Friday's are one of my days off and it turned out to be a beautiful, sunny, 50+ degree day here in KC. I spent 7 hours of it on the trails, and it was GREAT! I haven't done over 24 miles in a single run since Nathaniel's Run in mid-November, so it was good to get in 30 miles and break that mental barrier again. My cough was receding and it was so glorious out, that I was bound and determined to get in a full 30. I hit the trails at Clinton Lake about 8 am and immediately things felt great, I whipped out a couple of quick miles and then slowed down to take advantage of the quickly warming day. At about 6.5 miles in, I stopped to water behind a bush and almost peed on a geocache container. I spent a few minutes investigating it, and signed the logbook, I didn't take anything 'cuz I had nothing to leave in return. (Unless of course the geocachers would be interested in salt caps or a gu packet.)
At about the 10 mile mark, it had warmed up enough that I was getting downright hot so I stopped to take off my long sleeve shirt. Stupidly I hadn't worn a short sleeve one underneath so I was going to be exposing my pasty winter white skin in my sports bra to the poor creatures of the woods. Luckily up to now, all the creatures I had seen where of the 4 legged variety, but as soon as I had doffed my shirt, down the trail came an older couple walking their dog.. doh! At the 11.5 mile mark there is a trials course set up for mountain bikes and I always enjoy spending time playing around on the railroad ties and beams. I turned around at the 12 mile marker and headed back to my car for some food.... I ran out of water with 3 miles left so ended up being much slower due to thirst and some severe mud. When I got back to the car I dumped my Nathan Pack and grabbed my hand held bottle since I only had 6 miles left to do, I also ate and changed my shoes.
The shoe change was a big mistake... I had been wearing my La Sportiva FireBlade's which I absolutely adore, but I'm always open to other options and picked up a pair of Adidas Kanadias for super cheap on clearance. I've been wearing them here and there and while I'm not feeling the same love for them like my FireBlades, they haven't been awful.. until I hit the mud. These shoes are total and complete shite when it comes to mud. I have NEVER had so much mud build up with no shedding on a shoe before. The last 6 miles of my run consisted of me running until I felt like I was running in spike heels then having to stop and scrape mud off the bottoms.. and repeat again and again for 6 miles. When I got back to the car I was ready to throw them across the parking lot. GRR! It was kinda a frustrating end to a GREAT run. By the time I left the park, the wind was starting to pick up a bit which was about to blow in a wicked cold front.
16 hours later I was back at Clinton Lake for our Saturday morning group run and it was a MUCH different scene.. groups of warmly dressed runners huddling behind trees to block the frigid wind.. the ooey, gooey, squishy mud was now frozen ruts that threatened to turn your ankle at every step. The turn out was great for such a cold morning though and we all started off in good spirits. On the tight switchback turns you could see everyone snaking though and we stuck together for a few miles but then broke up into smaller groups. Everyone made it to the 6.5 mile "Lands End" section where we stopped for a quick picture and then most everyone dropped down to the blue trail which would take them back to the parking lot with almost 10 miles for the day. The rest of us headed on to get in at least 20 for the day. In our group there was 4 of us doing Rocky Raccoon, so a lot of discussion was about that. I felt pretty good for the first 16 miles and then by the 17 mile mark, my legs turned to shit... I was tired, I could totally feel the 30 from the day before. We slogged on but the last mile turned into a power walk mile. I was wearing a pair of Inov8 Roclite 312's (with goretex to keep my feet nice and dry), and as much as I want to like these shoes they just don't work for me. I'm kinda sad to send them back since I want to like them so much, but they just don't feel comfortable on me. At some point in the future I'll try another model by them, but I think the FireBlades will be my Rocky choice.
Today I was going to go to the gym and do some fast, super incline treadmill walking, but my cough has come back in full force so I was merciful and spared the other gym goers. I'm not sure, but I have to imagine I would get kicked out of the gym for coughing up lung oysters and spitting 'em on the floor next to the treadmill. Instead I spent the day napping, drinking tea and getting myself ramped up by watching "Running on the Sun" and "Dancing the Bear".