Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Training on the ATT

C and I are gearing up for our first 10-mile race this coming Saturday. For this week only, "gearing up" means tapering back. We ran eight miles last Friday, three miles on Sunday and Monday, and we'll run another three tomorrow; that'll be all until we magically manage to run 10 miles--farther than we've ever run before--on Saturday. More experienced runners tell us that race adrenaline will pull us along.

At the beginning of last summer, I couldn't run hilly 5Ks without taking walk breaks, so it's a pretty big deal for me to run eight miles straight through. It helps to run with a friend who has a comparable pace; we hold each other accountable.

I've been doing all of this in the minimalist light blue Merrells I bought a year and a half ago. They're covered with yellow pollen and dirt, but they're holding up better than any shoes I've ever run in before, with several hundred accumulated miles. I'm now a minimalist shoe proselytizer. Talk to me about running and I will talk to you about how great these shoes are. I modified them a bit by inserting a pair of floppy soft insoles salvaged from a discarded pair of over-engineered, over-cushioned, over-controlling, over-realigning, over-trademarked running shoes, providing just enough of a barrier that I don't bruise my heels anymore when I step on sharp rocks.

For last Friday's run, C and I sampled a there-and-back stretch of the American Tobacco Trail that runs from southern Durham County (Fayetteville Road) into northern Chatham County (Pittard Sears Road). Thunderstorms the night before had tamped down the ubiquitous clouds of yellow pollen that are this season's curse. Everything was fresh and beautiful: clouds, bridges, trees, rivers, new leaves in dozens of different shades of green, blossoming redwoods and dogwoods, dancing yellow swallowtails, and a family of seven deer. At our turnaround point, we pined for a sip of water, and what should magically appear but this:

The trail extends for another nine miles or so further south; we clearly have more exploring to do.

1 comment:

Kristy Jackson said...

Hi Liz -
Can I use your water fountain image from a project I'm working on? I'd be happy to credit you.

Kristy Jackson
Bicycle and Pedestrian Program