Sunday, August 21, 2011

Running in Des Moines and training on empty

Yes, I'm finally getting tired! Not of running (phew! ;-) but after a few short nights last week: 3.5 hours on my red-eye flight to Chicago on Sunday night, right after Stevens Creek 50K, then 6, 5, 6, 5 hours the following nights. Not the pattern you'd expect for a recovery week after an ultra. Yet, or on top of it, I ran 40 miles during the week and 51 miles this weekend, including a 50.5K training run this Sunday in 4:36 and with 4,300 feet of cumulative elevation (and 20 miles/2,600 feet yesterday). A solid 91-mile week of training on tired legs, a good experience before the upcoming Rio Del Lago 100-miler in 3 weeks (I'll fly to Washington DC next weekend for Alex's orientation and convocation ceremony at Georgetown next weekend, so not much running to expect there).

I spent 4 days at a client in Des Moines, Iowa, this week and was able to squeeze in 3 runs. Here is what Runner's World says about running in Des Moines in their useful review:
From the fringes of 12-block-square downtown Des Moines, trails-long, long trails-spin off in all directions and snake their way through suburban parks, wooded corridors, farmlands, wildlife-laden enclaves, and small towns.
I didn't have time to explore the whole 24 miles of the Saylorville-Des Moines River Trail, but a third of it for a 16-mile out and back. Enough to experience the pleasure of running on a nice bike path, in the woods and along the wide river. Actually, if you visit right now, there is a lot of construction going on on the 3rd and 4th miles and you are sent on a detour through boring neighborhoods. I decided to go on the closed trail section on my way back and got stuck in sticky muddy sections... Below are a few pictures of this run, with a few others in my Picasa album.
I also ran to and around Gray's Lake at the Southern end of Des Moines, on the Meredith Trail. The loop around the lake is 2.0 miles and flat, providing a great opportunity to do some speed work, at dawn or dusk when the foot traffic is light.

Overall, I was amazed at the small size of this State Capital, the flag which shares its colors with the French one, the numerous French names, from some of the streets to the name of the city itself, and the number of bridges! And I didn't have time to visit the famous Iowa State Fair which was up this week, but that was probably safer, food wise... ;-)
It was a busy racing weekend for quite a few with the Waldo 100K in Oregon and Leadville 100-mile in Colorado. Becoming a ritual, 41-year old Dave Mackey crushed the course record by 4 minutes at the former event (results). Ian Sharman has a tough but fabulous race too, taking 2nd and probably first to post his race report! As for Leadville, the overall win went to an outsider from South Africa, Ryan Sandes.

And next week is the big ultra weekend in Chamonix, France, with the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB, ~100 miles), the Courmayeur-Champeix-Chamonix (CCC, ~50 miles), the TDS (Sur les traces des ducs de Savoie, literally on the steps of the dukes of the House of Savoy, ~67 miles) and the PTL (Petite Trotte à Léon, literally Leon's short jog, ~185 miles for teams of 2 to 3 members running the whole distance together). I ran all the sections of the UTMB course and have family living in Chamonix, so I wish I'd be there. One of these years...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

J'espère que tu as pu dormir un peu plus depuis.
Bien apprécié les photos