Saturday, June 2, 2012

Fourth Day - Lessons Learned(?!)

Back in July 2010, I ran the Last Annual Vol State Run - commonly referred to as Vol State. Vol State is a 314 mile run across the great state of Tennessee. The first three days of the run were oppressively hot and humid with feel like temps of 110 plus at times. Day four dawned with overcast skies and lower temps - a break in the weather!!!! However, I could not get my legs to turnover. I could walk, but I just couldn't get the legs to run. It was very disappointing - especially since "decent" running weather had finally arrived. I really, really wanted to drop out the run as I am a runner not a walker. Kevin Dorsey was crewing for me at the time and he convinced me to remain in the run. As an aside, I did drop out of the 2010 Vol State on day 6 due to shin splints.
Fast forward to day four of the Run Across America on Trail. The weather was perfect at the start - 54 degrees, overcast, no precipitation. After three good days of running the legs felt a little "heavier" this morning - and the left hip (my biggest injury concern due to previous left hip issues) wasn't 100%. Not surprisingly it took more effort to get the legs to turnover at the start, but turnover they did as I covered the first four miles of the day at exactly 11 minutes per mile. I was very happy when I looked at my watch and noted that time. However, the good times didn't last long as a rain commenced and I got just a bit colder than I would have liked. The hip didn't like that at all and I was forced to a limp by mile 6. I didn't panic. I met up with Heidi and Karen (and Daphne - our dog) at mile 7 and changed from my RaceReady split cut running shorts to my RaceReady compression shorts that I wear when biking. I did this since my hip has proven to prefer the slight compression of the compression shorts. I took some Advil and applied some Qi Extra Strength Recovery Cream. I left the Roadrunner and executed Operation Fast Walk, ie. walk quickly which I am able to do. For you number folks out there I walked mile 9 in 14:48. The hip kept feeling better and better and at mile 10 and a half I started to punctuate the walking with a little slow jogging. As the miles went on I slowly increased the running to walking ratio so much so that the I ran the last four miles of the day at 11:10 pace. I could have definitely done without the forced limping and walking today, but with the help of Heidi and Karen I was able to resolve my issue and continue the needed relentless forward motion. All in all it really was an enjoyable day of running - but days of 50 and 60 degree temperatures won't last long.
National Trails Day is the first Saturday of June each year. There were many trail event held throughout the country today at state and national parks. We did our part by running 12 of the 14 paved King County Interurban Trail miles on the 2012 National Trails Day.
Scorekeeper reports the day four run times below for the 38.06 miles:
Justin     5:57:57
Jennifer 7:13:46
Mike     8:45:35


  1. Hi Mike,

    Don't be to hard on yourself. Most multiday runners walk during these kind of races. Walking is very efficient and not really much slower than an ill attempt of running.

    You body has to get used to the high mileage and usually that takes 2-4 weeks. Just keep moving.

    All the best

  2. Thanks Markus.
    All is well.
    Hope you are doing well and having fun with running also!