|Follow the feet!|
Fortunately, I got to spend the weekend enjoying my insane pursuit of finishing a 50 miler with ultra-marathoners, and fellow members of The Ultra Gang, Wild Bill and Breakheart Dan.
Upon a last minute email on Friday, I was able to recruit both Dan and Bill to help me along on what was to be about three hours on the trails at ultra marathon pace. We met in Ipswich and headed out for some miles in Willowdale State Forest, choosing to run the Bay Circuit Trail out toward the Hood Pond section of Willowdale and Cleveland Farm State Forest.
|Even camels will take a drink or two!|
|Dan doing his best to smile amid the conditions.|
Sunday rolled around with lots of rain and more humidity, and I was happily thinking about how much I was going to enjoy my rest day. Then something happened.
I had been reading some advice on 50 miler training in Ultra Running Magazine, and part of the article explained that it was important to learn how to run on tired and taxed legs. The original idea was to do a couple hours of running and walking on the roads, and then I resolved that I was training for a TRAIL race, and should make the mileage happen on trails. Unfortunately for my tired legs the closest trails are at the Prospect Hill section of the Bay Circuit trail, which features a hill about a fifth of a mile long, which provides about 150 ft. of elevation gain per ascent. Not much compared to other locations, but all of the above, plus lots of rocks and roots is enough to destroy lots of muscle groups.
|No, I am not having fun, yet.|
I am not sure exact what the grade is on this hill, but it seems damn steep. Plus the bottom section is fairly runnable, but the middle and later two-thirds of the hill show how lightly traveled this section of the Bay Circuit Trail really is. I actually stopped my watch and did some impromptu trail maintenance on a couple of sections where the grass was nearly knee high. I figured it would be helpful when descending the tricky terrain.
For the second straight day the air was saturated with juice, and the vast greenery between the trees in this section of woods was laced with mist, and the quiet trail was a little spooky in an Arnold - Predator - kind of way. I was on the look out for red dots, and no exaggeration, once down the hill I slipped and fell on my backside, and a squirrel in an adjacent tree fell from a limb to the forest floor and scattered back up the tree.
I got up and went along my merry way, because just like Jessie Ventura, "I ain't got time to bleed".
In total, I got about 2,000 feet of elevation gain on this run, and added a few miles after the hills to get a nice even 10 miles in about 2 hours, and 15 minutes.
All things considered, I was happy to have accumulated 25 miles and about 5 1/2 hours of time on feet over the course of the weekend. It was all at a relaxed pace, but I did get the added challenge of some hill climbing on tired legs. It hurts today, and was probably not a great idea the week before a race, but I am sure after a few days of recovery I'll be ready to roll this weekend at TARC Summer.
Hokas are coming this week, and I hope to log a few miles in them before trying them out over the long haul at TARC.