January 2020 Monthly Running Challenge



  • rheddmobile
    rheddmobile Posts: 6,840 Member
    I am so doomed y’all. :D

    My husband and I drove out to Stanky Creek to practice for the 8k run next week, which is the next race in our series. We are so not in shape for this! At least nobody fell in the creek today, which believe me is a thing that has happened to both of us in the past.

    Stanky Creek isn’t what a real hardcore trail runner would call technical, but it’s about as technical as trails get around here - ditches, creeks, single track between trees with knotty roots, fallen trees across the creek, and loads of mud and up and down. It’s a serious leg workout compared to the flat, even trails we usually run. Imagine playing hopscotch for an hour straight and you’ve just about got it. Plus the trails are poorly marked and we always get lost and end up doing considerably more than 8k. I’m pretty sure the entire second mile we ran took place in some sort of alternate dimension - we ran back and forth checking the gps against the map, eventually struck out in a random direction on something that looked sort of like a trail but wasn’t, and only escaped because a big, pretty Shepherd dog bounced up to us and showed us the way to the right path! Possibly we were fairy led and the dog broke the spell. We never did see the dog’s owner, just heard him calling for his dog from deep in the woods somewhere.

    Regardless the second mile was rootier and hillier than the real second mile, and by the time we were back on the right path we were already wiped. Not a good sign! We took longer and longer walk breaks, cursed the mud a lot, cursed the trail marking a lot, did not curse each other but exchanged some words about each other’s navigational skills (my husband used to be a Ranger Pathfinder. Ironic!) and got lost again but figured it out before going too far. We ran the home stretch hard and then realized we had emerged onto the parking lot from a different trail than the actual race trail. Retraced our steps until we figured out where we had gone wrong, thought about doing a second fast finish on the correct trail but decided the mud was really uncalled for and we would rather look at it than run through it since we still remembered it quite well from last year. We did do the creek jump - it’s a steep muddy downhill, then across the creek at the bottom, which is only about ankle deep but just too far for me to comfortably jump, then a steep muddy scramble up the other side.

    My Achilles’ tendon started complaining about all the jumping up and down and over things two thirds of the way through, again not a good sign, and my husband was tripsy because his ankle was bugging him. Race day ought to be fun!

    We saw a parade of huge whitetail deer, four of them in a row, evenly spaced, charging across the woods. We also saw a big red tailed hawk fly across the parking lot holding some sort of rodent in one talon. A nuthatch squirked at me, and we heard a solitary very cold frog. I’m also pretty sure I heard a snake go through the leaves across the trail in front of us.

    Stanky is theoretically a dirt bike trail and we did see several dirt bikes, as well as two other fools like ourselves, out running practice for the Winter Series. Both looked somewhat lost and dazed.

    So the issue with trying to practice for the 8K race is you really need to be able to use the map feature on your watch (if you have it) because it is a zigzag on the three different trail routes that are at Stanky. If you don't know the exact course by heart, then you will get lost. At least come race day, MRTC will have it flagged for you.

    And to think...they do an ultra there!

    Did I know you were in Cordova and forget, or did I never know that? We’re way down south in Riverdale, but I went to high school in Cordova.

    We did have a phone with maps, but the image doesn’t really blow up enough to be useful while running, since the trails are very close and the dotted line showing the wrong trail isn’t easy to see on my phone! It seems, looking at an overlay next to our race data from last year, that’s what we did was fall afoul of “April’s turn.” I believe April is the name of the MRTC secretary, and I am guessing she has also been led into fairyland at this exact turn in the trail (which makes me wonder why they don’t mark it!)

    Anyway this shows what we did wrong:

    The red is us running the race last year, the orange is what we ran today, and the dark orange represents us running back and forth over the same ground trying to figure out where the silly path was!

    Note that if you get off on April’s turn, you may never find your way out - it’s a completely closed loop. As far as I could tell there was no turn here at all. There seems to be a little bit of trail we missed completely.

