Saturday, June 20, 2020

Wadhams to Avoca Trail FKT

This is another trail that's a bit too short to be in my wheelhouse, but it ends near Lake Huron so it was a good excuse for a day at the beach with my beautiful wife. Plus, I saw a lot of rabbits on the trail, which I always enjoy

Tara dropped me off at the trailhead around 7 a.m. so I could try to beat the heat, but it was beginning to get warm by the time I finished. I ran this trail southbound, so the first 7 miles were gravel and grass before the trail turned to pavement. This route is closer to 12.5 miles than the 12 listed on the FKT website, which made for a fun surprise. There is minimal elevation change and I finished in 1:18:01. This is a "rails to trails" path and within the first few miles I crossed an old trestle bridge with a nice view of the surrounding area and a valley below. The final trailhead is about 3 miles before the actual finish, so after I finished I used the jog back to the car as a little cooldown.

I carried 8oz of Nuun Endurance and a gel, which was definitely overkill. I would typically run this distance without calories or water, but I've been training a decent amount so I wasn't confident that I have much glycogen stored up in my muscles or was properly hydrated to begin with. I wore the New Balance Fuelcell Rebels today because the outsole pattern provides a bit more grip than most road shoes, which was beneficial on the gravel.

After I finished we went to the beach for a while to cool off in Lake Huron before getting lunch in downtown Port Huron.

This is my fourth FKT in the past 14 days and the cumulative fatigue is beginning to catch up with me. It may be time to dial it back a bit for the next 3 weeks until the Dirty Burg 50K.

Monday, June 15, 2020

10x Lake Lansing Trail FKT

This is my home trail, quite literally. My house is only a few hundred meters from an auxiliary trailhead, and my childhood home is right next to a different trailhead. I grew up playing in these woods and I've logged a lot of good miles on this loop.

The Lake Lansing Trail has been a popular proving ground for local runners for decades and I recently snagged the FKT for a single loop. The "Ten Loop" variation is special because it's just slightly over a 50K, making it an ideal route for ultra runners to test their fitness. 

My Garmin is always unreliable in these trails, but according to the maps and other runners’ GPS data, this route is 33.5 miles with 1,700’ of elevation gain. I finished in 4:12:29.

During the run I took in about 750 calories and 50oz of fluid. I stopped at my car once to resupply around mile 19 and carried the GoPro for a bit.
I'm definitely still feeling the Sleepy Hollow Trail FKT I did yesterday, but I wanted to log some miles on tired legs. I was inspired by Chaz Hornburg's crazy 90 miler on the Potawatomi Trail yesterday.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Sleepy Hollow Trail FKT

This one was a family affair. Sadie and Tara played at the beach while I ran and we had a picnic when I finished. The trail was muddy and overgrown in spots, but that just added to the adventure and having my girls waiting for me at the finish made this my favorite FKT so far.

The official stats for the trail are 11.2 miles and 797' of elevation gain. I finished in 1:16:42.

This trail is notorious for flooding and the rainfall this week left it quite muddy with a few sections of standing water, but I've seen it much worse. The more challenging aspect involved the parts of the trail that were overgrown from lack of use. Sleepy Hollow State Park is typically a popular campground, but it has been closed all season due to COVID-19 and some sections of trail had narrowed considerably from overgrowth, while some parts had grass a foot high in the middle of the trail. A few trees down across the trail was evidence of less staff performing maintenance as well.

All of this combined to provide exactly the adventure I needed.

I went after a very flat, fast FKT last weekend, and I'm planning the same for next weekend, so it was good to get back to my roots with some real trail running. I'm planning to get back on the trails tomorrow for a longer effort. Logging miles on tired legs is an important part of my training.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Falling Waters Trail FKT

The lack of races has meant it's open season for FKTs.

The Falling Waters Trail is a "rails to trails" route stretching 10.5 miles from Concord to Jackson. I ran it out-and-back for a total of 21 miles in 2:16:18 to snag the speed record. The "Fastest Known Time" was previously held by Josh Sanders, a good guy and accomplished mountain runner for Salomon.

I usually seek out hilly, technical trails, but this one was flat and fast. It was a good litmus test before I begin training for my first road marathon this Fall. I began to feel the lactic acid buildup around mile 17, but I held it together enough to stay relatively close to my goal pace.

I ran this "unsupported," carrying 18oz of water (with Tailwind) and 2 gels, which seemed to be perfect. I was originally only going to take 10oz, but given the 94% humidity I called a last minute audible and I'm glad I did.

There were a few times today that I really wished I had a pack to run with so it would be easier to turn my brain off and slip into autopilot, but I suppose that's just one of the challenges of unsupported speed records.

The sun was at my back for the second half of this run, which was very beneficial because it allowed me to see my shadow. As I began to tire I could immediately see when my form started to break down (like my elbows flaring out a bit) and make the necessary adjustments.

It looks like some local 5Ks are taking place next week, so hopefully I'll have the opportunity to race again soon!

FKT Website (Falling Waters Trail)