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Pete’s been busy building up his fitness for Superior 100. Here are a few recent workout highlights.
April 25th: This weekend was a big training milestone at East Fork State Park.
This was the first weekend where lots of different flowers, ground cover, and leaves on trees really started to show, and it was gorgeous! There were flowers everywhere. It’s amazing how different the same landscape can look in the course of a few weeks–still lifeless and open in early April, and rich and enclosing to the point of solitude in late April.My schedule called for 5 1/2 hours on Saturday, and another 2:50 on Sunday.
The days are starting to get warmer, which also means dreaded higher humidity on days like today. Runners can compensate for heat, but not really for humidity, as they can’t cool down easily in humid weather. That means that core temperature rises, and eventually that means slowing down. It wasn’t too bad today, but I definitely struggled some towards the end. My legs are feeling good and strong, but it will take time to get my “heat and humidity” training up to speed.
Luckily, my recovery was great overnight, and my long run on Sunday with the neighborhood gang was a breeze. I even had enough energy to take Ryan and a friend hiking that afternoon at the Cincinnati Nature Center. This was a great mental boost, with only one more big training weekend before the big warmup challenge, the 70 miles of Laurel Highlands!
May 2nd: Back at Mt Airy Forest for an “easy” Saturday, which was about 12 hilly miles. Today, I finally ran all the way up the Stone Steps without stopping! I also ran the creek again, my new favorite route. A great outing with perfect weather.
May 9th: Once again, blessed with super weather, cool and low humidity. I started out early as part of a 3 hour outing, and encountered a beautiful painted turtle in the middle of the trail. Then, to my great surprise, I ran into a ginormous wild turkey. He was seriously big enough to feed a small village for Thanksgiving. What a delightful sight to see!
For the 2nd hour, I managed to finally meet up with new friends Pat, Dave, and organizer Steve of the Greater Cincinnati Trail Runners, who are a loose-knit bunch of ultra and trail enthusiasts in the area. They all turned out to be great company and ran about the same pace as I did–except for youngster Dave, who I couldn’t keep up with but was nice enough to stop and wait for us old-timers at key junctions. I learned that Pat and Steve are taking on ultras in June as well as me, the challenging Kettle Moraine race in Wisconsin. Pat is attempting the 50K, while Steve is going for 100K (62 miles). I again managed Stone Steps, and also Gummy Bear x2, all without stopping or walking.
These were 3 great weekends, and I am feeling stronger and more confident about all of this!