    We did the Tour D’esprit 24 hr race last year and having done that, which is mostly pretty even ground, I can’t imagine running Stanky Creek as an ultra. I can’t make it around once without my legs feeling like I did a thousand squats.
  • Avidkeo
    Avidkeo Posts: 3,190 Member
    Elise4270 wrote: »
    Elise4270 wrote: »
    Where's February? Who's got it? I mean, I got the "can you eat a quarter pounder a 3 days a week" challenge...

    It is a bit early yet... but I could do it Friday assuming I do not forget.

    Nope not early. Remember we gots a few a day ahead. And we gotta do the monthly pledge per Stan the Man.

  • rheddmobile
    rheddmobile Posts: 6,840 Member
    Oh yeah, April Flanagan. I know A LOT of the MRTC board members and really good friends with one of MRTC's volunteer coordinators. I live over near Bert Ferguson Park.

    On your map you started out okay, but you took a right on the purple trail when you should have stayed on the white trail, and then towards the end you took a wrong turn on the red connector trail. You could go out there and for the most part just practice the white trail one last time. That is about 80% of the race. Just follow the white markings on the trees.

    Like I said, come race day you will have the course flagged. Lane will say what side of you to keep the flags on, I think they usually have them on the left side. It is a very windy course and it is easy to get lost. But they should have course monitors and 8K race arrows at each trail shift to make sure you don't make wrong turns...unless you are Chris Rayder...some how that dude seems to get lost even with a bike escort lol.

    Well if you’re Chris you can’t just follow the rest of the runners and go where they go!

    So is it SchweddyGirl because of the Breakaway Runners?
  • TheMrWobbly
    TheMrWobbly Posts: 2,522 Member
    Elise4270 wrote: »
    Where's February? Who's got it? I mean, I got the "can you eat a quarter pounder a 3 days a week" challenge...

    Easy tiger, I need all the days I can get right now so February can wait!!! :wink:

  • polskagirl01
    polskagirl01 Posts: 2,010 Member
    Elise4270 wrote: »
    Where's February? Who's got it? I mean, I got the "can you eat a quarter pounder a 3 days a week" challenge...

    Easy tiger, I need all the days I can get right now so February can wait!!! :wink:


    Agreed! It's hard enough keeping up with one of these threads. I vote for one day early, max :)
  • marisap2010
    marisap2010 Posts: 909 Member
    I love Egypt @marisap2010 which part are you headed for?

    We are going to Cairo, Luxor, Aswan, and Abu Simbel. Top to bottom, pretty much.
  • Teresa502
    Teresa502 Posts: 1,702 Member
    1/1 – 3.17 miles
    1/2 – 5.03 miles
    1/4 – 10.01 miles
    1/5 – 6.56 miles (trail)
    1/6 – 4.14 miles
    1/8 – 5.01 miles
    1/10 – 5.10 miles
    1/11 – 13.54 miles
    1/13 – 5.33 miles
    1/15 – 5.10 miles (track)
    1/17 – 4.38 miles
    1/19 – 11 miles
    1/21 – 1 mile
    1/22 – 5.01 miles
    1/23 – 5.01 miles
    1/25 – 6.21 miles
    1/26 – 5.00 miles
    1/27 – 4.17 miles
    1/29 – 5.17 miles
    109.95 miles completed /100 miles goal
  • PastorVincent
    PastorVincent Posts: 6,668 Member
    Has anyone tried this?

    Run on the dreadmill for at least 10 minutes, step off, then have a friend blindfold you. Try to walk in place, and you'll run forward instead.

  • quilteryoyo
    quilteryoyo Posts: 5,944 Member
    edited January 2020
    @rheddmobile That sounds like an interesting run. I hope you and DH both stay healthy and enjoy the actual race - and don't get lost on race day.

    @noblsheep Glad to hear that you and your family and friends are ok AND that they have figured out how to treat it. Stay well.
  • TheMrWobbly
    TheMrWobbly Posts: 2,522 Member
    These things are like buses @Camaramandy648 nothing for ages and then several in quick succession. Hopefully the last 'incident' in the queue for a while!

    We are going to Cairo, Luxor, Aswan, and Abu Simbel. Top to bottom, pretty much.
    Fantastic!!! We did the same thing a few years ago using Luxor as a base. The best thing we did was the sunrise balloon ride over the Nile valley - highly recommended!!