Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Bagley Hamsters

An easy 11 at Bagley today with Gregg and Schuney.  And when I say 11, that means about, oh I don't know, 8 or 9 loops around the park.  I felt like a hamster on a wood chipped wheel.  That's not to say that it was bad, because to be honest, it was my idea.

I've been desperately wanting to get on some trails lately and away from the lake walk.  Not only will this be necessary for the trail races I plan to do this year, but it will be very necessary for my sanity as well.  There really is something very soothing about running through the woods.  No cars rushing by you, no exhaust fumes, no concrete pounding your bones.  It's such a basic and beautiful way to run.

So we chugged out 11 by simply running the Bagley figure 8 loop in different directions, sometimes taking a left at an intersection and sometimes taking a right.  Any time you run a trail in a different direction, you're basically running a completely different trail.  This helped brake up the monotony of the park but of course more than anything, having Gregg and Dave there to chat with made it much more enjoyable.

Also, the run was made enjoyable by the shoes I chose to wear, my Inov8 x-talon 212s.  These are simply the best trail shoe I've ever worn.  I used them last year for the Voyageur 50 miler and didn't have a single issue with them.  Today I was able to get great traction on the snow covered trails because of the shoes' aggressive outsole but because they are also very light and flexible, I'm able to be very agile in spots where agility is necessary.  (Actually, agility comes into play more often on trails that are more technical, like the Superior Hiking Trail)

However, the vaunted shoes were not quite perfect, for just as I was stepping onto one of the bridges for our penultimate crossing, my left foot slipped out from under me and I went down like I'd been shot.

Now in my football playing days they used to tell me not to cut with my inside foot, always cut with my outside foot.  Actually, that's a lie, I stopped playing football when I was about 12 because it was then that my 8 year old brother got bigger than me and I could no longer beat him.  Anyway, so maybe no one ever told ME not to cut with my inside foot, but I know that when I was at Iowa State as a "student" that I lived in a house with guys who were on the football team and they knew to always cut with your outside foot, so that you're less likely to slip and fall.  I can attest that that is correct.

So, as I was stepping onto the bridge with my left foot, I cut hard to make a left turn (that was my inside foot)  And with the snowmelt and the wet wood and my overall dumbness, I crashed down on the bridge, and to steal a line from Morrissey, "the pain was enough to make a shy, bald Buddhist reflect and plan a mass murder."  (that's a helluva lot of pain)  My butt took the worst of the fall, but my right foot slid under the side wall for the bridge too, and I bruised the top of that foot.

I'm really not looking forward to waking up tomorrow as I'm concerned that I'm going to tighten up and things will feel even worse.  Anyone want to come over and give me a butt massage?  (Please say no!)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Declaration

Having woken up at 3am ish on Saturday morning to get ready for our group run and then following that up by working a busy day at the store, I was concerned I'd have trouble arising this morning for our scheduled run.  Sure enough, my alarm went off at 7:30am and the next thing I remember was Schuney calling me at 8:30 and asking if I was going to make it.

I really did want to run, despite the sights and sounds of the nasty weather and my overall feeling of lethargy, so I got my sorry butt outta bed and drove down to meet Dave, Clint and Gregg at Dave's place.

We took off up Seven Bridges and headed out towards Maxwell and the gravel roads out there.  And while some of the roads were a little slushy, the weather wasn't really too bad.  To be perfectly honest, I rather like running in the rain.

We ran 11 miles of gravel and hills and blacktop and slush.  As usual, the conversation was good and the pace was controllable.  I really felt like I could've ran for another 11 miles, but I knew that with my lack of sleep that my body would revolt.  I have been fighting a head cold lately so I didn't want to push things too hard.

I am looking forward to being able to get on the trails pretty soon and I will need to as it's been now publicly stated that I plan on running the Sawtooth 100 in September.  (Gulp)  I've been thinking about it for months now and made my decision around January but I hadn't told anyone until recently.  So....if any of you would like to pace me for a bit, Friday evening, September 9th will be a great opportunity to spend some time with a bitchy, whiny and utterly annoying Tony!  Consider yourselves warned!