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Posts Tagged ‘trail running’

Nobody panicked, nobody got frostbite, but yes it snowed for the Tyler Arboretum Trail Run today.  When the gun went off it was just cold drizzle..then it turned to sleet.. And by mile 4 there were big fat flakes of snow falling.  Days like this I wish I had a GoPro because there was a moment when we emerged from the woods into a snow covered field with daffodils..that I would like to see again.   Space blankets were distributed at the end and I managed to stop shivering in the car on the way home.   Lesson learned..never forget your extra shoes.

This is always my favorite race.

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Normally I only go hiking when I’m injured and can’t run, but lately I’ve been thinking about hiking as cross-training for running.  Two weeks ago I went for a 10+ mile run in the morning, and then went on an 8 mile hike in the afternoon.  I found the hike much more exhausting than the run, and by the end of the hike, I was tired in a way that I never am after a run.  Last weekend I went on a similar length hike, and this time I hadn’t run beforehand.  And again, I felt really tired.  I’m not sure if significantly different muscles are used when hiking, or if it has to do with carrying a pack (although mine wasn’t very heavy.)  But one thing I notice is that the passage of time itself seems to tire me out, so if it takes me twice as long to cover the same distance hiking compared with running, I’m going to end up twice as tired.  Does that make sense at all?  I suppose it’s partly psychological…I’m easily bored and I feel impatient when hiking with a group that likes to take frequent breaks.   Or perhaps it is an issue of fueling as well.  I never take gels or any calories while running these days, but maybe I need to do so when hiking just because I’m working hard for a longer period of time.  I’m going to try to get a hike in every Sunday since my long runs are on Saturdays, and I’ll

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see if this gets better over time.  I guess  like anything else, hiking will get easier with more practice, due to a specific training effect.

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A few posts ago, I mentioned feeling better when I run in the Wisshickon as compared with around the neighborhood.  Alex Hutchinson provides an explanation in Sweat Science, called This is Your Brain on Nature.

And now for more depressing news.  A study that tested the levels of carbon-14 in the Achilles tendons of people who were around during above-ground nuclear testing in the fifties show that the AT just doesn’t regenerate.

Today’s run was 5 miles on the trails, 900 feet of elevation gain, but I walked up all the hills and ran down them so as to not anger my Achilles.  Sadly, I couldn’t manage to get my heart rate above 110 with this routine.  Oh well.

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I run, Zen-like now

The sound of one foot clapping

and one foot flapping

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I am rapidly losing interest in this Achilles tendon of mine.  But for the record, I’ll describe my experiences with my latest exciting but not so exciting treatment- the nitroglycerin patch.  I apply 1/4 of a nitro patch to my tendon every evening.   It is supposed to release nitrous oxide (NO) into the circulation.  This has has a vasodilatory effect, which causes some people headaches.  I haven’t noticed much of a headache, but when I do, a cup of coffee fixes it.  An article providing the rationale for nitroglycerin treatment of Achilles tendinopathy  is here.  So far, no improvement.

 

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So the Philadelphia area is in the midst of a heat wave, and last weekend’s LST and all my other runs in the past week have been nothing more than attempts, mostly unsuccessful,  to acclimate myself to hot weather.  Yesterday’s temperature was over 100, and I didn’t even bother to go out.  Not only have the heat and humidity been bad, but the air quality index has been in the “unhealthy” range.  So, I wasn’t expecting to do well at today’s Double Trouble 15K race at French Creek State Park.  In fact, I was sort of feeling like I’d be lucky to finish.  But the trail gods were smiling and it turned out OK.  Here’s my capsule review:

This race, put on by Pretzel City, is about 50 miles from Philly.  It’s called double trouble because you can run either 15K or 30K and you can decide after the 15 if you want to keep going (I didn’t).  The 15K was part of the USATF off-road series and that’s waht I ran.  It was supposed to start at 9, but we waited around for 5 or 10 minutes because there was thunder and the race director was waiting to see if there would be lightning (there wasn’t).  Eventually he started the race after some staged rivalry between the 15K and 30K runners, and the usual Ron Horn jokes of questionable taste.  The race had 3 water stops with Gatorade, and the course was super well-marked and not terribly challenging.  There was one hill maybe 2/3 of the way through that most people seemed to be walking.  It seemed to me that the temperature got better as the race progressed, but maybe that was my usual weirdness..I always feel better in the second half of a race.  At about mile 7 I was overconfident on the downhill and lost my footing.  I managed to remain upright by means of a wing-flapping bicycling sort of routine, which must have been very entertaining to the people behind me.  I took it a bit easier for the rest of the race.  ( I’m pretty sure it was my Performance-Enhancing Kokopelli temporary tattoo that saved me from an embarrassing encounter with the earth.)  Anyway, I came in first in my age group (thanks,  again, Kokopelli) and got a nice medal.  The after-race food was copious and carb-loaded, though I didn’t have the stomach for the grilled hotdogs, bagels with various spreads, PB&J, Tootsie Rolls, oreos and Twizzlers on offer.    There was music as well and and it was all in view of the beautiful Hopewell Lake..  The downside: not enough potties.  The verdict: nice course, well organized,  good food, worth the trip.

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