Saturday, October 23, 2010

Running Duvall's Way -- Umstead Run: 10/23

Umstead Saturday is the highlight of my exercise week.  I look forward to it every week and think about it all the time.  I just really like running in that park, maybe because it reminds me of everything I liked about growing up in West Virginia or it could just be that it good to get a way from the city streets for an hour or two.  It doesn't really matter why I love it so much, what matter is that I have found a place where I enjoy running.  I am still running the loop portion of the Company Mill Trail, but there are several other trails, which I could run once I get tired of this trail or distance.  For now the company mill trail is just fine, and now that I have found the stopwatch feature on my i-pod, I can keep my times and compare them from week to week.

This week's run was a few seconds off from last week, which 42:36.4  I did the same course in 42:47.1 this week, which I am really very pleased with because I felt like I was struggling much more this week.  I was fighting the trail a lot more during the second half of the run.  There were a combination of reasons why: my left quad was feeling a little tight (my left leg is a constant source of problems), the light through the trees and the leaves on the ground made it difficult to see or stay on the trail at times, and I was feeling a little dehydrated from all of the stomach issues that I had this week.  However, what pleased my about this run is that I recognized that I was not running nearly as strong as I did the week before and was able to adjust the way I ran.  It was like that scene in Days of Thunder (yes I know it is Tog Gun in race cars, but it is on TV all the time and will suck you in nearly as much as The Poseidon Adventure) where Robert Duvall's
character lets Cole Trickle drive so many mile his own way then has him drive his way and they compare times.  Of course Duvall's way produces a better time and doesn't melt the tires.  Well today I ran Duval's way, I picked my spots to open it up and run faster, and I did much better about conserving energy on the hills.  I wasn't forced to stop running, and never really felt like I needed to think about walking.  I would really like to get to the point where I an produce a good time through running efficiently because I could feel a big difference this week from last week.  When I finished last week I was beat, I was taking in monster deep breaths and a bit dizzy and was incapable of continuing, but this week I felt much better.  I was winded but recovered quickly -- a lot faster than I did the week before.  I hope that if I can learn how to run a smart race that I can produce a better time by running smart for the majority of the race and then have enough energy left to really unwind it at the end.  Anyhow, even though I never was really comfortable in this run I feel great about the outcome, which is a great way to end a difficult week!


  1. That IS a great way to end a week! I've never seen Days of Thunder but that raises a great point: Ever thought about using a running coach?

    Someone around here blogs about a virtual running coach. Another thing to look into as I approach my first marathon.

  2. Irene, I haven't given the running coach idea much tought at this point, but I have started going to a runnning group in hopes of learning more about how to run. And, I just got my frist issue of Runner's World to go along with all of the blogs that I have been reading. At some point I might give it some thought when I start going for the longer distances.

    Days of Thunder isn't really one of those movies that you need to see. If you have netflix instant, it is rainy (which since you are in so-cal, I doubt it will happen any time soon) or you're not feeling good, and you really want to watch a cheesey Tom Cruise movie, it will do.