Sunday, September 4, 2011

Trail Running + The Dark + By Yourself = Scary

"Small differences in your performance can lead to large differences in your results." ~ Brian Tracy

Monday, August 29th 2011: 6 miles @ 10:43 minutes per mile pace. I took my Camelbak Rogue on the run because I'm trying to like it. For longer trail runs I want the availability of extra water. But I'm just not a fan. It's really comfortable until I actually start running.
I knew I wouldn't be able to do my speed workout on Tuesday so I went to the track late Monday night. It was still crazy hot outside but I was happy that my eight Yasso 800s went pretty good. My times were: 3:52, 3:49, 3:36, 3:46, 3:44, 3:45, 3:48, and 3:32.

I came home and celebrated with a large bowl of ice cream. "Without ice cream, there would be darkness and chaos." ~ Don Kardong

Tuesday, August 30th 2011: Rest

Wednesday, August 31st 2011: 23 miles @ 12:35 minutes per mile pace. I treat each long run as an experiment to see how my body responds to different variables. This time I wanted to see if I could adjust pace so that I felt almost as good at the end as I did at the beginning. I went out to the JEM trail early in the morning while it was still dark.

Note to self: Running in the wilderness + the dark + by yourself = scary. Hearing things rustle in the bushes sent shivers down my spine. I'm sure it was only a rabbit or something, but it sounded like this:

I was so thankful when the sun started to come up an hour later. There was a beautiful sunrise over Zion National Park:

I explored new dirt roads and areas of the trail which were simply breathtaking. I want to go back with my good camera to really do it justice. I thought to myself that I should start a running tour business because if other runners saw these amazing views they would never want to run on pavement again.

My two handheld bottles worked great (gotta love the St. George Running Center bottles. I just ordered a new pair of trail shoes from the St. George Running Center this week! If you're in southern Utah, this is the place to buy shoes.) Runners - if you have never tried a handheld before, give it a try. They are heaven. (HERE is more info about my favorite.)

I was standing on the edge of a cliff admiring the view when a rabbit came up to join me. It wasn't nearly as big as the animal I had imagined a few hours earlier:

I was at about an 11:50 pace when I reached the aid station (car) at mile 17 to refill my bottles. I read about ultrarunners drinking Boost during runs so I bought a bottle and decided I'd experiment during the long run. I drank a bottle and about 10 minutes later my stomach felt so completely, utterly horrible. It felt like someone was playing tug of war with my intestines. I wished I could have thrown up, I think I would have felt much better. My pace slowed to 12:35 after walking a few miles to try and get my stomach back.

It was a tad warm at 95 degrees when I finished. My experiments were helpful. I learned that 1) slowing pace a little helps keep you feeling good the whole time, and 2) Never, ever drink Boost during a run. This is 360 calories, 45g carbs, 14g protein, and 8 ounces of gut-wrenching misery.

Thursday, September 1st 2011: Rest

Friday, September 2nd 2011: 11 miles @ 10:40 minutes per mile pace. This made for an early morning to get the miles in before work. Sleep is for sissies. (Totally kidding - I adore sleep.)

Saturday, September 3rd 2011:
10 miles @ 10:47 minutes per mile pace then later I went out for 3 miles @ 9:31 minutes per mile pace.

I kind of liked doing a few two-a-day runs! I ran 60 miles this week but still had three whole rest days. Only two more weeks until one of my favorite races: the Top Of Utah Marathon. Bring it on!

Do you like two-a-day workouts?
This is the first time I've done them, but I think I'm a convert.

Any scary running-in-the-dark stories?
I run in the dark all the time but running in the dark on trails was slightly scary.


  1. That's a whole lot of running! I'm glad you are testing the experiments out now instead of on a race. Thanks for the test with the Boost!

  2. I will skip Boost forever. I think it might kill me given that I have problems with water sometimes.

    Can't wait for TOU!! We are hoping to get there mid-afternoon on Friday.

  3. i don't have any scary running-in-the-dark stories, i guess i'm afraid of the dark!

  4. Wow, that's a lot of miles!

    No scary running in the dark stories, except for the cracks in the sidewalk that try to kill me. In a few weeks, maybe I'll be back with some good scary dark trail stories. Stay tuned...

  5. Congrats on all your running this week!!! That's amazing!! I love two a days!! When it comes to running in the dark, no way am I doing that alone!! As long as I'm with somebody and a flashlight I'm ok!

  6. Loved the photos. I am wanting to get into more trail running, knock out some kind of ultra - thus what you are doing is inspiring. I have done two a days but never of the run - run variety. I am curious to try now. Thanks for sharing your training.

  7. I haven't done a two a day in quite a while. I think it's cause I'm a wuss. HAHAHAHA!

    For some reason I havent had any run ins in the dark. Just raccoons and they usually run the other way BUT I have hears coyotes!

    Check out my blog! I finally have a great jump pic from the end of my triathlon yesterday! You'll love it!

  8. I hear a lot of coyotes when I'm running in the dark. They sound like they're right next to me, when I know they're probably miles away. :)

    Great job on your runs!

  9. I live in a rural mountain valley, so there are lots of animals around. I encounter deer on almost every run, I've almost been sprayed by a skunk, and chasing bunnies had become a beloved pasttime. However, there was this one time... it was dark. I had a head lamp on. I was only about 4 miles from my house in the middle of my run. I heard rustling so I kind of slowed down for a second... then, up ahead, I saw a blurry white blob. It was so dark (moonless night), and my headlamp couldn't illuminate what was in front of me. I'm not joking when I tell you that it looked like a ghost. I did a sort of yell and then ran towards it to light it up. It was a stupid deer.

    I may or may not have peed a little.

    Way to go on your long run! 95 degrees!!! I could NEVER live in Southern Utah.

  10. wow cory!!!! you totally rocked the running this week! maybe I need to look into that store while I am down that away...I really want to get some trail shoes! always inspire me! great job this week! cant wait to hear about TOU...sad I will not be there to run that one!

  11. Nice mileage this week! I don't think that I am brave enough to try boost while running and your discription has sealed the deal. I like two a days on speed work days and whenever I don't have time for the distance.

    I also think that a world without ice cream would be a scary place to live.

  12. Good to know Boost is a no-go...loved the picture!! UM, AMAZING RUNS!!! 23 miles!?!?! Okay, anything out in the dark and wilderness is way too scary for me, I am usually asleep by the time it gets dark outside! Have an amazing Tuesday!

  13. NICE job on the mileage and what gorgeous scenery! Love that sunrise over Zion! I've never tried Boost and don't think I ever will, I have stomach problems with just GU.

    I was doing my 2nd leg of the Wild West Relay at 2am and every single rustle sound had me totally freaked out....which was a LOT!

    Keep up the great job...just a short time now til race day!

  14. Just found your blog! I'm looking forward to following it! :)

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