Saturday, July 25, 2009

16 excruciating miles

2 weeks ago I ran 14 and had a great experience running through the weeds, roads, golf course, back of people's yards, etc. My knees felt good after the run and I was excited for 16 today. I'm glad I am getting up earlier to run because I didn't check the alarm to make sure the "weekend cancel" setting was off. I woke up in a panic at 5:30 thinking I had missed the run. Good thing I packed all my gear the night before.

The route for today connected to a trail I had run previously under the shadow of the mountain. It was overcast and cool (a first in over a month) at 6:00 am. There were only 4 of us running. One lady was only doing 10-11 while the other 3 of us were doing the full 16. About 3 miles into the run, the trail veered off in a few directions so we chose one that looked the most promising. Turned out also to be the most hilly and grueling. The weather gave us a break and even rained on us a little. But those hills were not fun. I have discovered that there comes a point in any trail run uphill where power walking is faster and more productive than running. There were several of those hills.

We finally got reconnected with the main hill and turns out we had gone more up into the foothills. The good news was that the first two miles back were mainly downhill. The switchbacks were tricky to maneuver, but I only lost my footing once and luckily didn't go over the edge. It gave me just enough pause to wonder how I would get out if I fell and broke something.

The end of 16 couldn't come soon enough. When it was all said and done, it took us just under 3 hours at about a 11:00 min/mile pace. A normal long run and we'd be at 9 so you can see it was a tough run.

One thing I have noticed after my long runs is that I can't get enough to eat and my energy levels are in the toilet all day. I get to figure that one out.

I took a picture of my shoes so you can see what shape they are in after today's run. My socks may not come clean.

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