up the Wildlife, Fox, and the Fallstown loops. Interestingly, these are easier trails than the Laurel trail. What makes this interesting, they have no way to reach these trails other than running the Laurel Loop. Unless one rides around on the road and there is no parking at the small entrance to these trails.

Probably my favorite was the Wildlife trail which is about 4.5 miles long. Tons of soft dirt and pine needles cushioned each step. I could run it every day.

Coming off the Wildlife loop, I glanced at my Garmin. I was going to be about 10k short of a marathon. I was tired but otherwise, I was feeling pretty well. The weather was much warmer than last weekend but not over the top hot. Today was a good day to be on the trails. This is the moment when I made the decision to push on and hit the marathon distance today. Then, the wheels started turning in my head. Where I could pick up the additional mileage. The Monbo loop checked my box. This trail runs roughly a 10k distance and is rated easy. This is perfect for my needs. Plus, I have never run the Monbo loop which makes it something new to check out. I always love checking out a new trail.

Monbo ran really well. Although, I marked it less than the advertised 10k distance.
Then, I popped out for the final 2.2 miles back to my car. With one loop of the parking lot, my Garmin flashed up 26.2 miles in 5 hours and 14 minutes.

I was glad that I loaded up my CamelBak afterall. I drank the last of it with a half mile left in my run.

Will I continue these longer than normal runs. I don’t know. I enjoy doing them but when the heat pushes upward of 80s and 90s, they are not as much fun. I have to drink so much more water. Otherwise, I turn in to a running zombie.

At this time, I have nothing longer on my calendar for this summer if they even happen. Even the WWC 50 miler this fall has been canceled. It might just be time to stay with some 20 milers until the cool weather comes again. If all goes well, I can load up on longer runs in the fall and be ready for the Black Canyon 100k next February. I am crossing my fingers that it happens.

That’s all I got for now. Hope your running is going well.

The Cool Down Runner

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Virtual River Jam Race 10k Recap

This evening, I ran my first virtual race, and probably not my last virtual race.

After 8 weeks, I needed to feel at least a little of a race effort. Even if my only other competitors were me, myself, and I. I am sure you already know this but they are tough competitors. They ran lock step with me over the entire distance. Try as I might, I could not shake any of them. We crossed the finish line side by side - socially distance of course.

Last week, I got an email from the WWC. They were holding the first two races of their River Jam series as virtual races. The July race was not listed as virtual so maybe they are holding out hope that this would be a "hard" event vs a "virtual" one. I hope so.

Their virtual races are a little different from most virtual races. To participate, runners must do one of the River Jam 5k or 10k courses at the WWC within a given set of dates. Then, send the gpx file to the race director as confirmation of their effort. They marked the course as they typically do, and they hoisted two flags for the start finish line. Having done this course for many years now, I had no trouble following the arrows.

Running a solo race is nowhere near as much fun as running with others. The anticipation of the start was missing. The adrenaline rush of the surging from the starting line was not quite the same. The only one breathing hard as I rounded the channel was me.

Entering the trail, I will admit was quite a bit easier. No one was there to jockey with for position. I could run where I needed to run.

I bounced along the river for a couple of miles before running by the Weigh Station. Only couple of hikers were on the trail. I entered the Lake Loop, and the thought popped in to my head that I had promised myself to not do the 10k races this year. This was just another New Year's resolution that is slowing going by the wayside.

After enjoying the last couple of weeks with ideal temperatures, today, I was sweating more than normal. I could feel a little burn in the quads and my breathing felt a little more labored than I expected.  Otherwise, this run was going about as I expected.

I exited the woods, crossed the parking lot, and climbed the final hill before making my push to those finish line flags.

To those only lookers, I must have looked strange. Seeing a skinny, bearded man with arms pumping run so hard for no apparent reason. 

I stopped my Garmin at 48 minutes and 31 seconds. This was better than expected but slower than I wanted. You know how it is.

If you have not signed up, I recommend jumping in one of their races. We all have to do our part to help others until we all get past this virus world that is our new normal.

The Cool Down Runner

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Black Canyon 100k

The one buckle missing from ultra distance collection is one for the 100k distance. Since last fall, I have been looking for a 100k to catch my attention.

The Black Canyon 100k checked a lot boxes for me. The race is point to point which is a type of course that I have never done. All of my ultras so far have been loops. Loops are okay, but they can get a little boring. I like to see something new with each step.

