Saturday, August 18, 2007

Pack Review, Long Run

Love, love, love it! It's light, it's comfortable and easy to get to stuff. There wasn't anything I didn't like about it. In 1970, Chess & Thomas described nine identifiable personality characteristics - one of which is sensitivity. I have this characteristic in abundance - I am easily irritated by tags in clothing, by seams in socks, by clothes that are too tight, or the wrong texture. Little things can drive me nuts. In fact, this sensitivity is part of the reason I'm vegetarian - the texture and taste of meat is too much. It probably is the reason I prefer quiet to music and find shopping so hateful - too much stimuli. Eric refers to me as the princess, as in The Princess and the Pea. So, you ask, what does this have to do with the pack? I had two difficulties - both of which were solvable. The first was all the little hanging straps - the fly-away ends were bugging me. I solved that by tucking them around or tying them up. The second was the stuff in the front pockets pressing on my ribs - that one took a few strap adjustments, a little shifting of stuff, then I was okay. My conclusion is this: if I can wear this pack, anyone can.

As a side note, the whole personality thing can be very interesting when looking at the relationships between parent and child. An example would be the sensitivity issue. If a parent is low on the scale, where nothing really bothers them and they have a child like me - one who can barely wear a pair of socks, they would probably find themselves very frustrated with their child. They might even find themselves in daily battles over clothing that is "scratchy" or "too tight" or "too stiff". Understanding that this is truly an irritant to those who score high on sensitivity could help them to understand and work with their child. When parents and children are on the opposite ends of the spectrum on any of the nine characteristics, it can be very challenging. Sometimes when they are both on the high end - like if both score high in persistence - it can result in power struggles. Okay, enough of the Parent Ed and back to the morning's run.

Rick, Michelle and I took off from Orting at 5:45. We met Melissa on the trail about 2.5 miles out. We had a perfect morning for running, and for the first half had most of the trail to ourselves. There was this one guy on a bike who really startled me though. We were running side-by-side, taking up the whole trail and I was on the end. All of a sudden, this biker flies past me - he zipped onto the grassy, weedy shoulder and cut back in front of me. Most bikers on the trail call out as they approach and we drop to single or double file to get out of their way. This guy had on headphones and way too short of shorts and gave no warning at all. Trail traffic picked up on the way back - we saw a lot of Team in Training runners and walkers heading out, plus plenty of bikers.

We totaled 16.22 miles in 3:11:15, for an average pace of 11:47. I did not stop my watch at either of the potty stops, so our pace was probably a bit better than that. Once again, I'm thrilled to pull off 16 miles at that pace! I keep thinking I won't be able to sustain it, but once I'm running I don't notice it. I started feeling that old, familiar achy legs feeling about mile 13. I'm hoping that will eventually go away with all the training I'm doing. Of course, that feeling my be a result of this:

week ending today: 52.58 miles
week ending 8/11: 33.62
week ending 8/04: 37.20
week ending 7/08: 32.97
week ending 7/01: 30.67

(Clarification: last week's long run got shifted to Sunday, and this week's long run was on Saturday - resulting in a high mileage week. In terms of the long run, it was only two miles longer than last weeks. If I hadn't swapped them out, last week would have been 41 and this week's 43. If you average it, I didn't really have that gigantic leap in mileage).

The month of June I was trying to recover from the spring marathon fling - my mileage for the month was pretty low - around 18 miles/week average. In retrospect, it was exactly what I needed to recover, though at the time it felt like I was slacking. Next week I'll drop down to the mid 30s again - our long run will only be 10 miles because we've got something more important to be doing on Saturday than running...crewing for Eric at CCC!


Chad said...

Sounds like the pack is working for you - I tend to be low on the sensitivity scale until I get to gear, like packs, that are going to be with me in some tough situations. Are we allowed to move around the scale depending on the conditions? ;-)

Juls said...

I hate flapping straps as well. I haven't had a need for a more than my camelbak (1.5L) but anticipate the time will come when I will need to gear up. I did sign up for twin peaks (50K) next February.

robtherunner said...

Nice job on the mileage this week. You almost out ran me.

I cannot believe CCC is here already. Yikes! Oh wait, I'm not running the entire thing. What am I worried about?

Sarah said...

I love the intensity too!! The little straps bug me too if they get loose....they whack me right on the elbows. But if I hook them back they usually stay in place.

Marc happens to love this pack too, after using it at the PCT 50. I may have to get him the man version, since he has mentioned wanting to use it again. But I don't want to share it! : )

Jenny, Maniac #401 said...

