Monday, April 07, 2008

Oh no! River to River!

On Saturday, April 19 is the River to River Relay and my yearly trip to beautiful southern Illinois. My team has one or two spots available (I'm not exactly sure, it's not exactly "my" team, I'm just running on it). It's an 80-mile, 8-runner race and is fairly hilly but only one or two of the hills stretch out longer than a mile. If any of y'all are interested and free let me know: More info at their website.

My early spring training season has really been up and down. I tried to do the old 20x200m decreasing-interval workout from high school a few days ago and the weather gradually turned to freezing rain throughout the workout. My hip flexors complained a lot when I tried to accelerate aggressively, so the combination of cautious starts, my nearly non-existent speedwork up to that point, the weather, and the difficulty of the workout led to some really slow times at the end. My last 5 were barely under 40 seconds, which is slower than my 5k pace from October, and that was really leaving it all out there. It took some 3 minutes to basically regain my composure to where I could unlock my bike to get home and out of the rain.

I've had some really fun and challenging long runs (frozen beaches and the sloppy trails along the north branch of the river out past Pulaski and Foster are another... I like running through urban areas with my legs caked in mud or sand, it's like saying to everyone, "Hey, you're stuck on the grid, but I found DIRT!"). My knees aren't so happy about these runs all the time, or the number of spills I take on them. I guess I'd better keep my distance chops up, though, because if we're a runner short for River to River I'll probably wind up doubling (I don't know a lot of the people on this team, but it sounds like some have had recent injury problems).

Or if we're two runners short I may wind up tripling. I mean, that's not realistic, surely someone else on the team would step up for a 20-mile day (a missing runner's legs must be run by the same person, and a person doubling can't run non-contiguous legs). But it's fun to think about because I've run River to River 5 times and run each of legs 4-8 once. So if I ran 1-3 this year I'd have completed the whole race.

Really, though, I'd rather not do 30 miles within 8 hours just to complete the whole race. So hopefully someone wants to run.

Update: Due to yet another injury and the fact that the leaders of the team are (unlike me) not keen on running more mileage than they really should just to finish, we've canceled the River to River team. Drats.


Danielle in Iowa said...

If I didn't have to be at a conference that day, I would volunteer!

Joe said...

Sorry to hear you had to cancel the run, Al. That sucks. :(

Danielle in Iowa said...

Total bummer!