Building confidence

IMG_1621Your contribution helps us celebrate!

Pete’s been busy building up his fitness for Superior 100. Here are a few recent workout highlights.

April 25th: This weekend was a big training milestone at East Fork State Park.

This was the first weekend where lots of different flowers, ground cover, andIMG_1623 leaves on trees really started to show, and it was gorgeous! There were flowers everywhere. It’s amazing how different the same landscape can look in the course of a few weeks–still lifeless and open in early April, and rich and enclosing to the point of solitude in late April.My schedule called for 5 1/2 hours on Saturday, and another 2:50 on Sunday.

The days are starting to get warmer, which also means dreaded higher humidity on days like today. Runners can compensate for heat, but not really for humidity, as IMG_1622they can’t cool down easily in humid weather. That means that core temperature rises, and eventually that means slowing down. It wasn’t too bad today, but I definitely struggled some towards the end. My legs are feeling good and strong, but it will take time to get my “heat and humidity” training up to speed.

Luckily, my recovery was great overnight, and my long run on Sunday with the neighborhood gang was a breeze. I even had enough energy to take Ryan and a friend hiking that afternoon at the Cincinnati Nature Center. This was a great mental boost, with only one more big training weekend before the big warmup challenge, the 70 miles of Laurel Highlands!

May 2nd: Back at Mt Airy Forest for an “easy” Saturday, which was about 12 hilly miles. Today, I finally ran all the way up the Stone Steps without stopping! I also ran the creek again, my new favorite route. A great outing with perfect weather.

May 9th: Once again, blessed with super weather, cool and low humidity. I started out early as part of a 3 hour outing, and encountered a beautiful painted turtle in the middle of the trail. Then, to my great surprise, I ran into a ginormous wild turkey. He was seriously big enough to feed a small village for Thanksgiving. What a delightful sight to see!

For the 2nd hour, I managed to finally meet up with new friends Pat, Dave, and organizer Steve of the Greater Cincinnati Trail Runners, who are a loose-knit bunch of ultra and trail enthusiasts in the area. They all turned out to be great company and ran about km100-kettlethe same pace as I did–except for youngster Dave, who I couldn’t keep up with but was nice enough to stop and wait for us old-timers at key junctions. I learned that Pat and Steve are taking on ultras in June as well as me, the challenging Kettle Moraine race in Wisconsin. Pat is attempting the 50K, while Steve is going for 100K (62 miles). I again managed Stone Steps, and also Gummy Bear x2, all without stopping or walking.

These were 3 great weekends, and I am feeling stronger and more confident about all of this!

 

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Georgia on my mind

Your contribution helps us celebrate!

Pete’s been busy building up his fitness for Superior 100. In the next few days, we will post a few recent workout highlights.

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March 28th: Straight from Utah to Georgia–we got a chance to celebrate one of Lori’s family member’s birthdays this weekend in south central Georgia. This was really fun, a chance to hang out with the family at a backwoods cabin next to the Flint River, complete with canoeing, cornhole, and a campfire for the kids (and, ahem, adults too).

This was also a great chance to try my luck at the Georgia trails. My brother-in-law Ben has become a fine marathon runner in the past few years, and now he is interested in trail running. He didn’t need much convincing to head over with to Pine Mountain State Park early one morning to see what we could do. Pine Mountain is famous for a number of things–it is next door to the “Little White House” where Franklin D. Roosevelt soothed his polio-wracked body in local warm springs during his presidency. It’s also the home to Callaway Gardens, a well known golf and nature resort.

While that’s all great, what I was interested in today was the park’s terrific Pine Mountain Trail, which is 23 miles of bliss that is the home of the renowned Pine Mountain Trail Ultra, hosted by the incomparable Georgia Ultra and Trail Society (GUTS). I’d run a few miles of this trail before and remembered it as gorgeous and challenging, so we set out to explore.

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Ben and I found the perfect trail–hilly and meandering with a few climbs to keep the heart rate up, but nothing crazy. We encountered stretches of silent pine forest with a bed of pine needles on the trail that felt like running on soft pillows. This was broken up by a few ravines, where we descended into darkly forested creeks, with waterfalls and lush undergrowth everywhere. These had a mysterious and primeval feel to them. On occasion, we also ran into drier and rockier sections that were technical enough to keep us scanning the ground for potential trip hazards.

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This was Ben’s longest trail run ever–we ended up going 10 pretty fast miles–but he not only did admirably with the difficult terrain, he was kicking my butt by the end. Maybe, just maybe, I’ve convinced him to help pace my at Superior this fall. That would be amazing! Thanks for the company, buddy!

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If you get a chance to get to this off-beat destination, it is highly recommended, a true Georgia jewel.