Thursday, December 29, 2011

Damage fixed, Big Run, Christmas

This post in not in any order of importance, but is just in chronological order of some recent events:
  1. Damage Fixed
  2. Big run on the trail at Croom
  3. Christmas

Damage Fixed:

Finally fixed, the bathroom is put back together again, just a few days before Christmas, with one last trip from the plumber, it went from this

To this:
and this

Big Run on the trail at Croom:

Dec 24th big run.  I'm signed up for the Croom Zoom 50K in January, my first 50K and first big trail run (I did a trail 5K in 2002, does that count?) -

Run stats - 32.24 mi 05:48 10:47 pace

  This particular course avoids the big hills that the fall and spring races here run on but there is some pretty good rolling stuff.  Never having run up here before I wanted to get a feel for the course.

I had wanted to get in 20 miles and I was originally going to try and just follow the course as best I could. But, Sean mentioned that he saw some people from FL Ultra runner's group were meeting at 5:00 to run 3 loops on the Croom Zoom course.

So, I woke up at 3:25, left the house at 3:44, and got there about 4:40.

 Starter loop and loop 1
We did the "starter loop" then one full loop (with a slight detour added),so a total of about 12.5 miles so far.  There were a few spots on that first loop where I wasn't sure how well I was going to be doing for the day, going through some deep sand, having a hard time seeing and avoiding the roots while it was dark out, and I was needing a bathroom stop with about two miles left before we got back to the parking lot.
The pace was pretty easy for the first loop, about 11:35 or so which included periodic walk breaks to go up a hill or to decide whether or not we were still on the right trail.

Loop 2
Tagging along on the Croom Zoom Loop
I did a quick pit stop at the start area, then started on the next loop.  Now it was light out and a picked up a few more people that wanted to run with the group but did not want to start at 5:00.  On the second loop is where I pulled out my iPhone to snap a few pictures because I'm not the best writer, a few pics never hurt even though I'm not the best photographer.  The pace was a little bit quicker and the running was a lot easier now that it was light out.  By the end of the second loop the pace was just a little slower than 11:00 pace.  

Loop 3
After the second loop I drank some muscle milk - I had planned on refilling my drink bottles with Accelerade but had left one of them at home.  Oh, well - two 10 oz bottles of Accelerade and 3 gels would have to do for 30+ miles.  One of the guys was heading out for the third loop so I hastily followed him back out onto the course.

Not sure if I was making a mistake or not, but after the halfway point of the last loop I felt pretty good. Picked up the pace for a few miles, then finally found my way to the end.
Couldn't believe I ran that far.
On the orange trail in Croom
The scenery was amazing (except for the first loop which was dark). Saw a pretty big deer. Andy pointed out the holes in the ground where some of the trees completely burned to the ground and then kept on burning, not even leaving a stump, just a hole in the ground. Several hunters were out so we made sure to periodically make some noise, like a "whoop whoop" or a train (whoo-whoo). Had fun running again with Andy (ran with him in Jacksonville in 2007), another Andy, Ash, Dave, Andrea, Tori, Ashley, and a couple others whose names I forget now. Some of the "rooty" sections at the beginning were a little bit tough in the dark. Couple near misses with falling and a few minor ankle rolls but nothing serious. After the run had yogurt, a cliff bar, and a quick stop at Dunkin Donuts for coffee and a donut. Overall an amazing experience.

I wish I could think of more to write. Now I'm definitely ready to be back there in January for the actual race.

Ok, I can think of a little more.  It was both good and bad that I ended up doing the entire race course.  "They" say you shouldn't run a full marathon to train for a marathon, that 20 miles is good enough (22-24 if you really must, but not 26.2!), so I'm sure the same logic goes for 50K.  So, I have taken some of the edge off of the feeling of whether or not I can complete the distance.  However, I could not have allowed myself that much doubt to begin with since I'm signed up for a 100K race just a month later.  But still, there was some doubt, and now that doubt is gone.   Even running at a much slower pace than what I usually run it was still challenging due to the distance and that it was the distance on trails which I'm still an extreme novice.

I do have all of the pressure off of me now for training between now and the actual 50K race.  I just need to keep myself from getting injured and I can do ok.  But, the 100K is a different story of course.  For that race, I'm pretty sure I can do the distance but I know that running it most likely will be an emotional ride and mentally challenging, perhaps more than physically.   To prepare for that aspect, you need more than just running and exercise to prepare, something else is needed.

And then of course, Christmas

There was a cool new drum set for one of the kids: 

And a new electric guitar for the other one:

The big huge amp can be shared between the drums and guitar (I can also sneak plugging in my bass guitar when no one is looking)

And, you can see that someone really knows me well, running gels from Hammer, PowerBar, and Gu, a Hostess Fruit Pie and Starbucks coffee!

Several pieces of running clothes including this cool shirt from Ink 'n Burn from Jenny's parents.  I've been wanting one of these but didn't want to get one for myself for fear of being a copycat, but if someone else gets it for your then no worries!!

Dinner at parents house, where we exchanged gifts, enjoyed some great lobster tails for dinner that my Dad made.  Andy, Jenny, and my parents enjoyed a game of scrabble.

I spent some time visiting my poor neglected boat, another big project to get done, it's going to take some work.  Owning a boat, then hardly finding the time to use it and seeing it fall apart is something that should not have happened.  Oh, well, just like the bathroom, time to do something about the neglect.  One thing at a time.


  1. Nice job on the bathroom! And it sounds like you are all set for your 50K. Have a very happy New Year's Eve and happy anniversary!

  2. Wowza! That's an incredible run. I ran in the dark yesterday morning and fell not once, but twice, and I wasn't even on a trail per se. You'll do great on the 50K in Jan and the 100K in Feb, but just how do you go about emotionally training for such a long distance?

    Good luck...and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

  3. I miss the trails! Happy Running! Your going to Rock Croom