Monday, September 26, 2011

American Tobacco Trail...and Snakes!

Per my ING NYC Marathon training guide that I wrote, this week was a back-down week for me. My long run was supposed to be an easy 13 miles. Unfortunately, I overslept (mistake 1) on Sunday morning. After a good breakfast, I decided to drive over to Durham, NC to try out the American Tobacco Trail, starting at 11:15 a.m. (mistake 2). Why was that a mistake? Because of the heat and humidity. I was not prepared for it and I let it DOMINATE me. My "easy 13" turned into a slog fest. I finished, rather quit, after 12 miles. While I averaged my targeted sub-9:00 pace, it hurt...bad.

I wrapped up my trifecta, hat trick, whatever you want to call them, of mistakes, when, around mile 8.5, I stopped to try my hand at snake charming. While I had already seen two other, smaller snakes on the trail, I wisely left them alone. This one, however, was a big guy and there were kids coming down the trail, so I made an attempt to encourage him off the path. He didn't like all. Instead of slithering faster, he coiled, raised up and was poised to strike.

Realizing that I made a situation that wasn't a problem much, much worse, I cut my losses, called out to those approaching that there was a snake in the path, and went on my way. The most interesting thing about this whole encounter came when I uploaded my GPS/HR data from my Timex Global Trainer. My HR spiked dramatically at mile 8.5 and stayed elevated beyond normal until around mile 10. That was interesting!

I'm back at it this week. Some strength and stretching work today, followed by 5 on Tuesday, 8 on Wednesday, 5 on Thursday, 5 @ MPP on Saturday and a lovely 20 on Sunday.

Questions for the day - 
What's on tap for you this week?
What's the most interesting thing you've seen on the run?

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