Saturday, April 22, 2006

A Three Hour Fifteen Minute Hilly Long Run - Yeah Baby!

So I just got back from an awesome long run an hour ago. I was up at 5:30 a.m., had breakfast, grabbed my stuff and drove to the neighboring town of Weingarten to run some hill loops. After some calisthenics and a 6 minute jog along the semi-flat base of the “mountain”, I turned and started tackling the first loop.

So up the hill, a steady climb for around 5-6 minutes, then some gentle rolling hills for about 20 minutes before heading back down again. Then it was a left turn and up the second major hill, about a 4-5 minute climb. The second hill is slightly steeper than the first, but I sailed over it! So after another 10-15 minutes of rolling hills I finally wound back down the mountain side to where I started. I finished the first loop in almost exactly 1:15:00.

So without skipping a beat, it was back up the hill for the second loop. As I crossed over the crown of the hill top and started down one of the rolling hills, I had a dude with a tractor and wagon stop me and ask if I had seen a pile of new logs on top of the hilltop – I guess he was picking up the logs for someone. Unfortunately, I run kind of tunnel-visioned so couldn’t honestly say that I had seen any or not – I had passed so many piles of logs already. He just kind of shook his head and drove away, probably totally convinced that I was out of my mind, crazy runners anyway!

In any case, I cruised around the second loop, again making it up the second major hill without falling apart, albeit a bit slower than the first time. My legs were getting a bit tired by that time, but I knew it was nothing to worry about – just push on – so I did. The second loop took about 6 minutes longer than the first, but I was still cruising.

So back up my heartbreak ridge a third time – last week I had to walk part of it by this time, this time I pushed myself up to the top and over! So by this time I was trying to figure out where I need to turn off to be back to the “finish” by 3:15:00, by goal time for today. I found a turn that did the job, basically a short cut to the trail that I take down the hillside.

I arrived back at the car after running for 3:17:15, mission accomplished. My legs were tired, but I knew I could push them further. I trained with walk breaks again today, roughly a 2-3 minute walk break every 30 minutes.

Before my run I ate a small breakfast consisting of a glass of tomato juice, a slice of whole wheat bread smeared with peanut butter and honey, a liter of water, and a bowl of granola with low fat milk. During the run I drank 2 liters of sports drink (from my CamelBak), ate two sports bars and peanut butter and honey sandwich.

As I write I am drinking water and just finished a cup of coffee. I am impatiently watching the clock, hoping that it will speed up so lunch will be ready soon. I’m a bit hungry – you know, something simple, like a side of beef or something…

It is a lovely day outside, warm and sunny. I believe it was 9C/48F when I left for the run this morning and 19C/66F when I came back. Despite wearing shorts, short-sleeve running shirt and a thin running vest, I was still totally drenched in sweat by the time I finished.

So today was the first day of my vacation (if weekends count), we are mostly staying home doing some home-improvement stuff and working in the garden. Next Sunday (April 30th) I am doing a slightly longer training run. Let’s see, I guess it’s about 4 weeks now until my 50K race, I can’t wait – it’s gonna be great!!!

Great stuff Jack. Enjoy your vacation.
Enjoy the vacation! Great job on the long run, I think you're going to do great in the 50K!
Terrific! The 50k will be very easy for you!
Awesome run, man. You're doing so well, you're going to burn those hills on the 50k.
50 k. I just gotta say ... you amaze me!!
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