Bikers, Learn the Trails Etiquette

I run a lot in Bent Creek. It’s a really fun piece of the woods with multiple users. I know some people go horseback ridding, although I yet have to come across a horse on the trails, there are tons of mountain bikers, runners and hikers. With multi-usage comes a strong need to respect trail etiquette. There is of course the basic courtesy which states that Bikers should yield to all, and runners should yield to horses.

Now let’s be honest, when you’re hiking and you hear a bike, common sense makes you get the hell away from their path to avoid any point of impact. When hiking I go by safety first rather than who should yield to me.

However when I’m running it’s a little different, I sometimes go faster than bikes (uphill) or at a pace and place that might make it difficult to be passed. When I’m running I also don’t want to stop unless I absolutely have to. And this is where trail etiquette and courtesy come in.

When I come upon hikers, I announce myself. Trail etiquette to me means:

1)announcing yourself (to avoid scaring people preferably)

2)stating which side you will pass people from “Passing to your left”

3)If on a bike it should also include a)”Runner’s up” to warn your friends and b) “x more coming” to let you know how many more are coming up if there are.

Pretty basic and logic right? So allow me to rant when we ran today and had a bunch of idiots on their bikes coming up behind us on the trail. At no point did they announce themselves. The path was wide so we were kind and stayed to the right. When they started passing us I said loudly “Passing to our left I guess?” One of the guys answered “Yeah”. They came from behind us and I could tell there were a few of us so I felt I had to ask “How many more coming?”. Mr. Smartass on his bike said “10!”, and the guy right after him said “more like 5”. Mmh great guys, now we don’t know, so much safer.

When people don’t follow trail etiquette, do you keep quiet or do you feel like educating them?

 

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Learning From the Marathon

I learned a few things running my first marathon, things I hope to remember next time I run one. Oh yes because the first thing I learned from the marathon is that I like it. Yes some miles were tough but I very much want to run another one.

The Training Plan

I decided early on not to be too concerned about my pace while training. I ran by feel instead. Oh I’m sure I ran some workouts too fast and some too slow but overall I did great and I don’t regret my choice at all. Now if I was trying to break a certain time then I may want to look at my times a little more, if only afterward to learn from it.

The Taper:

I frankly enjoyed it. It was good to give a rest to my body and have more time for myself. I’m glad I followed the training plan for it.

Carb Loading:

It’s impossible for me to carb load according to what I found I’m supposed to do. I simply can not ingest 400g of carbs a day. I did however get a lot of snacks that I munched on for the last two days prior to the race. Kashi’s oatmeal dark chocolate cookies, homemade trail mix, pretzels, etc. It worked out great.  I choose to cut off dairy a few days ahead. I missed it,  but I think that was a good thing for me to skip it prior to the race.

Pre-Race meal

I think I’d rather have a homemade meal before a race since it’s easier to control. I feel that I should have practiced a little more on what works best and kept a log of pre-long run dinners. I’d love to avoid an other porta potty break during a marathon (downhill didn’t help either). I think a little more plain food would have been better. I had pasta alla vodka which I think contained cream, that wasn’t my best decision.

Banana, bagel and almond butter worked out great in the morning

Race Fueling and Hydrating:

I think I did good when it comes to hydration. I didn’t care much for the electrolytes drinks when came the time. I was very thankful I had my hand held bottle with me. I could drink when I wanted and refill it at the aid stations. I learned that I can’t rely on meeting my husband on the course and it’s best to have everything I need with me.

Fueling I didn’t do so well. I’m terrible at eating gels when I should. I never eat as many as advised on the packaging. I did good for the first half, starting around 45 minutes and taking a sip every 20-3omns. But after mile 15 I just forgot to take some. I don’t know if I need to set myself reminders or practice taking them better during training race. I do think however that 1)I like Clif gels better than GU.  2)I do better sipping a little gel at a time rather than a whole packet at once. I am honestly surprised I did as well as I did with the little fuel I had during the race.

My the end of the race I was craving sliced oranges and icy cold water.

Chaffing

It will happen. I used a natural version of body glide. Most of my body part were fine. Some light chaffing on the lower back but nothing that I even noticed or felt until a few days later, so the SkinFood Topical Nourishment worked. I did experience some chaffing from a poorly designed seam on my sports bra. I could feel it at the beginning so I knew it would be a problem. Somehow my body tuned it off and I only realized it at the very end.

Post-Race Fueling and Stretching

Having my husband bring me a smoothie was one of the best post-run fuel idea I had. It was easy to drink and I know helped with the good protein/carb ratio.

Making use of the massage table is a must. I’m also glad I mostly followed my usual cool off/stretch routine.

Post-Race legs

Overall they felt good. However after 20 minutes of walking, during the first two days after the race, I had to sit down. It’s good to know your limits.

Recovery week

That would be my other failure (first one was fueling during the race). It’s not because you feel good that your legs have recovered. Recovery week is not the time to try out a new trail, especially not a technical one. I feel very stupid because my first two recovery runs went very well, so I was a lot more careless on my third and the result is injury. Lesson learned: no new trail (easy smooth trails are ok), no new shoes post race. I think I would have been better off logging a few more miles on my old trail shoes while my legs recovered.

What lessons do you take from race running? Any wisdom to share?

 

 

Resuming Training After a Break

I found this great information on <u>Runner’s World Complete Book of Women’s Running</u> and thought I would share. When I was side lined in October, it was one of those things I wish I had known. We all get hurt, get sick or have to take a break at some point. It’s hard when you are a dedicated runner, but harder is this fear of not being able to run again or even how to ease back into it.

So here is a simple set of rules to follow based on how much time was taken off running.

  • 1 week off: Resume at previous distance
  • 2 weeks off: Resume at half of previous distance
  • 3 weeks off: Resume at one quarter of the previous distance
  • 4 weeks off or more: Start from scratch with the alternate walk/run.

It may seem hard to cut back, but ultimately your body will thank you. And remember that even if you start over, you will likely catch up much faster than a true beginner.