About my blog

Welcome to my trail running site. I enjoy being on the trail where I can take in nature and clear my mind. I prefer running in the mountains, but anywhere rural will do. I have completed four 100 mile trail races and many other ultramarathons. I'm a member of Team Red, White and Blue. "Enriching the lives of America's veterans."

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Back-to-Back Long Runs

18 Jan 2010
This week I did two long runs in a row known as back-to-backs (B2B). The idea behind this training strategy is to wear yourself out the first day and then run on tired, and possibly sore, legs the next day. This simulates what it feels like during an ultramarathon when you are already whipped but still have to keep shuffling along for another 30-50 miles.

Sunday I ran 20 miles through the city to the Rio Grande levee trail and back home. The run was mostly flat except for the last 5 miles where I had to slowly climb back up from the river to home. The last mile was brutal as I had a very steep climb.

 The next day I ran in Franklin Mountains State Park to the Aztec caves which are two shallow grottos on the side of the mountain. The caves aren’t too far from the parking area, but the trail is quite steep. The views are fine, though, so after taking some photos I ran back to my car to pick up my camelbak for a 12 mile out and back along part of the El Paso Puzzler Mountain Bike Race Course.

The race was held yesterday with about 140 bikers competing. There are two distances; a 35 and 50 mile course. I’ve never been on this trail so the race markers help me find the best route along the west side of the Franklins. I have a vision of organizing an ultramarathon trail race in these mountains in the future using sections of the mountain bike course, but including a climb to the top of N. Franklin Peak (elev 7192’).

The trail is well marked and sort of rolls along without too many steep parts. I have great views of Anthony’s Nose and other peaks. The weather is cool with a little wind at times and the sky is somewhat cloudy. I am able to capture a few nice photos with the colorful sky today.

I learn an important lesson when I almost go down on the trail after one of my shoe laces gets caught on a small branch. I didn’t think my laces were exposed because of the Dirty Girl Gaiters that I wear while on the trail. I will forever tuck my laces into my shoes in the future. No trail runner should be without a pair of gaiters to keep rocks and debris out of their shoes. The style I wear is called "Lime Gaiterade Hurl". The gaiters are made by Chrissy Weiss, an ultramarathon runner and prosecuting attorney. She has finished many 100s and even the 135 mile Badwater race which is held in Death Valley in July!

The rest of the run is uneventful and I am able to complete 14 miles even though my legs are spent from yesterday’s 20 miler. I will try to continue my B2B training each week to get ready for my 50 and 100 mile races this summer. See you on the trail.

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