R. Bryan Braley

Listener, Learner, Leader

Category: Running

It’s Always Tougher Than It Looks

Elevation maps tend to make trails look easier than they are.

I am training for my first 50K road run of my running journey. I have about seven or eight weeks until the big race so I’m coming down to the wire to get in the right number of long runs.  For the past few weeks, I’ve been adding about 30 minutes per week to my Saturday runs, and yesterday it was time to hit the 3.5 hour mark.

In preparation for the weekend, I had checked out a Rails-To-Trails trail in Farmersville, TX. It is the Northeast Texas Trail. I have only run a portion of this trail once as I live in Missouri and visiting my parents in Texas doesn’t usually coincide with a big-run training schedule.  So, like any good runner, I scoured the internet looking for any trail elevation maps to see what I was up against. The entire nine miles  had several small elevation changes for an overall change of less than 100′, so I thought this will be no problem. After all, I’ve run much steeper hills than this both on the roads and trails of Missouri. Continue reading

White River Marathon – Half Marathon

White River Marathon for Kenya in Cotter, Arkansas Half Marathon and 5K White River Marathon Half Marathon

Source: White River Marathon – Half Marathon

Tailwind – The Missing Ingredient?

Having suffered several running injuries during my inaugural year, I decided to do things a little differently for this one.

Before my last race in November, 2016, I went to visit my chiropractor to see if anything could be done for my knee. In late August, I had listened more to a well-meaning fellow runner than to my own body on a pretty long trail run. As I had been training on trails all summer long in preparation for the Dogwood Canyon 50K, I knew what pain I could push through and what pain I couldn’t. But, I failed to listen to my body, and I’ve been paying for it for almost six months. My chiropractor told me that I had about three months worth of rehab ahead of me. He also said I needed to “get a butt” by actually cross-training and doing weight work for my legs. I honestly never thought I’d hear a doctor tell me to get a butt.

The last week of December, I bit the bullet and dove in to Shaun T’s Focus T25 program. I’ll have to admit that I probably wasn’t physically ready for the workouts, but, hey, I’m stubborn, and I’m an endurance runner. Besides, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? I am currently about half way through the Beta portion and, though I’ve found several things I can’t do as well as the team on the screen, I’ve been impressed with my ability to keep up. I no longer find shame in following Shaun’s go-to modifier, Tania. My plan is to complete all three circuits and then start the whole thing over. With the workouts lasting approximately 30 minutes per day with the cool-down exercises, they form half of my morning workout routine. Continue reading

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