Friday, April 5, 2013

Spring Means Trail Running and Races!

Tomorrow begins three weekends of fun, fun, fun runs and I am practically shaking in anticipation.  A bit over the top?  Perhaps.  But after a winter of road running in our little town, I am ready to bust out of here and do something different.

Some people might like running for running's sake and can be satisfied doing it anywhere.  I cannot.  I mean, I love running, of course, but running the same streets over and over and over again gets old, and I anticipate spring trail running and race events out of town about as keenly as my five-year-old anticipates Christmas and Easter.

In fact, if I could I would be running trails or heading to new horizons every weekend of the year.  Of course, time, money and family commitments prevent such frivolity - and weather, too.  In Northeast Wisconsin if my winter out-of-town trips don't involve an airplane ride to points South, then getting out of town doesn't really give me much of an advantage.
See? Doesn't this look like a much nicer place to run?
Sure beats this...
So, it is with a happy heart that I start my fair weather running adventures this year, and in April there is much to anticipate.

Tomorrow will be a tough start, as the alarm will go off at 4 a.m. so that I can meet up with five friends to head down to the Trailbreaker Marathon and Half Marathon.  This is A's birthday run, so I couldn't pass up the chance to join everyone for a run even if it involves a daylong road trip to do it.

Technically, this weekend holds a 20-miler on the training plan, so I was a bit unsure how to approach the race.  In the end, I signed up for the Half Marathon for no other reason than the Trailbreaker's idea of a turnaround point on their out-and-back marathon course is to have you climb a 40' observation tower, ring a bell, and then go back down the stairs before running the second half of your marathon.

Evil, evil tower.
Observation towers and I are not generally on speaking terms as I have more than once experienced quad cramping after a combo run/tower climb, so the decision to opt for the Half was easy.

Tentatively, I am planning on getting in my extra miles around the Half, though, so hopefully I will be able to pull out a longer run out of this.  Of course, it goes without saying that the result may be the slowest Half Marathon time to date for me. So be it.

Next weekend, I am heading to the Iola 15K Trail Run.  That melds nicely with the 10 miles I have on the training plan, so I am just looking forward to getting out on a trail for once this year.  I am painfully aware that my 50K coming up is a trail race and how woefully inadequate my trail training has been the past few months - and by woefully inadequate I really mean non-existant.  So, like cramming for an exam, I am hoping that two trail runs for my last two long runs of training will suffice and carry me through 31 miles on the Ice Age Trail.

Speaking of the Ice Age, that will be Weekend #3 of fun running.  Hubby and I will head down for a longish training run on the Ice Age Trail.  Theoretically, I am planning on doing 20-25 miles on the trail, but realistically if I can just get four hours out there on my feet, I would be happy regardless of what the final mileage entails.

I need more practice on trails like this one....
...and this one.
So, Spring is finally officially springing for me, and I am very excited!

Happy Running!


Synopsis: Back in the saddle again after being sick.  Actually feeling pretty refreshed from the down weeks, so hopefully I won't kill my momentum by being overly enthusiastic.
Saturday: Two hour run outdoors, punctuated three times by half-mile long hill walks.  Hoping I got 10 miles in.
Sunday: Rest
Monday: 6  Miles on the treadmill. Ran 3 miles at 6 mph then alternated between 3 min. run at 6 mph (0% incline) and 2 min. walk at 3.2 mph (10% incline).
Tuesday: AWESOME 10 mile run.
Wednesday: 35 minute casual walk with kids at nature center
Thursday: 3.2 miles (run mixed with 10% incline walk)
Friday: Rest
Total Mileage: 26 miles 


  1. Good luck getting in the 20 miles! I always plan to do that then have too much fun eating snacks after a race to get refocused on running.

    1. Yes, after would be hard. Luckily there is a 1.5-hour difference in start times between the full and half marathons, so I thought I would use that to my advantage to knock off the extra miles before my race starts. I realize that ending my 20-miler with the half marathon race will kill any shot at a decent half marathon time, but I figure the extra motivation of getting across a finish line will actually guarantee that I do this thing. Of course, the 80-percent chance of rain I am seeing in the forecast is a real buzz kill, so not actually sure what will happen when it comes down to it. :)