Plyometrics: Days 3, 4…and running Sand Run Falls Trail for the first time

Last week as mentioned in an earlier blog entry, I began plyometrics and weight training with the local high school cross country team on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This week were days 3 and 4 of the plyometrics, and after running five miles Monday and then running/walking/hiking seven miles Wednesday, I can’t say that I really did that well with the plyometrics and the weight training, but I still did it.

I’m not sure where the rest of you are, but here in the northeastern part of the U.S., the weather has been pretty hot and humid this week.

Monday, I did a 5 mile run around the small town in Pennsylvania where I live with the temperature above 80 degrees Fahrenheit (from now on, for my foreign friends ;), I’ll just say degrees, with the Fahrenheit understood). One of my goals this week was to do my runs in the morning. Technically, I did that on Monday, since I started at 11:30 a.m., even though the run went into the afternoon by the time I was finished.

Tuesday, I went to day 3 of plyometrics for me and the temperature was again above 80 degrees. Within the first five minutes, the sweat was pouring off of me and I was reaching for the water bottles I had brought with me. I readily admit I slacked off on the stretches, with, let’s say, the heat “not contributing positively” to my motivation. To make matters worse, afterwards, I realized that I had locked my keys in the car. One of the volunteer coaches gave me a ride home and I was able to break into our house.

Later, I walked up to the gym, about 2 miles away, to get the car since I had to go to a county board of commissioners meeting. I wore dress pants, a short-sleeved shirt and a tie, because I decided I’d go to grab dinner first and then the meeting. I tried walking slow so as not to sweat too much, but I still ended up sweating some and then when I got to the township building where the commissioners were meeting, it didn’t have air conditioning! Luckily, the meeting was less than an hour.

Wednesday, the goal again was to get out for a morning run, but by the time I had fooled around with cleaning out and organizing my address book on Gmail, my morning was shot. I decided I’d still get a run in, even though it was nearly 90 and a thunderstorm was expected any time during the afternoon. I headed out to a local trail called Sand Run Falls Trail, which is nearby where I live (told the missus via e-mail where I’d be going too). The only thing was that I didn’t know exactly how to get there and the way I thought I could go was under construction. So I had to take some detours and after driving around some back roads for about an hour, I found it.

The time was 3:30 in the afternoon. About a mile or two out on the trail, I could hear the thunder approaching, but decided to keep going anyway. As it was getting darker, though, I began to wonder if I had made the right choice — and with thoughts of being stranded or injured or attacked by a bear, I quickened my pace. As a result, on the three-mile run to the falls, I’m guessing I made pretty good time (I don’t carry a watch, so I’m not sure how good my time was during that first stretch.) Before I got to the falls, I crossed a creek and in the process, slipped and fell on my left arm on a rock in the creek. It hurt, but I really didn’t think anything of it as all I was thinking by this time was just get back to the start.

The only problem was that I took the wrong path on the way back because I decided to take a different route. I thought I could finagle my way back to where I started, but I was wrong and ended up coming out on a road about 2.5 miles from where I had started.

Today, I woke up late and at first, didn’t feel like making it to plyometrics. Then I decided that I had better go, since I needed the workout, even if I didn’t do all of it. Some of it would be beneficial, especially considering the three races, a 15K, a half marathon and close to a marathon trail run/endurance hike. The group did two loops around the high school campus after we started with what is called dynamic stretching: walking lunges, etc. I say, the group, because I only did one loop. But I did get into the weight room building and manage to do a little there, just not too much on the left arm — which by the way, according to my wife, who is an EMT, was all right. She bandaged it up and hopefully it won’t be too sore tomorrow.

Needless to say, after all this excitement and work and heat and humidity, I’m taking a day off tomorrow. I’ll run again on Saturday — and after that, will update y’all on my new plan adopted from SmartCoach at Until then, happy trails to you….

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