Monday, May 19, 2008

Fun Run w/Foxes

With a slow recovery from DWD, I did not venture out on the trails till last Friday. And then it was only a short run to be sure everything was in working order. Since I felt OK, I thought I’d try the Run with the Foxes 13.1M mini in the Morgan-Monroe State Forest in Indiana the next morning. It’s always been an event I’ve wanted to check out since doing the “sister” race – the Knobstone mini several years ago, but there was always a conflict with the date. This time I just wanted to try out the course and have no time goals. The weather was going to be nice so I intended to enjoy myself. And if my legs & ankle were feeling real good, I would take the chance to work on my speed.

The start for the mini was very close to where the Tecumseh Trail Marathon is started each December. The RD had a speech at the start & said this event lost a lot of runners this year due to a new race . . . somewhere -- she was difficult to hear. I did hear that she was letting the 10K & 10M runners start 2 minutes early – I think some mini runners didn’t hear her & started with them. Anyway, I started at the back of the pack so I wouldn’t be caught up with the speedy runners. The problem with that – which I soon realized, was after the start on the road, the race quickly went into a very narrow twisting single track. So I ended up either walking, standing still or jogging very slowly up close to the heels of the person in front of me for the first mile or so. I wanted to start slow, but not that slow. As the trail straightened out & widened, I was finally able to get by slower runners/walkers from the mini and also the slower 10M & 10K runners/walkers who had the head start. I’m usually the one being passed – this time I enjoyed doing all the passing & no one passed me that I didn’t pass back all the way -- except one very determined runner near the finish. The trail was well established & maintained. It was nice to see the forest in full splendor & to be there with cool temps & with no bugs (some stinging nettle though). It was very muddy in places & the streams were still up from a heavy rain 2 days previous. I thought the course had a good mix of short & long hills, technical sections & easy running spots. Using my McNaughton experience, I didn’t need to slow down running thru the mud and all the streams as many others did who I ran with – but those same runners had more speed than I did. So I took that chance to get in some good speed works until my ankle said it had enough. In summary, this run was a fun time & a good tempo work w/some short “sprints”.

Next up is the Stone Steps F-A 50K in Cincinnati on Memorial Day. This should be another fun run on a course that I really enjoy running on.


Jeffro said...

I've never run with the foxes, but I have done the knobstone mini. Those are some nice trails in that area. I train there once in awhile. I've been taking it pretty easy since Ice Age. I want to be rested for the Dino 15k in Brown County and I just signed up for Another Dam 50k on June 7th. I hope it isn't too hot then. I've heard it's a relatively flat course though.

ed said...

I like running on new courses -- Foxes seemed to have a different challenge around every turn that was fun.

I’ll be at AD 50K, temps permitting. When I ran a couple years ago I overheated & walked 2 loops -- it wasn’t real hot but the sun was intense! I ran in the shade whenever I could. Anywhere near the dam, there was no shade. I would call the event more of a road race than a trail race. It’s also very flat with only a few short hills.

Sounds like you will be well rested for Brown County. If I go, I’ll start in the back as I did at Foxes, only I won’t expect to pass anyone!