Even the best plans don't always come to fruition. I had a perfectly HARD weekend planned with the Buffalo Wallow race on Saturday and 10-12 miles of hills on Sunday morning with the Striders. On Saturday, though, wifey-poo told me that she invited the neighbors to come to church with us on Sunday morning. Originally, I had planned on going to church on Saturday night and going long in Sealy early Sunday morning but I wanted to join in the fun with our guests on Sunday so a Sunday afternoon long run was force upon me. This was the first time I had ever done my long run in the afternoon so it was a bit of learning experience being out of my routine.
I chose TH park for the venue. I really love running out there and the hill are good prep for the Pig. It was a most beautiful day, the one I know June's been waiting for and the afternoon provided lots of sunshine and warmth.
The garmin was dead and there are no mile markers at TH park (although Steeeve could give you distances within 5-10 feet at any point on the trail) so I had the unique opportunity to JUST RUN. And that's what I did. I just ran. I knew from my Fit days that 10 miles was out to Hwy 6 parking lot, then back to Wilcrest and in to the finish. I threw in the keyhole loop for good measure. I don't have a clue how long that is. I think it's ~.18 or something like that.
After about 30 minutes into the run, I was feeling drained. No energy! I realized that I had not really eaten much for breakfast and only a clif bar and gatorade for lunch. I made it to the water fountain just before Hwy 6 and had a Gu. I don't think I've ever really felt such a boost from Gu'ing before. By the time I reached the underpass at 6, I was feeling frisky again. It was like BAM!!! When that Gu hit, I felt fine. Pretty cool.
I really took my time on this run and felt like I was running very easy. I was feeling the Wallow from yesterday in some very unfamiliar places, like the arches of my feet and my butt and especially my knees. Obviously the hills took their toll. Still, I don't feel like I wandered at all into the abuse/overuse side of training. Sure, these double runs on the weekend are stressing me in new ways but I continue to listen to my body and be flexible with my training schedule. Speaking of flexibility, Hal called for 12 today but I opted for 10, knowing that the Wallow was a tough race plus the TH hills were an added stress on top of that, not to mention I'm only 3 weeks out from the marathon and officially still recovering.
My total time, not including water stops and a couple of 1 - 1.5 minute stretching sessions was 2:25:48. That's ~14:20-14:25 pace, probably closer to 14:45 if I include the breaks which is just perfect for my long runs. Moreover, the effort remained easy and conversational.
One thing...there are sure a TON of bikers out on the TH trails after morning passes. I mean many, many bikes and some of them are going FAST!!! I witnessed two separate pileups and the park ranger had to drive his cart out twice to pick up injured folks and their bikes. It's nice that that kind of help is available in the park, but I guess you have to call 911 to access it. It can be dangerous out there, especially for kids, but for the most part, people were courteous. But, accidents DO happen.
It's good now to have sore legs and feel like I trained hard this weekend. I haven't really been sore at all since the thon and I'm ready to feel the pain again.