Friday, August 14, 2009

Hood to Coast 2009: Slide Whistles Ready

I have a strong dislike for downhill running, so naturally I chose leg 2 for this year's Hood to Coast experience, which begins with the crippler illustrated below, the "hard"-rated leg 2, in which I am asked to charge, or perhaps roll, or more likely tumble, down a 5.67 mile stretch of Mount Hood.

The appropriate sound-effect for this opening leg will be a slide whistle. I can hear it already, registering my descent and the health of my knees, shins, and hips.

Within several hours that will seem like several minutes, the "moderate"-rated leg 14 sends me and whatever remains of my lower extremities along a mercifully flat 5.49-mile length of highway 30.

After those refreshing experiences and, with luck, a small amount of food and rest, I close the running portion of the event with the 5.77-mile "hard"-rated leg 26, which closes, as you can see, with a 3/4-mile uphill that I find gratuitous to the point of insulting.

Truly, the only thing that worries me about any of the above is that I'm looking forward to it. The absence of a genuinely-felt healthy fear can't be a good thing.

I am doomed, but not without appropriate sound-effects.


bottleman said...

i too chose legs which involve some hardship. for me it's 8/20/32, where the middle leg is a middle of the night gravel uphill. but what's the point of doing something like this if there's no challenge?

"chirunning" (if you're into it) has a lot of good advice for downhills. without going into the whole cultish technique, it's this: keep your stride short, very short, your knees bent a bit, and your stride rate up (85-90/min); have your feet land underneath you rather than in front of you. crunch forward a bit and, voila, you are falling down the hill! finish with a decorative somersault.

Dale said...

Bottleman, that sounds like an approach I've been working on as I try to practice downhill running in preparation -- especially the somersault. Thanks.

I've looked into the chirunning stuff a little but only enough to get bored with it. Too much thinking involved!

Good luck out there. I am crossing my fingers we will not have the 90s - 100s weather we've had in spots this summer.

-=The Malchert Family=- said...

I like leg 2 so much, I've done it twice! That first leg isn't as steep as you think it is. The beautiful scenery (if you can appreciate it) will take your mind off your pain. The last two legs are cake, if a little boring.

Good luck from a fellow HTC-er.

- Big Daddy Andy