For the past 10 days "rest" has been my main training activity, in preparation for today's 50k (31+ miler) --- the first venture I've attempted into real trail running and into distances beyond the 26.2 miles of a marathon. Brief notes, adapted from my posts to Brian Tresp's running blog http://www.sprintbare.com/run:
(Thursday 18 March) 4+ miles, 44 minutes --- including a blazing 8:13 (!) middle mile along Rock Creek Trail (between the 2.25 and 1.25 mile marks). Since at the last minute I made it into the HAT Run (#398 of 400!) my mission for the next 10 days is to avoid injury, get plenty of rest, ready my mind, and perhaps do the MCRRC 10k on Saturday at a comfortable pace with Comrade Ken ...
Today it's pleasantly cool, with a light late-afternoon drizzle ... emergent crocuses ... soccer teams practicing on Ray's Meadow Park fields ... and the Authorities have done some excellent work on the initial segment of the Georgetown Branch Trail, miles ~0.4-0.8: good grading, additional gravel, and well-packed grit to replace the corrugated mud-ruts which heretofore have occupied that zone.
(Saturday 20 March) MCCC http://www.montgomerycoinclub.org/ buddy Ken jogged the MCRRC http://www.mcrrc.org/ ""Piece of Cake" 10k this morning with me at a comfortable ~11 minutes/mile pace, finishing in ~68 minutes ... near-perfect weather ... ducks on the lake, geese by the road, and a turkey vulture eyeing us hopefully from above ... welcome orange slices at mile 4 ... plus friendly fellow runners, including some amazingly fast ones ... and plenty of good munchies at the end of the race.
I had marshalled my excuses beforehand: incipient head cold, twisted ankle on Thursday night, stiff knee, wet gloves, generalized malaise, new hypertension meds, desperate need to rest up before the HAT Run, etc., etc. --- but KS didn't let me get away with any of that! Our splits for the first 5 miles were 10:21, 10:36, 11:23, 11:13, 11:13 ... then Ken picked up the pace for the final 1.214 mile home stretch. Felt good!
(Saturday 27 March) My first ultra today: 7h34m finish for the 50k HAT Run http://www.hatrun.com/ in Susquehanna State Park, northern Maryland. HAT = "Hinte-Anderson Trail", named for the organizers of the race; prizes include nice hats. Food and services were excellent, participants were friendly and helpful, and the course was hilly and challenging with many stream crossings plus considerable mud from rains that fell before and during the event.
Detailed report to follow in a few days ...