Sunday, August 4, 2013

Running, Swimming, and Biking, Just Like a Triathlete (sort of)

Yipee, I'm finally back in good enough shape for running to be enjoyable again! Scout and I did back to back Saturday and Sunday hill workouts from our cabin in Vermont. The route consists of an out and back on remote dirt roads starting with a steep down hill mile followed by a flattish half mile then a steady uphill mile to the turn around, then back home. I have never been able to run the entire thing without walking some of the steeper sections, but this weekend I was able to run it all both days! My favorite thing about this route is that the steady uphill mile is on a rough double track with grass growing in the middle with no houses or vehicle traffic on it and its called Town Highway 23. Who knew running on a highway could be so enjoyable?

On Saturday's run, Scout and I had a little mishap. Northeast Vermont has had a lot of severe summer storms and the rivers are high and the roads are washed out in places. The route Scout and I run takes us across the (usually) peaceful and calm Flower Brook twice. On our second crossing Saturday, Scout stepped onto what he believed was solid ground but was actually washed out road with a thin covering of Juniper branches. He fell headfirst about 4 feet down into the brook, which was about 5 or 6 feet deep in that spot with a strong current. Scout didn't come up into view for a few moments, so I jumped in after him. He came bobbing up beside me and tried to crawl back up where he had fallen in, which was impossible because the banking was very steep there. I shoved him downstream toward shallow water and he found his way out and back up to the road. I fumbled around a bit and dragged myself out. Somehow, he blamed me for the entire ordeal and refused to go near me for the rest of the day. By Sunday he had forgotten all about it...except for when we approached the washout on our Sunday run. He made a very wide birth around the spot and sprinted a bit to get away from it.

Friday, Kevin and I had an epic Kingdom Trails ride. We covered 25 hilly miles of single track. We started on the trails that are a little technically and physically challenging for me (Pound Cake, Fenceline, Pasture Point, and Coronary). They get easier and easier each time as my skills and stamina get better, but those trails still keep me on my toes. Coronary isn't technically difficult, but it's a killer climb. Once those were over with, I just relaxed and enjoyed myself for the rest of the ride. A few places were a little slick, but all in all the trails were in great condition. It felt good finishing on exhausted legs. We really earned that evening's steak and beer!

Next week I will run my 7th MMD, looking for my 6th finish. I'm not really physically prepared for a run of that distance over that amount of elevation gain, but I can do it if I put my mind to it.

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