Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday long run at Konza

All action shots are of my BRF!  We went out to the Konza this weekend for our long run to start training for Conquering the Konza (which is a 25 K, YIKES).  My BRF did this last year and I cheered her on.  Here is my recap of the race.  It was a hard trail race, not really technical, more steep up and down hills than anything.  I had only hiked up the part with the stairs, and just hiking had me out of breath, so I could only imagine what it would be like running up.  It was just as tough as I had imagined it to be.
Most of the trail is a limestone or loose stone mix with bigger rocks in some areas.  The stairs are actually large limestone stones of consistent size but not consistent spacing as they are for erosion control.
This is how you feel after you do them once.

When you do them twice, as we did today and as we will do in the race, you just want to try and recover, and not puke before you go up that hill behind my BRF.  It's kind of nice that this portion has large rocks and causes you to stare at your feet for a while.  Recovery, head down, focusing on breathing is a good thing.  

What I learned today is  you need water on the trail no matter how hot it is or isn't.  I will be buying this vest I have heard so much good things about as an early birthday present. These hills take it out of you and you need it for recovery.  I was kind of missing my water that i had left at the end of mile 4.5, especially when I kind of got lost.  We were going to do loops of the bigger trail, but it was closed so we did loops of the 4.5 mile trail.  Except my BRF peeled off and I took a wrong turn trying to figure out how to get back.  I ended up getting my 9 and she got 8 instead of the 6 she wanted to do, but we both got it done.  Thank goodness I volunteered last year and could figure out where I was and how to get back to where we were parked.  
I also learned that some hills are best just power walked up.  You spend so much energy trying to run up them and go so slow, so use less energy and power up them.  I also learned how to go down hills with loose rock.  Take your time and turn your foot sideways (thanks BRF:).  
The last thing i learned is to enjoy the scenery when you can.  Most of the time, you need to be observant of your feet, but when it is smooth or at least you think it is, look around and enjoy the scenery.  I have NO time goals for this race.  It took me almost 2 hours to get 9 miles in with a few unplanned walking breaks, walking up the full set of stairs the second time, and power walking up some hills and down some steep down hills.  I haven't gotten to run a race with my BRF like this, so we have a plan on pace and we plan to stick together.  I honestly thought I had lost my mind when we got done this morning but with her by my side, I think we can conquer this race, no problem.  
Still kind of giggling about this. I didn't know this stuff existed.  I did have a mean stink going on afterwards since I was soaked with sweat. 

We plan on doing several more long runs out at Konza to get our bodies and our feet ready.  My feet hurt from the rocks, which shocked me because I run on gravel a lot.  I think I have a blister forming where I got one after the Fancy Creek Trail race last year so trails must make me run more on my whole foot.  Probably need to talk to the running company and get their take.  Maybe just different socks than what I usually use?  Anyway, I am really glad that i went out today, even if it was hot and stella couldn't go. I missed her a ton but rules are important and I was not going to break the no dog rule.  What is funny is most of the other runners we saw were doing the trail backwards and going down the stairs instead of up.  We were the only crazy ones at that time:)  

Have a great rest of your sunday!  I hope I am recovered enough to tackle all the speed work this week.  YIKES!  Two speedwork session and the 10 K, plus some recovery miles.  May have to do a recovery run tomorrow or take a rest day dependent on how my legs feel tomorrow night.  

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