Weekend of Courses

Thinking about getting back into the swing of endurance I decided that I might as well go over the courses for a couple of upcoming races.  Check out headfirstperformance.com to get more details on these races or to register.

On Friday Steven Zehnder and I set out to complete the course for the 3rd race in the Shelbyville Triathlon Series that will take place on April 9th.

The swim of course is just the same as any indoor pool swim.  The water is 82 degrees and wet.  There are no major hills.  What else is there to say.  There were only 2 open lanes so we used them both to practice going under the lane lines at the end of every lap of the pool.  Although it was only my third time in a pool in over a year it seems kind of a waste of time to change your clothes just to swim 400yds.

After we left the pool we jumped on our bikes to check out the bike course.  For those that have done the first two races, it is important to note that the bike course is different for race 3.  On the good side you get to see more of Shelby County and there is more varied terrain.  The negative of the course is that there are a couple of intersections that require more caution than on the first 2 races.

Bike3Map

Overall the course is in great shape.  There were no major potholes.  The mild winter weather helped in that regard.  There was also no areas with lots of gravel or other debris.  Unless we have a major rain this week that washes out driveways we should be golden for next weekend.  I will have a broom handy when marking the course just in case.

Bike3Elevation

The run is the same 5K as the last race.  There are a few rolling hills in the first half mile of the run followed by a half mile of flat to very slightly downhill.  Around .8 or .9 you will take a right into a gravel parking lot to get onto the paved bike trail.  As soon as you hit this bike trail there is a nice downhill followed by a narrow bridge across the creek.  Be carefull and respectfull of those heading the other way on this bridge.  The final half mile to the turn around isflat and fast.  he course is out and back, so I won’t give any details on the return trip other than to say that nice downhill I mentioned on the way out is not so nice of an uphill on the way back..

5KMap

5KElevation

On Sunday Cynthia and I ventured to Otter Creek to run the course for the Otter Night Run on May 27th.  This is a great race where you can run distances ranging from 8.5 miles to almost 35 miles.  There is also great camping, storytelling, cooking out, and some adult beverages.

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For the first loop we stayed on course so I could post some data for all of you that care about that stuff.  After that we ran, took photos, explored, and had a great day.  In the end we covered 20 miles.

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If you have never ran at Otter Creek.  It is a great trail.  For the average runner there are only one or two hills you may consider walking.  The rest of the course is very runnable.  I don’t consider myself in the best of shape yet, but could more than likely run the entire loop once.  If I knew there were a second loop coming I would need to walk a couple of hills, each lap.  For those that may have done any races at Jefferson Memorial this trail is mush easier.

CourseMap

Elevation

You could not ask for a better day to be out running these trails.  The weather was perfect.  Flowers were blooming all along the course and it is early enough in the year where weeds were not hanging over the trail.  Much of the trail runs along Otter Creek and the Ohio River.  There were many folks out fishing and families just enjoying the day.  This was the best day of running I have had in years.  Following it up with Mexican food, a trip to the hydro massage bed at the gym, and then some ice cream just made it that much better.

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LLTH Training Run

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After a year of not running at all I started back less than a month ago.  Running about 5 miles a day comfortably with a long run of 6.  Doing a little on the trails, but mostly on the roads.

Cynthia had planned a training runs for Lovin The Hills this weekend.  She then had to go to South Carolina on Saturday.  She encouraged me to do the training run on Sunday.  I was informed it was only 16 miles so it should be no problem.  Did I mention 6 miles on the road was my longest run?

To make things better the weather was forecast was calling for rain on Sunday as well as the previous several days.  It was going to be muddy and I had no trail shoes.  The situation looked better all the time.

I decided that I better get prepared.  Even if I couldn’t finish the run I wasn’t going to have any excuses.  I went out and bought a pair of trail shoes and dug a vest out at the barn.  I had not worn it in several years.  For your information If you store your stuff in a dairy barn do not leave anything in a pocket or a mouse will eat a hole in the pocket to get to it.

After I got everything together on Saturday it was raining so I decided to give everything a try.  I did 5 miles on the trails in Shelbyville.  New shoes seemed to have good traction and feel well on the feet.  The vest still held water.  I was as ready as I was going to get.

Sunday morning I got up, put water out for everyone and then went to the start.  The  parking lot was full when I got there.  If you are going to fail there is nothing better than having a large group of people there to see.  At least it wasn’t raining and the temperature was nice.

I said a few words to the group and then we headed out.  Everyone was still packed up for the first few miles so the pace was fairly easy.  Good for me lots of uphill in those first few miles.  Then the pack started thinning out and the pace picked up a little.  I was running mid pack and feeling pretty good at this point.

We arrived at the end of Siltstone Trail and I had to make a decision to either turn around or do Scott’s Gap.  I was not feeling especially intelligent so I decided on the Scott’s Gap Loop.  At the end of the loop we stopped to refuel.  I had a Payday, one of my favorite running foods.  I was excited that that I was still feeling good and ready for the last 6 and a half miles.

With a little over 3 miles to go Jonathon  Amlung picked up the pace and I went with him. That was great for about 1.5 and then I started feeling it.  The last 1.5 got a little tough, but I got through it.

In the end it was a great day with great people running a beautiful trail.  It was also a lesson learned.  Never underestimate your abilities.  You never know what you are capable of until you try