30 May 2014

Building Steam - 30 May 2014

I'm starting to get excited about the upcoming Savoy Mountain Trail Race. I was on the fence, until I read this post, at which point I realized I had to do it (read the comments, too). 15 miles seems like a lot, but I've run 10, and I know I can hike 15, so why not try running 15? I'd like to get into longer distances in the future, as time allows, so it makes sense to keep building this foundation.

To that end, I've started building up my mileage. I even went so far as to create a training plan. It's interesting, seeing target distances for a week. My mind keeps thinking about trails I've run and hiked, and which route fits which distance. This week I'm planning 6 miles for the weekend, and I'm probably going to do 2/3s of the Moreau 15k course. It's tempting to just do the whole thing, but I'd like to get a gauge on where I am at before I push too hard.  My longest runs will be 13 miles, and I'm hoping to do a route from Dacy Clearing, up and over Black Mountain, and then up and over Sleeping Beauty on at least one of them, if the timing works out. I'm really excited about that for some reason.  Hopefully the trail will have dried out a little bit by then, and I won't have to swim too much.

Other than that, I'd like to review the course itself on a couple of runs, to get a feel for the terrain and elevation, so I can dial in my training a little more. There are so many variables when it comes to trails. I follow several runners on Instagram, and it was interesting to hear one of them, from Washington state, complain about rocky trails in an arid part of the state. I got the impression from that statement that the rest of the trails out there must be mostly loam. In the Northeast, it's common to see a lot of rocks and roots on popular trails, and a lot of softer ground on the less used routes.  We also get a lot of exposed bedrock, which is like running on uneven concrete.  Anyway, I think knowing what the trail surface is made out of will help with picking the best training routes. There's a map of the course on the Run WMAC website, so between that and the maps produced by BNRC and Mass DCR, I should be able to find my way around the course. I'll still do some training on pavement, too, to keep my legs used to it.

One more interesting note: the race is named after the state forest in which it takes place.  The route itself involves running around some of the trails in the state forest, and then running up and over Spruce Hill, which is the highest point of the course, from what I can tell.  To further complicate things, there are actually two Spruce Hills listed on the USGS map of Savoy Mountain State Forest, and, much like Lincoln Mountain State Forest, there doesn't appear to actually be a Savoy Mountain.  More than likely the entire massif itself is called Savoy Mountain.  There's also a gigantic train tunnel running under Spruce Hill, just to keep things interesting.

Well, that's about it. Have fun, and be excellent to each other!

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