Adventures In Running

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Antelope Island/Legacy Parkway Trails and More

I'm getting pretty excited - the 50 miler is 3 weeks from today.

There was a scheduled training run for the Buffalo Run on Antelope Island today and I drove up to Syracuse to join in on the run. I was glad I had turned around and picked up the top running layer I had forgotten when I opened my car door and was hit with the icy breeze that bit right through our clothes. No fun!

I was glad that I had gone for the run because I found that the race director, Jim Skaggs, had changed the beginning of the race. Instead of heading South along the coast by White Rock Bay, the race heads East and South up a series of switchbacks. After the first half mile, I spent a lot of the next few miles walking the uphills. Basically, he took what used to be my favorite part of the previous race (the long downhills on these switchbacks) and made them my least favorite part. It means I have to mentally make some adjustments about the first 6+ miles of the race. I am also very happy that I changed from the 50K to the 50 miler because I don't have to do that portion twice.

Shortly after starting the run I hooked up with a couple of men that were running the trails. I ended up running most of 16.3 miles with Joe. This will be his first ultra marathon, so we talked a lot about what he could expect. I was very impressed, his 50th birthday is next week and he is doing the 50K as a birthday celebration. He had a knee replacement in 2007 and was challenging himself to see what his knee would allow him to do.

The day turned out to be a nice sunny day. Good for running. The first few hours the ground was solid - so footing was good. After a couple of hours, the mud started thawing and we ran through some sections where our shoes got pretty heavy.

After going around the first half of White Rock Bay and around the Split Rock Bay loop, we came back and headed down the new section of trail cut in White Rock Bay. I ran this once before in December and it was a lot more solid. Joe and I were both a little concerned about turning an ankle because the soil/sandy was quite loose and pitted, so you not only had to watch for ankle turning steps ahead, but you were not sure that your ankle would roll if the soil shifted under you. I hope that this gets pack a lot more this summer because it is a pretty section of trial to run if you are not worrying about your steps.

I have been concerned the past six or so weeks about a pain in my lower right-side abdominal muscles and a personal trainer was working with me this week and thinks it is a hernia. I had my sister look at it last night and she agrees with him. Unfortunately, the pain is located right under one of my incisions from surgery last May and this probably left a week spot that has caused the hernia. I will be seeing a doctor about it this week, but today I really noticed on the loose section that having to adjust with my stabilizer muscles is causing a lot of sudden pains. I think I will need to find a truss or girdle or something for my lower abs for the 50 miler.

I was going to do 20+ miles on the island, but had a fitness seminar to go to, so left after 16.3 miles and went to the nutrition seminar at LifeLong Fitness. I also stopped next door at Striders and bought a new running pack I am going to experiment with the next few weeks and use for the 50 miler. I found having a pack around my waist was also aggravating the hernia area, so want to shift the weight a little higher.

On my way home, I wanted to put in more miles, so found a way to get off the Legacy Highway and finally found the running trail. I did an out and back along that trail to get my mileage for the day up to 22 miles. It is a nice path, but I think it would be better for biking and roller-blading and runners/walkers looking for an easy, flat trail.

I also found that it is sorely lacking in bathroom facilities - which is fun when you are in full view of both the Legacy Highway and I-15. I had to hide in some depressions to take care of my potty necessities. Another complaint I have about the trail - it is very hard to find access to it. I actually found that it is easier to access off of I-15. Parking was another issue. Do they honestly think everyone is going to run or bike to get on the trail? I never saw any marked parking and finally just pulled over on the shoulder of the road.


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