Sunday, October 19, 2008

Final tune-up for Murph.........

Tune-up is an exaggeration, based on my training I am not ready to run well at Murphy but I will get through it after all it's just a 50k :-). The hills will take their toll, at least on me as will having to run multiple loops. I have had thoughts about dropping back to the 25k but 2 loops would almost be too easy. I have to remind myself I do this to see what I can do, not what I know I can do.

I went out this morning with the plan to get in 5 hours, didn't quite make it but I did get in around 4 hours and 45 minutes. It was a good day of running as I ran the first loop on the Surf the Murph 50k course (yes, I did have to traverse one or two gates but I wanted to know what the parts of the course that I had yet to run). I parked at the horse lot (see map below) and entered the course at trail marker #17 (it was sandy in places, not too bad otherwise), I went around a gate that led to #8, climbed over that gate, proceeded through #7, #6,#5,#4, #3, #1 down to #11, hung a right onto #12, #13, #14 and ended up back at the horse lot. It went fairly well but it took me 1 hour and 50 minutes, now I wasn't pushing it but I wasn't going that easy either. My hope is that will be race day pace average loop time (I had wanted to finish in 7 and 1/2 hours or less, now I am thinking finish), I also hope that I wasn't on the actual course as my Ipod had it at 8.99 miles, Now it can be inaccurate and with all of the side steps I take on trails it often comes in light on mileage but sometimes it does end up being 10% over. I really don't think I made any wrong turns but I did do it from memory so who knows maybe I added a 1/2 mile somewhere or maybe my Ipod was just off. I do hope someone with a Garmin runs Surf the Murph as I am interested in the total elevation change on a single loop. I still think that four loops here will be tougher than Afton even though none of the hills are as long, it sure seems like I was going up and down a lot more.

On my second loop, the mileage was at 8.5 but I turned back with a 1/4 or so mile to get back to the horse trails and I did modify the course by not going around the gate at #4 but I headed over to #9 and then took the short cut back to #4. I also walked the hills a bit more, my time for this loop would have been right at 2 hours. From the mudpit (see below), I meandered back around the park and added another hour to the morning of running. Total mileage was probably at least 20 might have been 21, it doesn't really matter, I was on my feet for a while and that's all I wanted to do today.

Officially, I also did my World Wide Festival of running 1/2 marathon today, so this is my post for that as well. I had planned on doing it last weekend but none of those runs went well enough to qualify (see earlier posts). I had thought about doing the Big Woods 1/2 yesterday as I love running in Nerstrand but I knew that getting in a long run today was a better idea. In case anyone from the World Wide Festival reads this post, take a quick moment and read Kel's and Steve Q's posts on the Big Woods 1/2 marathon. The Festival allows you to run this weekend or the weekend ahead of it, the goal they have is to simply have a group of runners from all over the world connect together in a virtual race. So today, the first 13.1 miles were dedicated to the Murphy Hanrehan 1/2 marathon. Murph is a gem for trail runners, mountain bikers and horse riders, it is one of many regional parks we have in the Twin Cities area. Next year though, I will do the Big Woods 1/2 marathon for the Festival, it's a whole lot easier course.

Murphy-Hanrehan Trail Map

I did take a few pictures with the phone again, Steve Q. posted asking if the camera could adjust for focal length, unfortunately it doesn't appear to be able to. I will double check the instructions as in just playing with the camera, I can't find an option that would do so.

Here are the pictures (the camera doesn't do these justice)

Heading up a hill on the #1 trail

Turning around on the #13 trail - cool view

On the #14 trail - south side of the park

On the #14 trail - south side again

One final one from the #14 trail, this mud about took off a shoe, if it rains a bit between now and the Surf, it could be an interesting part of the course. We may hit in the dark on the 1st loop.

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