Thursday, August 22, 2019

Late August Update

Gorgeous view from an overlook at East Fork Stables

I'm about 4 weeks out from my half marathon and training is progressing nicely.

I'm running 5 days a week with a rest day on Sabbath and the other fit in the week where I need it for life stuff. Since I'm only running 5 days a week, my long runs are about 10 days apart. That's kinda nice. I'm up to 9 miles for my long run and will top out at 11 miles before the 2 week taper starts.

I'm running trails most of the time with the treadmill thrown in when the weather is icky. I'm super pleased with my trail running. When I moved here and went straight from a half marathon PR to running on trails, I fell all the time. I mean at least once a mile. It was not good and one of the reasons I stopped running.

Since taking a hiatus, I have had to start back running slow and since trails are what I have, I've been running very slow on trails. Basically walking/hiking and running when I felt I wasn't going to fall on my face. I've gotten more confidence on trails and have only had one good spill. Fortunately, I just scraped up my knee and that was it.

Me after my first trail spill of this training cycle. Just a scraped knee.

I'm still being super careful, but I'm pleased that running on trails is becoming a habit. I will admit to sticking to the easier trails so far. I'm sure I'll branch out to some harder trails with more elevation and more obstacles eventually, but right now, I'm good building my confidence.

Last week, I got to help at the Ride & Tie World Championships held at East Fork Stables. I helped mark trail and then hung around to watch the events. The premise of this sport is that there are 2 humans and 1 horse to a team. The humans take turns riding the horse. At the starting line, one human rides, and the other runs. At some point, the person riding the horse hops off, ties their horse to a tree and takes off running. The other person that started running comes up to the tied horse, mounts up and rides off, usually passing the other human on foot. This continues throughout the day as the humans leap-frog each other using the horse. It's really a fun thing to watch. One of these days I might even participate!

A Ride and Tie team coming in for the finish after 35 miles

There is another event associated with Ride & Tie called the Equathon. This is an event where there are 2 stages. During the first stage, a human rides a horse. Let's say that first stage is 15 miles. So the rider and horse do the 15 miles. When they get back to camp, the horse's pulse has to reach 60 beats per minute. As soon as that happens, the second stage starts. This is run by a human on foot. No horse for this stage. The person that runs can be the same person that rode or it can be a completely different person.

Equathon is a great concept for those that don't want to find a running partner for a Ride & Tie event and want to do it solo or for family or friends to do together. One can ride their horse and the other can run the second stage, but they're still on the same team, doing the same sport. Very cool concept. Also, it's easy to partner up. If you are a trail runner and want to try the sport, there are often people that are looking for a runner for the run part of an Equathon. In fact, this past weekend, one of the Ride & Tie teams had a trail runner on the team that had only ridden a horse twice before that weekend! So it's definitely something worth checking out if you want to spice up your running.

You can find more information about Ride & Tie and Equathon at

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Running For Fun - How Did That Go?

When last we met, I was going to "run for fun" in 2018. Well, you see I had absolutely no blog posts in 2018 and have gone 8 months into 2019 without a post. So, how do you think fun running worked? It did not. Good guess. I ran less than 250 miles for all of 2018.

I am very goal oriented and the best goal to get me running is to have a race on the calendar. I did put a half marathon race on the calendar for March 2019, but I only half-heartedly "trained" for it because it had such a generous time limit, I knew I could walk the entire thing. We ended up not doing that one for family reasons anyway.

About a month ago, I was away from home on business and got it into my head it was time to start running again. I looked at the fall race calendar and signed up for a late September half marathon. Time to get busy again.

Since I quit running after we moved, I gained about 15 pounds. This summer I decided that had to go, so I adjusted my food drastically and dropped about 12 lbs in 8 weeks. That's when I decided to start running again and now I'm back to the weight I was when we moved, just after my PR half marathon performance in October 2017.

I've been running consistently for right at a month. I'm using an 18 week half marathon training plan from Luke Humphrey Running on Final Surge. When I started training, I was too close to actually use an 18 week training plan. I might should have gone with a 12 week training plan, but I already had this 18 week one. Given my fitful running over the last 2 years, I didn't want to purchase another plan and just end up not completing it. The great thing about Final Surge training plans is you can use them over and over again.

Since I was too close to my race date to do the full 18-week training plan, I decided to just start at the beginning and get as far through the program as I can. I'll have to adjust the last 2 weeks for a proper taper into race day.

I am definitely not looking for a personal record, especially considering I'm not doing a full training cycle. I just want to mosey around the course and get done in 2 hours 45 minutes. B goal under 3 hours. Of course, I have a secret extra credit goal, but likely won't hit that, but I'm super ok with it.

This plan peaks at only 30 miles per week and has me running 5 days a week. Definitely easier than the last plan I did that peaked at 43ish miles per week and had me running 6 days a week.

The other wrinkle in my training is that I am training almost exclusively on trails and treadmill. Trails most of the time, with the treadmill as a backup in bad weather. My half marathon is a road race. So that will be an interesting experiment.