Saturday, April 12, 2014

Week of March 31st - April 6th, 2014

0mi.  My body is really stiff today. 

6mi/45min in Pisgah with Griffin.  Nice sunny day, 47 degrees F.  The trails are absolutely as bad as they get right now:  lot's of snow, ice, slush, ice bridges, running water, standing water, and mud.  (The mud is the best surface to run on).  It was still nice to be out in the gorgeous spring weather.  I wore shorts and short sleeves.  Good yoga session after the run.

Am:  1mi + Circuits with Fit Club.  Really fun, tough circuit.  The kids looked wiped after it!
Pm:  5mi/37min in Pisgah with Griffin.  Yikes the trails are just awful but the weather was fantastic, 55 degrees F and sunny.  I scooted down to the beaver pond and just sat there for a while, soaking in the sunshine and beautiful view.  I wanted to run longer, but the trails just suck.  I can't wait until they're snow/ice free.

5mi/35min in Pisgah with Griffin.  I ran home from school, grabbed Griff and headed out for a short run.  Nice weather, but the trails are a mess.  I can't will myself to run longer in those conditions.

4mi/26min in Pisgah with Griffin.  Lifted weights.

15mi*/1:38 - Big River Trail Half Marathon - 1:27:44 - 1st place.
I drove down with Boj the morning of the race.  I was excited to race here because I've heard such good things about the course. I've only run here once or twice in the past.  At the start, a guy with a handheld bottle sprinted to the lead.  He had on Julbo shades and I think a LaSportiva singlet.  He was lean and wiry and had the look of a serious competitor.  (Carrying the handheld made me think that maybe he wasn't that experienced, however).  He lead for a little while but I passed him after about 3 min of racing.  I started to push my lead with Jackman now in 2nd place.  I was enjoying the twisty, rolling single track and I extended my lead on Bob and the rest of the field.  Soon, I was no longer able to see Bob when I glanced back on the turns.  My gap felt pretty sizeable for being early in the race.  I came to an intersection with no flagging, and I headed left, up the hill.  I started to slow down as I saw no flagging.  I felt like I was going the correct way as it was the most obvious route, but I slowed even more.  Finally, I got to a house and could still see no markings, so I turned around and started running back.  I wasn't running very long when Bob and Steve Brightman came running towards me telling me I was still on course.  I jumped behind Bob since he knew the course.  We ran by the house I turned around at and the parking lot seemed like it came up only 30 seconds later.  Damn.  I pounded 2 gatorades at the aid station and jumped back on Bob's heels.  I would stay here for the next 9miles.  I was afraid of going off course again, and Bob knew where he was going and thus my new strategy was born. 

We quickly pulled away from Brightman after the aid station.  Bob was really hammering, especially the downhills.  He is a monster on the descents.  My lower back is pretty tight and sore this morning as I type this, and I think I have Bob to thank for that.  The course twisted and turned, crossed wet areas and streams, and continued to rise and fall many times.  Each descent was the same as the last, Bob hammering at a very uncomfortable pace.  I took a gel at 45min and then another one at 55min.  I just felt like I wanted to be well fueled for the long (for me currently) race and the late start time.  My second gel exploded all over my hands.  I had to lick my hands to get the gel off and then my fingers were sticking to my palm.  I've never had that happen before in a race.

 I began to really get tired after about an hour of racing.  My legs were just getting fatigued.  I started to tell myself to just hang with Bob until 1:20 and then try to go by him.  We reached 1:20, and I was too tired to pass.  We saw 3 deer and I was going to say something about chasing them down for food, but instead I just grunted to Bob, "deer".  He grunted back, "yup".  That's about as chatty as you can be 12miles into a tough race. A little bit later,  I was following close to Bob and couldn't see a root and I went down hard.  He got a 3 second gap on me, but I reeled him back in pretty quickly.  We emptied out onto a dirt road and I felt like the finish must be close.  I surged by him as we entered back onto the single track.  I opened up a small gap.  My legs immediately complained to me that they were too tired and I thought that Bob might catch me and pass me.  I dug down and was able to hang on for the win with Bob finishing really closely behind me.  It was very satisfying to get the win.  Bob is a tough competitor and racing him for 9mi will make this one memorable for me.  He definitely made me earn the win.  Jonny and Bentley came racing in to the finish 2min after us and it sounds like they had a similar race as Bob and me.  Fun times post race, swapping stories.  Kudos to Mike Galoob for hosting another awesome event.

7mi/56min in Pisgah with Griffin.  Nice and slow recovery run.  Legs not sore at all, just a little sluggish.  My lower back is tight.  Sunny cool weather.

Total for the week:
43mi - Good week.  My mileage is low, but it should start to climb up once the trails finally are snow free.  I'm happy to win at Big River.


  1. Thanks for the scouting report on the trails in Pisgah. I was thinking of having the distance crew run there this weekend, but we'll wait for better conditions!

  2. Nice write up, and congrats on the win! Good to see you guys come down for the race. Just dropped my entry in the mail on Friday for the Pisgah 23K race, looking forward to it!

    1. Thanks, Crutch! Good race! I'm pumped to hear you'll be running Pisgah.

  3. Great to see you winning races again! Sounds like you ran smart after the stolen flag debacle. Thanks for making the trek down. We'll need your hat size for the Triple Crown...

  4. Good read on your take of the race, Greg. I think most of us can relate to race conversations being limited to a single word here and there. Nice job winning it when your reserves sounded pretty low.

  5. Awesome write-up and race, Greg. I was laughing at the thought of you licking the gel off your hand. Congrats on the win in the hard-fought battle with Jackman.

  6. Nice race! It's funny that Bob used a similar strategy with me last year (letting me lead him through the first 8 miles he wasn't familiar with then blowing by me). Thanks for getting him back. That's what brothers are for.

    1. Getting me back huh?! I will remember that!! :)

  7. Congrats on your Big River victory! See you at the Beaver race.

  8. Thanks guys! Jonny, that's what brothers do! ;)

  9. Congrats Greg! Glad to see you're back on track after the knee. BTW, I just wanted you to know that when I'm hitting my stride on the trails, your blog picture is how I envision myself. Feet flying and completely on auto-pilot knowing instinctively where to go. Arms pumping. Head up looking for the next root, rock, branch or bend in the trail... Look out at Pisgah! I'm gonna be right on your tail ..LOL... at least, until the first hill. :)