Clay road running (and Monday)
SUnday I ran the clay road again. I had not been back there since March 2013.
It’s one of my favorite places to run. It’s quieter than the West Orange Trail, and the air is super fresh and clean. It’s off the beaten path enough that still feels a bit like a secret that only a few know about. Plus it’s soft and Hills.
There are a few flat spots in the 9.8 mile loop, but really it is mostly rollers.
This Sunday it had rained, so the clay was either packed down nicely, or super mushy- depending on which part of the road you were on.
I left my Ipod at home. I so wanted to enjoy this. My usual nutrition was out (I spilled most of the powder in my gym bag.) so I tried something called Fast-Twitch.
Well, it was a bit of a wake up call. Mushy clay is harder to run on than asphalt. So I had to take my time expectations down, and pay a bit more attention to my foot placement. The clay always feels so great to my legs when I’m in the middle of a the build weeks. (This week was 29 miles, the week we are in now is about 30-31 ish.)
When I started I saw a group of runners ahead of me, just flying up the hills. I had a memory of my first run out here. I ran with 2 other ladies, and they essentially dropped me and I ran on my own. So not the best situation ever. I mulled over that situation for a bit, and then remembered my New Year’s run out here when I totally underdressed (You can do that in Florida in January!) and froze all my bits to bits. Then I remembered my 17 miles on the clay…with a strange man I had met at a Ragnar. Yes, it was essentially one very long hot and sweaty date. My coach felt so bad for me when I told him the story, but I was glad that I got in a 17 mile run, and now knew that was NOT the man for me. The Clay has definitely been a part of my life.
Today I was in luck as it was overcast. By the time I mulled over all those memories, I was at about mile 3/4 and it was silent. So silent that I could hear my shorts brush against each other as I ran up yet another hill.
At about mile 4-6 there starts to be some hills with very mushy earth. I started to really focus on my footing and I felt like I was hopping from area to area. At mile 6 there is a nice descent which I tried to take advantage of. It was very nice for about 1/2 a mile and then suddenly my quads were super not happy.
I continued on…By mile 8 I was in the home stretch- and almost out of Fast Twitch. I started to feel kind of “Twitchy” That stuff is too caffeinated for me! Whoo! At mile 9 I passed an older guy who I had seen earlier walking. He smiled at me and said, “Hey you made it.” I grinned and we talked about the clay for a bit. I then huffed off to my car where I needed to take some deep breaths due to the Fast Twitch.
I was really happy with the run. My time wasn’t fantastic, but it was totally within the realm of normal for that run.
Sadly. That afternoon I started to note a familiar ache in my left ankle. This is what plagued my Bayshore training. What is funny is that both my coach and I thought spending time on the clay was really good for the ankle. I’m starting to see that it may have actually been quite BAD for it. He might have noted that too because I got a quick email from him last night saying, “don’t overdo the clay” so…I guess it isn’t my go to run, which is unfortunate.
My current plan is to ask for a membership for my birthday, to the Fl State parks systems, as we have a great one right near the clay…which has both asphalt and Hammock trail. I do not think I can bear an entire summer on the West Orange Rail trail again…
So alas…my foot/ankle today do not feel improved, but….I feel like I got a good workout anyway and learned a few things.
So Monday: I totally screwed up! I had a 2000 yd swim. I got 1700. I got to the gym with no goggles. I live close , but going home, re-greeting Teulu the wonder dog etc, ate up some time. Still 1700 isn’t awful. Also had thyroid check done this morning to see if we can master my hair problem…we’ll see.
If my calculations are correct this is week 3 of the build and next week I am due a rest week. I so crave this, so I hope I am right!!!