Thursday, June 11, 2009

SHT Vacation

I decided last week that I wanted to take my b'day (yesterday) off... not that I care to make a big deal of it but a good enough excuse to take a day off. Work has been mental and will continue to be so through the summer so I have decided to take a day here or there when I can. So what would I do for the day? Chill out? Catch up on my reading? Cut the grass? I guess I may have done all of those things but then I saw a message from Lisa on the SHT construction project. Perfect!

So I spent the last two days up north (too far to just go for one day!) working with Larry Sampson and crew on a new section heading south from the Rossini Road trailhead (about 20 mins from Hwy 61). It's a very nice section - will be about 5.5-6mi when complete. Larry and a range of volunteers, including a group of school kids who spent a week out there, have been at it since early May and are about halfway in. It was pretty tough going due to the endless tree roots. Not many rocks though. But lots of bugs... the only downside to summer in MN as far as I'm concerned!


Took a few photos...


Rossini Rd trailhead - I ran a few miles of the section north towards Lake Co Demo Forest this afternoon - nice trail, some rolling hills and a few rocky sections



About a mile in along the new trail heading south from Rossini Rd - nice wooded trail with a soft surface - reminded me of the section north of Sawbill, around the base of Britton Peak



Despite all the trees... in the interest of saving toenails... not a root in sight...



Well, except for this beauty...



Some nice overlooks...



The trail doesn't climb much in this section but the road in does so it's quite high up hence the lake view.



We had a debate over this tree - beech (which would be unusual in this area, apparently) or ironwood - I have no idea so I took a picture.



Some boardwalks...



And a beaver pond. Albeit an abandoned one...



Last big run before Grandma's...


Before heading to the trail this morning I got out for a 12mi run along the course - started at mile 15, ran to mile 9 and turned around. Started around 6:30am - it was still very cool so I wore a longsleeve over my vest. I'm assuming it will be warmer on race day but I might go with my arm-warmers. I had planned to start out at just under 7:30's as my current plan for the race is to start with the 3:15 pace group which will be a 7:26 pace - so I figured I'd simulate the first few miles of the race. Well, I hope I didn't do that since I started out with 7:05's... slowed down a bit but then everytime I started to concentrate on form, tight core, aligned pelvis, shorter stride, landing on mid-foot etc - I would automatically speed up. Good, but then, not good. Averaged 7:12 for the first 5, had taken a gel at mile 4, had water stashed at the turnaround, and then took 2 clif bloks at around mile 8. Sped up in the last few miles trying to stay close to 7:00's or below, to average 7:06 overall. With a 6:30 final mile. Which hurt. A lot. Which is EXACTLY how I want to finish the race :)


Sat in Lake Superior for a few minutes after I got done. It was f-r-r-r-e-e-z-i-n-g, my feet could only stand 10 second intervals so I held them up while trying to cool off my hamstrings. The left in particular has been really tight. I really need to get in for a massage in the next few days...

So, the training, such as it was for the past few months, is over. And now the taper. I'll run a few easy miles over the weekend and a few fast ones Monday night. And then nothing. And we shall see...

2 comments:

nwgdc said...

I'm excited! Well, trying to control it during this last week, but still giddy about getting up there. I'll definitely see you in Two Harbors...I mean, there aren't even 10,000 people this year, so we're BOUND to run into each other.
Look for the blaze yellow :)

Karen G said...

That is so nice of you giving up your free time to work on the trail- You are so generous!!!
Good Luck at Grandma's!!!

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