BIG Week of Workouts, and River Bottoms Trail Run

>> Monday, November 14, 2016

Eight days ago, I raced Rocky's Run 8K - a nice, soft, golf course, CC race. Then, this past week, I got in some decent training because my body felt OK after racing on that soft surface:



Here's quick rundown of the week's workouts:

• MON: core.
• TUES: legs (and some old PT moves) and 200s in the pool.
• WED: 3.5 mile easy run, and then upper body at the gym.
• THURS: core and PT legs at the Y, and some 90 sec intervals on the trainer.
• FRI: 5+ mile moderate run, 300s in the pool, and some good PT moves for my legs.
• SAT: Good upper body, and an hour of mixed intervals on the trainer.
• SUN: 6 mile easy "long" run, and some core.

For my run yesterday, I thought I'd check out some trails along the river starting just south of where the Greenway Trail starts/ends. We've lived just about a mile from those trails for nearly 10 years, but I've stuck to running on the paved trails along River Road (almost exclusively on those paved trails for the last 6 years). I've done some exploring down there in areas with my boys, but I've never "connected" it all together. Time to try some soft-surface running:


Crossing the Mississippi River, ready to take the paved trail north
to that rail bridge, then hop down along the water on the left side of the River.


Heading down the "start" of that trail just south of the rail bridge.


After lots of potential ankle-turning rocks (and 1 iffy foot strike), it got nice and clear.


Heading under the Lake/Marshall bridge that I was just on.


Hopping and ducking.


I'd been in this area recently with my family on a hike, but not past this.
I had to run up that quick, steep little hill to the right (along that tree's shadow).


Really close to the water, hitting a little mud. Not much though.

That last photo was from just past "Mississippi Gorge Park" where I'd been with my boys a number of times. But I hadn't been past that. I only got BARELY around the corner 75 feet ahead in that photo when I would have been forced into the river. So I turned around and did a bit extra before climbing 122 steps:


122 uneven stone steps. I counted.


Running back over the Lake/Marshall bridge, looking down at 2 little streams
coming out of the bluff that I had to hop over 20 minutes earlier.


I started at the north end and went south 1.7 miles on trails along the river. Then
(not shown), I looped back north to about 33rd St, headed back south to Gorge Park, and
back north again to the stairs around 34th St for just under 3 straight miles of trail.

I've explored with the boys at 3 spots on that map: under the rail bridge at the north end of that run, a LOT under the Lake/Marshall bridge (where there's a rowing boathouse), and a few times in Gorge Park near the south end, but I'd NEVER connected those all until this run. (Now I've found another place to explore with the boys around 33rd street - a mini, sandy peninsula.)

According to the splits I took on my Garmin, here's how much time I spent on 3 different surfaces:

- Hard surface (sidewalk or paved trail): 2.65 miles in 20:19 (7:40 pace)
- Grass next to hard trail or sidewalk: 0.46 in 3:31 (7:39 pace)
- True off road trail by river: 2.91 miles in 26:02 (8:57 pace)

I was out longer than I expected because USUALLY on long runs, I do some middle miles at 6:30 pace or so. During this run, I slowed down on uneven surfaces nearly 2.5 mins/mile for those middle miles! So it's no surprise that this run was 5 minutes longer than my usual "long" runs, even though I've gone farther on long runs 5x in the last 2 months.

Now, time for an easier week. At least for a few days. Time to rest.

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