Next, I have never raced out west. Black Canyon definitely checks this box. I want to see some other parts of the country, and this race gives me a good place to start. The southwest has some awesome running trails that are just waiting for me to explore.

I am not sure how much of a lung buster that this race will be for me. I live at around 800 ft above sea level. From what I understand this course runs from 6000 to 8000 ft. If my lungs are not burning, I am pretty sure that my quads will be. On the bright side, they give 17 hours to complete it. I think that this doable for me. Let's hope so.

The bigger question is will race happen and how will I get there. At the moment, the race organizer are wait listing all entries until they are sure the race will happen. I may not know for sure that I am going until nearly Feb of '21. Who really knows what the world will be like by then. I would like to fly. Driving while possible, it would be a few days.

All I can do is prepare to race and then scramble at the last minute to put my travel plans in place. Despite the likely numerous huddles, I know that this this will be a great experience. I am already looking forward to it.

The Cool Down Runner

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Races, what are the next steps

Last night, I listened in on Theoden's Facebook Live stream with three local race organizers: Jen, Justin, and Tim.

I was interested to hear their thoughts on what racing will look like in the coming months ahead. They all seem to be searching for what is the right path forward. I am just not sure if there is truly a right path.

The real question will comes down to will they be able to present an conducive environment where we will all feel comfortable again. I hope so. I want to race again.

Check out the video on Theoden's Facebook page -

The Cool Down Runner

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Last Cool Days before Summer 50k

On Thursday, I settled down to watch the evening news. The Weatherman starts talking about the weekend forecast which caught my attention. He is saying that the lows would be in the 40s with the highs in the low 60s. In the back of my mind, I am thinking that this might be the last good weekend for running before the days turn hot, and I mean really hot.

With this mind, I just couldn't resist the idea of knocking down one more 50k run while I could still enjoy the run without needing to go through several gallons of water to make it happen.

Saturday morning, I rolled off just after 8 AM. The chill was definitely in the air. I could feel a little cold sting on the back of my hands. While I was in the sun, I felt great. However, when I stepped in to the shade, I was certainly a good bit cooler.

By the end of the first 10 mile loop, the temperature was nearly ideal. A small breeze blew just enough that any heat from the sun stayed at bay.

I repacked my CamelBack and headed out for my 2nd loop. My legs still felt pretty good. At least, they continue to do so through about 17 miles. Then, I started feeling just a bit of stiffness in my knees. This seems to be a trend for me these days. Somewhere between 17 and 23 miles, the fatigue starts to settle in to my legs. Around 25 miles, it starts to disappear.

What I don't know here is if this is from me mentally starting to ignore these pain signals or have I just beaten these pain receptors in to submission. Perhaps, both are the case. No way, I know for sure.

My 3rd lap was just as uneventful as the previous two laps.

Since I had plenty to think about this in my 5 hours and 40 minutes of running, I started counting up my runs of roughly 26 miles or longer in the past 3 months. I realized that I have been on this cadence running 26 miles or longer every other week. In the past 3 months, I have run 7 runs between 26 and 50 miles. This is more training that I have ever done in the past 2 years of ultra running. I wish I could parlay in to some ultra racing but this doesn't look possible anytime soon.

Will leave you with this short story. On the back side of my run, a buddy pulls up beside me in his car. He yells at me from his car and starts rubbing his chin. He is asking me what's happening with my face - specifically about my beard. I have to laugh. I tell him this is what happens when one leads the quarantine life.

The Cool Down Runner


Saturday, May 9, 2020

Expected but not surprized

Earlier this week, the WWC sent out an email telling us that the New South Trail Marathon has been canceled for '20.

I have to say that I have been expecting it. I had held out hope that they might have an opportunity to hold it over the summer, but I guess that they reached a point and decided to call it for this year. They gave every indication that the race will be back next spring. I certainly hope that they are right.

Counter to what happens with most races, they gave back a full refund of my entry fee. This, I had not been expecting, and I certainly appreciated it.

I suspect that the WWC runs on a shoe string budget so refunding those entry fees had to hurt.

They didn't have to do this. They could have refunded a portion or none of it. The fact that they did this, in my eyes, earned them my loyalty when looking for local race. As I see it, they are put their customers first and want to do right by them.

They will definitely get more of my dollars in the future.

Something for others to keep in mind when choosing a race,

The Cool Down Runner