Saturday, July 5, 2008

Grindstone Training, Week #3, June 30-July 6th: Sand dune repeats!


A beach vacation is a perfect opportunity for a recovery week. I went to the beach the week after WS100 and Highland Sky 40 for the past three years, and this year, a cut-back week from 100-mile training was in order. Granted, I have only been seriously training for Grindstone for a few weeks, but no matter: I knew the rest of July was going to have some big, hot miles, so I took advantage of this lazy week at the beach with my family to throw away the training program and run when I felt like it, about 35 miles (instead of the prescribed 75). If there is anything I have learned in the past 6 years of ultra training, it is to be flexible, especially when it comes to spending time with family. So, here is what the week looked like:

Monday, June 30: Day Off. Slept in, checked out the ocean, started reading the first of my three books (Back When We Were Grownups by Anne Tyler). Drank a yummy Margarita.

Tuesday, July 1: am: Ran 7+ miles with my friend Hallie from Charlottesville. We lamented the lack of hills and boring-ness of the flat beach roads, and the big horse flies that followed us on the dune buggy trails. Thankfully we had each other for company!
pm: Ran 3+ miles to and from the pool, accompanied by my niece and daughter on their bikes and my son who is in training for cross-country season...fun!

Wednesday, July 2: Slept in. Tired from a full day at the beach, watching the Olympic Trails in swimming (go Dara Torres!), drinking margaritas on the porch, and reading my second book, Disappearance: A Meditation On Death and Loss in the High Latitudes by Sheila Nickerson.

Thursday, July 3: 8+ miles with Hallie. The air quality down here, while nothing compared to what's happening in Northern California, is very poor because of an underground peat fire inland, burning since June 1. It makes running a chore. But later in the day we climbed Jockey's Ridge (pictured above). This is a family tradition for many folks that for us dates back to when Rusty and I were at UVA, coming down to Nags Head for SGGL gigs and beach week. Our kids love climbing up and bombing down, over and over.

Friday, July 4: Killer Dunes 2-mile race at Jockey's Ridge. I signed up for this on a total whim. The flatness and the roads were getting to me...I needed a mountain to climb! This race, first run in 2006 with 30 starters, boasted 120 this year. I ran a warm-up loop, the race loop at 10-minute-per mile pace, which was really HARD (HR in the 160 range), and a cool down loop, for a total of six miles. I am not sure how much climb was involved, but we had at least three big climbs each loop in soft sand. I was passed in the last half mile by a young beach lifeguard. Bummer.

On the way home, I checked out Nags Head Woods for future runs. Looks like a great place with beautiful trails.

Saturday, July 5th: 12 miles on the beach road. Hot, windy, flat, many cars. I don't know how the Badwater runners do it. My hat is off to them. I miss my shady and cool mountain trails! I recovered in the p.m. finishing my third book, Don't Let's Go To The Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller, which is amazing, amazing.

Sunday, July 6: Rest day, drove home, unpacked. A wonderful week with family and friends!! I feel rested and ready to tackle the next three weeks! Neal Jamison has posted some of the big Gstone runs we have planned on his blog.

1 comment:

Andrew Speidel said...

Hi Sophie,
This afternoon at lunch I ran into an ultra runner, Adam Schmidt. He works at the local running shop, Bob Roncker's. Anyway, I mentioned you were a big ultra-runner in VA, and he recognized the name, then proceeded to show me a scar from the Holiday Lake 50K, for which he received an award from Dave Horton for the "Best Blood".
Pretty cool!
Best,
Andy