Glad the pack is working out! So sorry I missed you guys this morning. The expo was infinitley better this year with going to the pre-expo seminar. I was out of there before the expo opened to the rest of the racers and off to the bike racking at the transition area an hour before it opened! I thought this would be a problem, but they let me in and I was the second bike in my section! I was home by 11:20. Fabulous. You'll have to let me know your schedule this week! Might be my last week to join you. :(

Dori said...

Wow, that's a big jump in miles; no wonder you were feeling a little fatigued! Good job!

Glad to hear the pack is working out--I'm thinking about buying one. The pack that I have is more geared for hikers than runners and it's way too heavy.

wendy said...

So glad to hear you're loving the pack! And you really did a great job on the run - I wouldn't be suprised if you kept that pace throughout a whole marathon. You're doing so well with your training, you should really be proud of yourself!!!

Wes said...

Well, you've always been an awesome runner to me, and the pack sounds really cool :-) When I'm on the trail, it bothers me a bit to have the whole trail taken up by one group, especially since the signs say "Stay to the right except to pass." I know that's not true on all trails, but I'm not comparing it to yours in any case. Bottom line, is I'm always courteous to folks when I go around them, especially if it is crowded! It pays to make sure everyone is safe and having a good time.

Great mileage! I know you threw in an extra long run there, but still, awesome :-)

scott keeps running said...

i hate hangy and bouncy straps on the packs also. i cut off as much as i can.

can't wait to hear about the crewing experience at CCC!

Jenny, Maniac #401 said...

Michelle- I'll do my best to join you Tues/Wed/Fri. I'll probably try to get another 10 miler in, maybe Tuesday.

Sarah Elaine said...

I have now checked out the website for the pack and I may be doing a little shopping. They have water bottles!

And thanks for the tips on the duct tape, by the way. I'll definitely try it. Trail runner Sarah recommended the same book, too, so it looks like there's more shopping in my future.

Good job on the pace of the long run, by the way!

Addy said...

Great job on the big runs lately and the high mileage week :)An 11 something pace is awesome for 16 miles!

Glad you're enjoying the pack. I really think they're the way to go!

Joe said...

Great run, Michelle!! After bonking on my own 16 miler this weekend, I'm envious...and happy for you!!

Cool pack, all tags removed, low irritation. What fun!

psbowe said...

Ha ha, listen to Rob..."you almost outran me!" Got a good chuckle out of that. But really, that's a nice week of running. Glad to hear the pack is working out for you.

shawn said...

I find it hard to believe that anyone who runs as much as you do, has raised two children, and now babies her adult child (er, that is, crews her husband!) without a complaint could be considered a Princess! Sounds like you are doing a lot of running and feeling good too! Keep it up. See you next week!

Mama said...

I find it interesting that you mentioned that bikers too short shorts. Hmm... maybe Steve is right. hehe.
Be Free,

Anonymous said...

That's some quality mileage there! I'm impressed.

I had to laugh about the biker with too short shorts. That must've been his problem, huh? :)

Sharon Stamper said...


I wish I could have ran last Saturday but I felt I owed my fellow cycle instructor since she always subs when I need one. As it turns out, no one showed up for the class so I shut the door,cranked up the music and did my own ride! It was hard and I felt good! The only bad thing, I didn't get my long run in on Sunday because I could not motivate myself to run by myself!!! :( So let me know what time you will start your 10 miler and when for this weekend I will need to join you!

peter said...

You put in a lot of miles! Thanks for the secret on how to keep camelbacks from sloshing, which you posted in comments on Dori's blog.

I don't wear headphones so I'm with you--any repetitive noise like jangling keys on a run is maddening.

I also wish bicyclists would always signal when they approach. They hardly ever do around here (DC). But they often make scolding comments like, You all should be jogging single file, when they pass by and there are two runners abreast.

JustRun said...

As usual, impressed by your mileage. One day, I might get mine back up. Have fun crewing- I'm sure you guys are pros and beyond by now!

Darrell said...

I want to know if Rob actually read the middle part of this post. All that sensitity and relationship stuff, you know.

You are sure putting in some nice mileage of late.

Meghan said...

Hi Michelle,

So glad that you like the Intensity! The lengthy straps bugged me, too. I cut them, burned the edges, and used a big sewing needle to re-sew the ends. Viola! No dangly straps! And, you've probably cut off an ounce or two of unneccessary weight. I know, I'm a dork.

Have fun crewing this weekend for hubby! I'm off to wish him good luck on his blog!