Training Run – June 6, 2010
This was one of those training runs that the experienced Knacker-ers look forward to with some trepidation. Known as a “character builder” the training run is a simple out-and-back from Grouse Mountain to the top of the Seymour Grind (or for the truly determined…Old Buck). It is an exercise in patience, endurance, pacing, & nutrition. There are many ways to turn this run into an epic slog…go out too hard, eat too little, mis-manage your electrolytes, underestimate the hills.
The parking lot at Grouse was full of now-familiar Knee Knacker hopefuls – about 58 of them (us). Some had never done this one before, some had. Apparently ultra-runners have an issue with short-term memory loss. The order of the day was to figure out a pace that would allow one to return in the same time as it took to go out & the goal was to get in a quality 4½ to 5 hour run.
Despite the threat of rain, the weather cooperated. For the most part, the clouds never collapsed onto us & what little rain that did fall, was stopped by the forest canopy. Now that we’ve had a few training runs together, it seems that people have fallen into familiar pace groups.
Personally, I didn’t manage my pace very well. The “out” portion went quite well, but the return found me hitting a wall. Apparently I wasn’t the only one. But as they say….misery loves company. One of the wonderful truisms of ultras is the fact that as low as one feels, it will eventually pass…..of course, highs can pass as well. So it goes. Anyway, the climb up those interminable stairs out of Lynn headwaters sucked the life out of my quads…in the group of 5 or 6, I wasn’t the only one complaining….though most of them managed to find an extra gear on the “flatter” section at the top. My ego took a bit of a beating as I tried to gain some ground on someone who had started at the base of the stairs at the same time. Now that we were on the flat section, she was still fairly close. The sound of deep breaths & jingling of a rattle and some baby-talk indicated that she was closing in….yes, a mother with an infant in a backpack was gaining on me. At least the trees weren’t passing me….yet.
Eventually, I started to feel better….some water, some gels, a cool creek crossing, a downhill….& I was back into a groove. Short term memory loss kicks in & I’m back in love with running trails.
Many were already back at the parking lot when I got in. Many had managed their pace very well & weren’t worse for the wear. A bit muddy & sweaty, maybe. Some had turned around early, others opted for the whole hog (John!). Pat decided that it wasn’t enough & headed back up the BCMC to log some extra time …???!!!! (actually, he is one of a few who are training for an upcoming 100 miler this summer).
Each of you should get a hearty pat on the back for your training achievements so far! It really is quite a feat & one should not underestimate the impact on one’s body. Remember to rest a bit durng the week…your body is taking on a bit more than usual & recovery is just as important as activity. A simple way to ensure that you are not over training, is to take your pulse before you get out bed each morning. You should see a consistent heart rate, or even a lowering trend. If you notice a trend towards a higher heart rate, it could mean that you are overtaxing your system. Take a break!
As far as recovering & nutrition goes, make sure you are replenishing your reserves. Carbs are your fuel, but protein helps rebuild worn & tired muscles. Don’t forget to take in some extra sodium…perhaps in the form of soy sauce, or better yet…. a bacon double cheeseburger!
Gotta go….I’m hungry.
Next week’s planned run may need a slight modification.
We are still planning to run from Cypress Mountain to Deep Cove & therefore we will still plan to meet at Deep Cove at 7:30am in order to coordinate the car pool.
Currently, the parking lot at the Skyline Trail on Cypress Mountain is closed for construction. It may not be re-opened by Sunday. If it is not, we will continue up the Cypress Mountain road to the Cross Country parking area. From there we will run to the Ranger’s Cabin & follow the Baden Powell all the way to Deep Cove.
Overall distance & time should be the same.