Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pre-Race Thoughts on the Uwharrie 100

The course is a figure 8 loop. There are only two spots for drop bags, one at the start/finish, and one at the intersection of the two loops, which means I will have access to the drop bag at mile 6, mile 14, mile 20. 

The weather looks like a high of 75, low of about 50 for Saturday-good for my asthma!

        18 October 2014       Eastern Daylight Time          

        Begin civil twilight       7:03 a.m.                 
        Sunrise                    7:28 a.m.                 
        Sun transit                1:05 p.m.                 
        Sunset                     6:41 p.m.                 
        End civil twilight         7:06 p.m.                 

The race begins at 6 am, which means I will start with a headlamp. This is good, as I can drop it into my drop bag at mile six.  Then I can pick it back up again toward the end of Loop Two, to make sure I have a light. I should begin Loop 3 in daylight..but my guesstimate time is starting Loop 3 is 6 pm. It's better to have the light and not need it!

I have a pacer for loops 3 and 4! Her name is Bea and she is a local.  They put the word out via Facebook that there were some volunteer pacers available, and I mentioned I would not mind some company..voila, Bea!

Allison is going to be my crew. There's been a slight course adjustment, so it appears she can meet me at the start/finish, and then apparently mile 12 or so.  This second meet up I was not planning on, so Allison and I will discuss this when she arrives on Friday.

These are the times I have guesstimated I can finish the loops in:
Loop 1 5.15 hours
Loop 2 5.20 hour
Loop 3 8 hours  (darkness loop)
Loop 4 7.5 hours
Loop 5 6 hours

It adds up to roughly 32.5 hours.

Goals?  Finish the Race, always first!  2) Finish under 33 hours 3) Finish under 32 hours.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Running Around Camp Tuscazoar..Again!

I seem to make about a yearly trip to the Bolivar area, to either run on the Zoar Valley Trail or explore Camp Tuscazoar.  I was last at Camp Tuscazoar in 2012.  There have been two new FB Groups on the Camp Tuscazoar area, where I learned new mountain bike trails had been carved.

Having a haircut in the area, I headed to Camp Tuscazoar afterwards.  Thanks to a great new map online, I decided to follow the mountain bike, hop on the Zoar Valley Trail, and see if the Dover Dam construction had been completed since my last visit.

The new haircut, before starting. I decided to just follow the mountain bike trail around.

 It's a nice mountain bike trail!  Single track!

 Nice signage!

 Pioneer Point. There are white painted rocks here that spell out "Camp Tuscazoar" but they are badly overgrown. I'm sure it's not enough for an Eagle Scout Project, but it would be cool to see this old (from the 1930's) signage renewed.

Speaking of signage, these trails are great. The last time I wandered around Camp Tuscazoar, it was more by 'accident' that I found my way up to Pioneer Point. Now there are signs!

I took the right here, to wander down to the ZVT, the Zoar Valley Trail. Actually, what I believe is the ZVT is closer to the river, but this little jeep road takes you to the Dover Dam.

I bypassed the Roost Trail to continue down to the Dover Dam, just about a 1/4 mile down the road.

 It appears the construction is done on the Dover Dam.

I then ran down the Zoar Valley Trail, which puts you right along the Tuscarawas River.

I watched my mileage, then bushwhacked up the hill, which puts me on the same jeep road I was on. Now I was going to follow the mountain bike trail to the "Roost".

There was a little climb here up to the Ridge, where I ended up right above the Dover Dam!

Very nice trail. Nice singletrack to run on. I will be back here again, to run.

Buzzard's Roost

 I took the "Iron Mine" Trail which was a great downhill descent. I didn't see the wall, but I was busy admiring the trail and woods through here.

"After establishing the community of Zoar in 1817-1818, the German separatists began mining iron in the surrounding hills to provide income for the community. One such mine was located on the present camp property. A technique known as kidney mining, an early form of strip mining, was used to uncover the raw iron ore. The soil was stripped away to reveal the ore beneath. Signs of this activity can still be seen along the northern side of the horseshoe trail from Buzzard’s Roost."

I kept encountering various cabins and structures on my run. This was a memorable one. It turns out this was "Troop Five" Cabin.

The original Troop 5 cabin was built in 1920 on a terrace above a small spring known as Gist’s Spring near Old Campsite. The cabin was disassembled and moved to its present site in 1933. Troop 5 Cabin is constructed almost entirely of wood from Camp Tuscazoar and resembles the log cabins at nearby Schoenbrunn. It is the oldest cabin at Camp Tuscazoar.

 Check out the fireplace. Once that bad boy got going, I bet it heated everyone out of the building!

This vintage Smokey The Bear was on the inside of the door. It still holds true!

This is a cool place to run. I was able to get about ten miles in with just repeating less than one mile of trail. Running down to the Zoar Valley Trail can extend mileage. The best thing is, this is about 40 minutes from home, new trails to run on!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Countdown to Uwharrie: 2 Weeks Out

I'm getting kind of messed up with my countdown. All I know now it's  October 6th and my race is October 18.

This has been a very good week of training. My stress level is way down (no longer 8/10, more like a 3/10, aka normal).  The Coach is back and now I'm feeling accountable, which means I'm running my schedule and not dodging workouts just 'cuz I'm tired from work.

This is a very good time to feel *back in the grove* since I've got a 100 mile race in two weeks.

Today Yesterday was my 17 mile run. My last long run before Uwharrie. It needs to be a trail run, hopefully the ups and downs of the trail at Salt Fork will help mimic the up/down at  Uwharrie.  I was not able to really train on "technical" training as I believe the Uwharrie 100 course will be..but I did finsh The Ring, and I like running on rocks. Being such a fan of the Massanutten Trail,  I am thinking I should feel very at home on the  Uwharrie and Dutchman's Trail at the Uwharrie.

I had a pretty good run. I brought my hiking poles with me. On "close" trails, meaning the trails are a bit overgrown, if you are *running* hiking poles slow you down.  I was doing 18 minute miles with these poles, and a bit frustrated. I stashed them along the trail where I could easily extract afterwards, from the roads, and my pace increased. Sweet. 

17 miles in 4.44. Okay pace. I could have ate more but didn't pat down my pack to see what I had with me.

I had an absolutely horrible night sleeping Sunday night with a 530am wake up call for work. I decided in advance to bail on my workout.

I got my filing cabinet painted coral after work and a bit more gear sorted in my new running/workout space downstairs.

 The sorting is important since I need to get stuff organized to fly out of town next Thursday.

 Sock monkeys are just so cheerful...