Saturday, March 15, 2014

Purgatory Chasm Trial Run-Well Not Really

I woke up fairly early today pretty excited to get in a trail run without the Dion's and needed to be in the fresh air after being office bound all week so off I went to Purgatory Chasm in Sutton to check out conditions hoping for semi bare trails so I could finally run with just the trail running shoes.  I'd get there and even the parking lot would be a mess much to my dismay.

As it meant the dreaded microspikes.  Last time I was at Purgatory trail running with my buddy Tom the microspikes only stayed on 4 minutes before I whipped them off as they were forming those dreaded snowballs between the spikes making running impossible so already had a bad felling of what was yet to come.

Which was still lots of snow in some spots, lots of standing water in other spots and a whole lot of ice in most spots.  Do have to say some of the ice pools sure were pretty like the one above.

Despite the obstacles I decided to give it a go and the trail you see above was the best running I could find that was okay enough to get my heart rate up but only lasted .15 miles so after a mile of running, walking and swearing I decided to head back to the parking lot and try the Old Purgatory trail which is my favorite but a monotonous 3/4 mile loop.

And that would be in even worse shape than Charlie's Loop much to my dismay.  All was not lost though as there was a lot of melting on some of the large rocks Purgatory Chasm is known for which would be the perfect opportunity to fit in some training for a new hobby I've suddenly developed  an interest in (sound familiar, yup, I haven't changed much!).  I guess it's not really new as it was something I first heard about when I was at Crossfit as it has Crossfit style moves but not as crazy as CrossFit but with many of the same training principals like using your body to do a lot of hard work instead of going to a gym and having a machine do it with your assistance.  After much searching I was able to find the original video I saw a couple of years ago that made me want to think about incorporating some of their moves during my trail runs now that I'm away from CrossFit and the gym but still want to work my upper and lower body without weights in unconventional ways.

And here is the video above!!!!  Now don't let the scaling of the rocks by a shirtless,shoeless jacked up dude scare you as I don't intend on doing any river boulder jumping or crawl on my back through the trails of course as there's a lot of ticks but can incorporate some of their fitness tips into my workout and it beats weights at the awful gym any day and you have to admit it sure looks like fun!!  Facebook Page:  MovNat

So I'd have a little MovNat Mod (aka move of the day) at Purgatory and do 30 pushups on the rocks of Purgatory.  It was a blast and really worked the core as you had to balance yourself on the rocks and the snow while doing them.  Winner/Winner Chicken Dinner!!!!!

 After that it was time to head home and get out of my wet trail shoes, have another cup of coffee and my first meal of the day or rather snack which would be some of the nifty pistachio trail mix above.  This stuff is so good I grab a few pieces and then put it far back into the cabinet as I could scoff the entire bag in seconds with no problem.  Never thought of using pistachio's in trail mix before but now thinking I may make my own and add some shredded coconut and other nuts and drizzle it with raw honey to get my carb fix for mid long runs as it would be a lot cheaper than the $2.99 I paid for this measly bag.  So good though.

Soon enough it was time to hit the road (YUCK), and the only way I could bear it was to get my Vibram's out of storage and break them in for the first time this year as it was warm enough at that point to do so.  And with the warm weather there'd be people everywhere on the side walks I run.  The road that's on my favorite local running spot has a 40 MPH speed limit and lots of twists and turns so side walk run as much of it as I can as I find people in cars can be total idiots when it comes to runners and cyclists and don't trust any of them so figure it's better to be safe than sorry (another reason I hate road running).

Anyhow, the sidewalk congestion would be so bad I'd have to pass many and when I pass I normally get on the street and sprint past them continuing to do so until I'm well past and then slow down to get my heart rate back to normal and go back to my usual turtle pace.  Sure enough that would last about .10 of a mile and I'd have another obstacle and this time it would be a couple with a stroller and I believe the grandparents right behind taking their time.  Sprint time again as I'd get past them and ignore the pain in my ankle as well as my sore toes from my Vibram's feeling funny on my left foot.  I'd turn off the Garmin and re adjust my shoes at this point while seriously annoyed as I run to escape and no matter what I did I wasn't escaping anything and the one thing I wanted to escape were people and winter at that point!  So out came my Droid where I put on the one song that can remove me from the universe while running roads  put it on as a continuous loop as I started running again.

On the Run:  Pink Floyd:  The trance like stare the guy has in the video is the exact frame of mind I get to when I listen to it while running and my preferred song while road running as I hate it so much!  It makes me pick up the pace though so off I went and was grateful to get to the 1 mile mark and turn around as I was only doing two miles considering I'd already done one mile at Purgatory and always take it easy with the Vibram's the first time out as the worst thing you can do is over run with them until your foot and calve muscles get used to them.  I'd feel as if I were flying on the way back with more people enjoying the day that I had to pass (also had to stop one more time to adjust the shoe and roll my ankle some as it still hurt).  It didn't stop me though as it did feel good to run with just shoes and the song had me going so off ran thinking of nothing but post workout fuel at this point!

And be very pleased with my time.  Now many of you runners would be mortified to have this kind of time on a road run but to me it means progress as I was lucky to get a 10 minute mile a couple years back when I ran 4-5 times a week so was very pleased with this and now realize I run better when I only do it twice a week with lots of cross training in between.  I'd start lunch and take off the Vibram's and put on my slippers when I saw the veins in my ankle very swollen and visible which is the thing that screwed me up three months ago and kept me from working out for a few days as it hurts like hell and can make me limp it's so bad.  It would also be then I'd remember the last time I had the pain was when I did a Vibram run last December on a really warm day and I'd finally put two and two together and realize the Vibram's were one of the biggest factors of what did me in a couple of years ago when I got so banged up ankle and Achillies wise I gave up running all together thinking I was a disaster at it.  Out came the ice and on came the compression calf sleeves hoping I could nip it in the bud earlier than last time.

So off I went to get some epsom salt as well as coconut butter for my Bullet Proof Coffee which are the only calories I consume pre workout (as well as BCAA's) as I train after an over night fast if my workout is in the morning.  I will get into this more as my blog continues but if you want to learn more about how you can train your body to burn fat instead of glycogen while working out check out Ultra Running Record Breaker Zach Bitter's blog.  His method of nutrition is a lot like what I'm doing and he's going to be doing a blog post on intermittent fasting in the next week or so which will explain the benefits better than I can.

I'd get home and take a nice long epsom salt soak in the tub after popped some ibuprofen and immediately feel better but still have the ankle pain as well as lingering pain in my right knee from all the knee turning I've been taking on the icy trails so am really annoyed with winter at this point as I just want nice green, muddy trails for running as my body can't take running in it in winter anymore.

I'd drown my winter sorrows with a Founders Breakfast Stout hoping it would help with the ankle and now thinking of what plan B will be tomorrow.  Either hiking and looking for blackbirds or going to the gas station to put air in my mountain bike tires and taking that out on the bike trail as I can't see me running again until next weekend when hopefully all the awful snow is gone!

Take care all.


  1. Wow the trails are still a mess aren't they?. I love the expression on your face because you had to wear microspikes. Hilarious!! Just catching up on all your posts. Good to see you are blogging again.

  2. Dan, they're awful and totally ticked at them as this is getting beyond old at this point. Glad to see you found my new blog and yes I am pissed as evidenced by my face. Disgusted is more like it! ;-)