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Another series of back to back long runs

Posted October 2nd, 2011 at 11:14 PM by Black Spurs

I have never been a morning bowhunter, or rifle hunter for that matter. I seldom see deer in the morning. Thus, the sun peaking over the trees on October 1st didn't make me regret that I was filling up a Camelbak with water and putting on trail shoes rather than hunting boots. I haven't done much bowhunting the last couple of years anyway. I guess I stepped off at about 6:30 Saturday morning on a 3 hour trail run. I had a 3 hour and 4 hour run scheduled for the weekend, which should yield a Sunday to Sunday total of 90 miles. Ninety miles in that span is pretty good for me, pretty good for anybody who has a job, wife, kids, etc.

I wasn't sure about the first loop, so I just took off up the powerline to the gravel road and headed down to the river. I had never run this particular course, but I have hunted it often during turkey season. I managed to make my way along the river at a pretty quick pace, shortening my stride to get by roots and ruts in the trail. It is fun to run like that because you have to be focused. I had no music, just my feet in the leaves, my breathing, my heart, the birds, and that beautiful Tickfaw River. The north end of the Tickfaw has not been destroyed like that Amite River. Sand bars are naturally occurring, not manmade as the result of gravel boat tailings being pumped into the river. I could run that loop all day long. I made it back to the truck and did the loop the opposite way before crossing the gravel road and heading into another area I know quite well, the hardwood bottom. I fought banana spiders in there for a long way on the trail, which slowed me down to a crawl. Eventually, I crossed the powerline again and headed through some planted pines and the long stretch of trail to the northern edge of the property. I saw four turkeys when I diverted off the trail to check a food plot. I was looking for them.

I made the same loop another time and saw 3 does. I came out with about 16 miles. I guess it could have been 17, but I know that one loop is 6.2 and the added section I did first was about 2 miles. I finished in 3:03 or 11:30 per mile. A slow run, but trails are generally slower. And that was a good run.

This afternoon, I was scheduled for 20 miles or 4 hours. I figured it would workout to be 20 miles in about 3:45, which is close enough. I ended up finishing the 20 miles in 3:37, which came out to 10:54 per mile. The trail I ran today was on the hunting lease, so I am familiar with it. The run today was pretty uneventful. I did see a huge owl and a bunch of rabbitts. Other than that, it was just a fun run.

All in all, things are coming together quite nicely. I kept my electrolyte levels within an acceptable range with Powerade and Thermotabs; I kept my carbs in check with boiled potatoes, crackers, M&M's, and the Powerade has plenty of sugar. I would say that I am in shape for a respectable 50 mile to a 100K race, but I still have a lot of work to do to be ready for a 100 miler without suffering through the last 40 miles. Well, you are going to suffer no matter how fit you are. But, the level of suffering during the event can be reduced with some suffering and planning now. I was 4.5 miles off my Sunday to Sunday goal, but I didn't get as far as I had planned on Saturday's run. It doesn't make much difference, 85.5 is plenty for me at this point. I may try to squeeze in one or two 90 mile weeks in 7 days during the Christmas break.
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