This weekend I'll be running The Pack It Out Trail Half Marathon, my first trail half!!!! I absolutely cannot wait for Saturday to run in this race; one of my best friends at Darden will be running with me so it should be a blast. I really can't think of too many better ways to spend a Saturday morning than running through the woods for a couple hours with a huge smile on my face. Then hopefully afterwards eat a ton of pancakes and have insulin effectively cover the carbohydrates in it – that's a great way to start a weekend!
Coach Orton has given me very specific and technical instructions for the race: JUST HAVE FUN! As I think back to my only other trail race (a 10k on Bear Mountain in '07) I was shocked to how much different the atmosphere was at that race than the NYRR races I had been doing in Central Park. I think the nature of trail races brings all runners back to their youth and makes the atmosphere about as light as it can be. One of my favorite memories from that 10k was seeing a guy with flaming red hair, a huge beard and a breath right nose strip dive off a cliff into a pond; probably the only time I flat out cracked up during a race.
I unfortunately won't be able to run in my Nike Frees this weekend. Eric told me that the frees aren't the safest choice for a trail race and since I'm taking on enough risk with my new kettlebell workouts I decided not to roll the dice again. So yesterday I picked up a pair of Brooks Cascadia; a neutral, light trail running shoe – that also looks pretty sweet with a pair of jeans.
The interesting thing will be to see how my blood sugars react to a trail run of this distance. My pace should be a good bit slower than road running, but the hills and terrain should put me in a higher heart rate zone than the given pace normally would be in. This relationship will be interesting and may shed some light on whether heart rate or muscular intensity (assuming they have different physiological repercussions) affect blood sugars to a greater degree. As we know long sustained efforts will decrease blood sugars while short intense bursts can actually increase blood sugars from cortisol production; the big question is, how will the two balance on Saturday?
The kettlebell workout was amazing the other day. My buddy Joe, a Darden classmate and former Marine, and I went through three cycles with the KB. After the first cycle we both thought we were going to need a bucket – I haven't felt like that from lifting since my college football days! Holly cow the KB offer a great workout, Joe and I were both giddy over how challenging these lifts are, next week I hope to have some pictures of us doing some of the lifts. Oddly enough, the day after I started using the KBs my Dad called me telling me there was an article in that days personal section of the Wall Street Journal about Kettlebell workouts – here's the video from the WSJ website.
Over the river & through the woods to the finish line I go; race report to follow on Monday. And a big shout out to Mary Eggers – good luck at Clearwater!!!!!!!!!!!!!