Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Lots o' Activity

This last weekend was a good one for my running. Actually, it was a good weekend for physical activity. I like those kind of weekends.

It started Saturday morning with a big pile of wood in the backyard that has been calling out to me for the past month or so. Since the house we rent has no central air, furnace, or insulation to speak of we get most of our heat in the winter from the wood burning stove in the living room, and a couple small space heaters for times when we are too lazy to start a fire. For the past two winters, we have rounded up our own wood by scanning Craigslist for people trying to get rid of downed trees, asking people in our area who have downed trees on their property if we can relieve them of some of it, and also through wood cutting permits on National Forest land.

Back to the woodpile. So, we have all this wood in the backyard, mostly in sections that have to be cut in half before chopping, which means getting the chainsaw out. Now, I don't mind using a chainsaw, in fact at times I really enjoy it. But I prefer splitting and chopping. It is way more enjoyable, and a lot less loud. It is good, hard work but rewarding - I like to call it "productive destruction!"

Unfortunately, the chains for my chainsaw are dull and that makes that part of the process a bit harder. I got through a fair amount though, and before I completely trashed my arms with the chainsaw I put it down and took a little break. A snack and some water got me a nice second surge, and off to chopping I went. I quartered all the rounds I created with the saw, and called it a good session. I'm not sure how long I spent, but my arms and shoulders were definitely feeling it. Here are the results:

After a nice relaxing afternoon, Lori and I headed down to the train tracks by the San Lorenzo River for a run. We got in about an hour and fifteen minutes - nothing spectacular on this one, except my overall plan. I have been thinking about this for awhile, and after reading Addy's post about her recent weekend of running in Marin and Berkeley, I decided I wanted to get in a two day fairly long run combo in myself. I really think I'm going to be doing the 50k run at PCTR's Big Basin run in the middle of September (there I've said it - I guess it's official now :-)) - which will be my first ultra - and thought it would be good for me to put more miles on the legs over a weekend.

So Saturday afternoon went like a charm. The run I do along the train tracks is fairly flat - probably no more than 300 feet of elevation gain and about 9 miles give or take a little.

Sunday morning was back to Nisene Marks for my current favorite trail run - the Aptos Creek Fire Road to the West Ridge Trail. This time, though, when I came back down to the Aptos Creek Fire Road, I went back up to the trailhead for the Aptos Creek Trail, which added almost 4.5 miles round-trip. Total mileage for the run was about 22.5 which is my longest since I ran my first and only marathon about 10 years ago. I ran a pretty good pace, too, finishing in 3:24. I am very happy with the weekend plan, as I was definitely tired, but my legs recovered quickly. I did have a repeat of this new pain in my right knee, but I really think it is more an overuse issue now. It goes away after a day or so, especially if I ice it and wear my neoprene knee brace/wrap during the day.

My biggest concern now in doing the 50k next month is really about whether I'm pushing too far too fast. Injuries are a drag, and so far I have been pretty good about not overdoing it (something I have done a few times in the past). I don't really have any question about doing the distance, I just want to make sure I can run the next week.

Speaking of which, I haven't had a chance to run this week. Due to work issues, not running/injury issues. Tomorrow...


Addy said...

Awesome job last week with all the activity! Congrats on making your official declaration :) Doing back to backs like that will have you more than ready!

After reading about your experience (and deeply needing a long run of my own) I decided to do the Aptos Creek Firetrail up to the overlook and back (starting outside the park)(plus I did an extra to the park entrance and back) to get in a 20 miler, my longest solo trail run to date. Thanks for the awesome post about nisene last weekend and telling me about running there. It was beautiful!!! Especially from that bridge (the bottom of 'the incline') to the overlook. I'll definitely be running there more :D

Andy B. said...

Hey Addy, Thanks for the encouragement, I really appreciate it. And I am glad to hear you got out to Nisene. That place really is fun to run. Soon you'll be ready to hit the West Ridge Loop trail, you'll see! ;-) That area back there is really spectacular.