• Brent Beckham

Testing out the body on proper trails again

Updated: Jan 3, 2021


Got out for a proper trail run yesterday (June 15th) at Paris Mountain. It's definitely been a while since I was last out on trail longer than 0.25-0.3 mi (about half a km).

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Not to mention something that required a vest, ha! That thing definitely hasn't been worn since September of last year (2019) in Vietnam. I seriously felt like I was missing a lot of gear, only carrying 1 liter of water and a PB and pickle sammie. I knew I wouldn't need that much water and food but better prepared than sorry later.

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The main goal was just to get out for a longer trail run and assess the body, particularly my Achilles and plantar fascia on my left leg and foot. In all the run felt great, which was a bit of a surprise, and ended up running 8.11 mi.

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Initially I planned for 7.23 mi and the original original plan was 10 mi. However I thought better after getting my wife's input and assessing myself further, having recently done a 10 mi run in March but through the suburbs of Michigan (relatively flat to South Carolina). The 8.11 mi in a detour to visit a fire tower (well actually the ruins of an old fire house) and missing some turn offs and having to double back a bit.

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Only felt the left trouble spots slightly during a particular uphill spot and then a downhill section. I should note that it was more or less a run up the mountain, then along the ridge with varying elevation, and then back down (Strava activity here or scroll to the bottom for the Garmin Connect activity). I took it really easy on the downhill, knowing that would be the place where re-injuring/injuring it further would be most likely.

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At the end of the run I felt like I could've kept going but knew calling it was a good decision, as I didn't want to push it.


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Plus my wife and daughter were able to join. Well, they did their own hike and then ended up on the sandy beach along the lake at the bottom, where I met up with them before heading out. Definitely good to all get out there the same day nonetheless. My wife and I split up out days between who's working and who's with our daughter. Going forward I foresee using a day a week of my work time for longer runs, which will be nice turning into dual family time (in addition to the other family time we have throughout the week).

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This morning (the day after the run) I woke up with the same or similar awkward tightness and slight pain in that left foot//calf area as I have been as of late, so nothing worse or better, which I honestly expected worse. After the usual walking around a bit, loosening it up with some calf raises and sometimes lunges early or later on, it was feeling fine.

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So in all from a high/low assessment of training at this point, which I'd like to do more often going forward:


---High: Again, felt surprisingly good on the trail, after some initial doubts the day before if I really wanted to start training for ultras again. After being out there, I definitely want to get back into and realized just how much I missed it. It was really energizing to be out there again. Side note, new video and blog post coming out on my recent running goal pivot from the 3 hour marathon to my 35 mi birthday run for my 35th mid August. More on that soon!

---Low: A bit uncertain a this point of how this training cycle is going to shake out with only 2 months till my birthday/birthday run. I know it doesn't have to be on my birthday. I actually had a non-official discussion about birthday runs in general with a fellow trail runner back in Australia. To which, we landed on a 2 week leeway period being acceptable to complete a birthday run. So based on that, I've got until the end of August, and two weeks can make a difference. Anyway, I'm not trying to over pressure myself here. I have a training plan put together, based on one I used for my first 50k actually that I've now tweaked for the 35 mi distance and short timeline. The plan will be fluid as I plan to reassess weekly on how things are going, what seems reasonable for the next week, and make further changes as necessary.

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What goals have you been working on as of late?

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Would love to hear about it. Let me know about your thoughts and goals.

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Happy Running! ✌ :)


















Garmin Connect activity:


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