Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Training (and Fun) Heats Up!

There's nothing like June weather in DC. Mother nature loves to remind us that she holds all the power in terms of how good we'll feel on our runs during this time of year. Just when you think you've acclimated to the 90 degree temps, she throws a blanket of sticky humidity on top of you just for laughs. There's no easing into your heat/humidity training this month, it's simply time to jump right in and suffer for a couple weeks. Lucky for me, I have some fun running plans in the near future to keep smiling through all the swampy air!

This weekend I'm super-excited for the opportunity to pace the lightning quick Amanda Stickel in the Washington, DC edition of the NorthFace 50 Mile Endurance Challenge (the course is actually in VA, but close enough). The weather will be nasty (90s and humid), but I'm looking forward to running with her over the last 22 miles of the course. If all goes well, she could win the $1,000 first place prize, and I'm going to do everything I can to help make that happen!

After pacing Amanda, I'll just have one more week of getting re-introduced to the trails before it'll be time to head out to Ohio for the Mohican 100 miler. Even though I won't be racing this one at top speed, I do want to put in an honest effort on that course. I'm currently enjoying my return to more focused trail running after so many months of road work for the 24 Hour race. Sure, I stupidly rolled an ankle on the Bull Run course this past weekend (I heard a "crackle" and "pop", but luckily no "snap!"), but I think we're all a little rusty when first getting back into the swing of things. I'm already being reminded that trails don't let me become lazy with my feet and keep my eyes and brain constantly busy with the rapid-fire calculations needed for proper foot placement and leg speed while bombing down a technical mountain trail. Does it hurt more than a flat road run? Sure. Does the fun of it far outweigh the pain? Absolutely!

Speaking of fun overcoming pain, I'll close this post with a photo of my white-knuckled drive around the positively insane streets of Paris a couple weeks ago in a Smart Car. Lizzy had an absolute a blast, but I assure you, the screams from the driver's side as we traversed the Champs Elysees were not necessarily screams of joy.  Where did those people get their licenses? In a box of "Les Cracker Jacques"?!


Amelia said...

so how did the pacing go?

Ric Munoz said...

And I can't find results anywhere on the North Face website to see how Amanda finished. Details, Dan, details, please.

Dan Rose said...

Sorry, I've been a little slow on the blogging this week. The NF race was super-humid and surprisingly technical in spots (more than I expected, anyway). Amanda ran a great race to finish her first 50, but she just missed out on the prize money finishing 4th or 5th (it was a pretty talented field!). Regardless of her placement, it was great to see her dig as deep as she did in the late miles. She has a bright future in the 50+ mile world if she wants to stick with it...then again, she's still so fast it's probably much less painful for her to keep winning at the shorter distances for a few more years!

Ric Munoz said...

Glad you both survived okay, Dan. I'm sure it made a big difference to Amanda having you there to keep her company! (And, yes, keep encouraging her to run the longer distances -- they're more fun and less stressful!).