Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Quarry Crusher, Columbia SC 2016...and stuff

Hi all, Sorry I'm being an infrequent poster I'm settling back into this work lark! Needless to say I haven't stopped running. I'm pretty much following my usual 25-30 miles a week.
On Saturday I ran the Quarry Crusher run. This is in my neighbourhood(ish) and as I mentioned I was intrigued by the idea of seeing the quarry because their blasting actually causes my house to shake sometimes.

The race is a local one but they have now set up a few others in other cities, e.g. in Atlanta and Baltimore, with the same idea..run into the quarry and back out. The race started at 8am and I ran a mile and got there at around 7.45. The entrance to the quarry was only a quarter of a mile into the race and we soon found ourselves running on sand, packed dirt and/or gravel. 

Crazy guy

I seriously considered gloves for this race but in the end I managed not to fall :) I did see a number of bloody hands, knees and even a tush, ekkk!! The way down was steep but I held back a little until I got more confident with my footing... by the time I hit the bottom I was hitting 6.30 min/mile pace. At the bottom was a military band and a quick loop before we ran back up. 
The weather was really nice (55-60˚F)  so the multiple aid stations were appreciated but not really needed. The way back up was a slog, not in a bad way...I like suffering with others :P I wasn't even halfway up when I was passed in the opposite direction by the 'double crushers', masochists I call them. I ran-walked, changing over between the two very frequently. As I'd mentioned my body has not been behaving very nicely so it was more tight legs that got me on the way up than breathing (altho if I'd ran more I'm sure I'd be huffing and puffing with the best of them).
Lots of walk breaks
Once I hit flat ground again I was able to get my legs pumping for a nice fast finish.  Overall I was a big ole slow poke...around 10 min/mile but this was a novelty race. Not one I'd repeat but a really fun interesting experience. The distance changes every year depending on how much material has been removed. This year it was just over 3.5 miles..an automatic PR, a distance I'm unlikely to run again ha ha. I rounded out the run to 4 miles for a total of 5 for the day.
I got a nice medal and cotton t-shirt. Lots of food was available at the finish. A really nicely organized race.

The next day I felt like from halfway down my shins had been beaten with a baseball bat. Shins, ankles the whole lot. I spent a couple of hours doing yard work and then 45 minutes in the pool, instead of running which I'm sure would have done me no favors. Some of it was the surface and some shin splints. I'm giving in and I'm going to get Pure Flows at the end of the month instead of my Pure Connects as they have much the same specs but more padding and might help with the shin splints. Not complaining and I'm not looking for sympathy, I just wouldn't want anyone to think I'm just wimping out on running for no reason.

Next weekend I'm running a local 5 miler before my last planned half at the end of the month. After that I might try settle into a summer routine.
Swimming this Sunday made me think about it and I like the idea of not doing long runs but swimming/cycling instead. I would however like to put the effort into continuing to keep a ok mileage and do speed work just while keeping my run maximum to 6-7 miles when its so hot. That way I'm not giving myself heat stroke or losing all speed just trying to get in miles. I am excited that I'll have a gym right beside my new place come July so that'll help a lot with working out.
How do you change your routine up for summer? Or do you need to?


  1. This race is SO cool! I love that the distance changes each year :) And it's really pretty there (in that downhill pic)! I am not surprised you felt so beat up up the next day - what a challenging course!

    That sounds like an good plan for the summer! Last year I kept my weekly mileage the same in the summer, but cut back on pace :) So I just have to make sure I allow more time to get my runs in. I try to find shaded places to run too. :) I used to get up early to beat the sun but I got lazy and ran a lot during lunch break and found that it helped me acclimate! No idea what I'll do this year! Maybe I will cut back in mileage like I have in previous years.

    1. It was really fun, definitely unique!
      I'm really lazy and hate running in the mornings. Really the humidity gets me more than the heat and its just as humid in the morning anyhow :) You'd love Ireland...perfect year round running temperatures :)