Sunday, August 21, 2011

Bushwacking at Lake McMurtry.

OTRA made a little road trip to Lake McMurtry in Stillwater, OK on Saturday for our long run which is about a 1.5 hour drive from home.  I was looking forward to this all week! McMurtry holds a special place in my heart since it's where I ran my first ultra
We decided to be there by 6:30 am to try and beat the heat.  According to the forecast, the high for Saturday was 105 degrees.  Ick! (Please fall, get here early!)

After just 2 minutes of hitting the trail we knew we were going to be in for some slow running. Recent storms had left the trails in really bad shape.  Downed trees, limbs and debris all over the trails.  In some places it was hard to even see if you were on the trail!  To make it even more difficult, our extremely hot and dry summer had caused the trees to prematurely go dormant and drop their leaves, so in places we were running in deep leaves, sticks and branches. 

Clearing the trail? Or goofing off.. 

Lots of this.
Trail blocked again.
Finding ways around the downed trees.
If you look close you can see Don trying to make it through.
But, in typical OTRA fashion we had a great time.  :)  I had planned for 16-18 miles but had to stop at 13 and call it good.  The temps were nearing 100 degrees and I'd let myself run out of water and get pretty dehydrated on the last loop.  We soaked in the lake, changed clothes and drove into Stillwater for some lunch.  All of us (especially Don!) have some pretty impressive scratches and scrapes to show for our bushwacking trail run.  Even with all the storm damage out there, I love those trails.  Can't wait to go back in April for Lake McMurtry Trail Race!

And as a side note, thanks Ken for all the awesome trail markings from the last was the only way we were able to keep from getting lost!  Amazing to see all those big huge trees uprooted and huge limbs all over the ground, yet see a paper plate with "Tell Pat hi and wish her a happy birthday!" still looking like brand new on the tree before the aid station!  We were thanking and blessing you every time we spotted a pink ribbon or arrow pointing our way!  :) 

All in all, I got in some good training for Do-Wacka-Do which is 3 weeks away.  Still undecided on which distance I'll do, the 25K or the 50K. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

25K or 50K..that is the question

Soooooo glad to see some sub 100 degree days starting to make appearances.  It's been a rough summer here in Oklahoma.  Record breaking heat with day after day of 110+ degree temps.  As a person who is not fond of the heat, it's been rough .'s mid August and the end is in sight!  :)  

I'm now starting week 5 of training for Palo Duro 50K.  To get through the first few very hot weeks of training I had to rely on doing all of my runs early.  Really really early! As in 4:45 am early.  And surprisingly, I enjoyed them!  Could be that a leopard can change it's spots, since not only do I not enjoy hot temps but I've never been a morning runner either.  And now I am!  It's quiet, the stars are bright and beautiful and I get to spend a little quality time with Ladybird.  It's really been the only time I can possibly run.  By 9:00 am it's over 90 degrees outside and it wasn't dropping below 100 degrees until after 10:00 pm.  Crazy!  So ya do what ya gotta do.

Running with my girl

Thankfully, I am feeling good and running strong. (!)  Running about 30-34 miles a week and although I can still feel the ever present ITB tightness and hip bursitis, it seems to be gradually diminishing.  I'm seeing a chiropractor regularly as well as keeping on top of my nutrition, stretching and hip strengthening exercises.   Since I am feeling good I am considering bumping up from the 25K next month at Do-Wacka-Do to the 50K and using the race as a training run for Palo Duro 50K in October.  I need a 22 mile training run that day and my reasoning is that I could run the 22 miles and then run/walk the remaining 9-10 miles and take it easy.  Thoughts anyone? 

I'm getting so excited for fall races and cooler weather that I can hardly stand it...fall fever is a real thing! And I have it!