Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Rainy Neighborhood Dusk Run

It rained all day long.  The only time it wasn't raining was when I first woke up.  I had to eat first.  I waited and waited all day for a break in the rain.  It looked like it would come in the evening.  It never did.

Finally, at 7:30 PM, I headed out.  It was getting dark and too late to travel.  Therefore, I was running around my neighborhoods.  I grabbed a jacket, hat and shorts.

I had to hop over some puddles.  It was raining quite heavily at the start.  It was an annoying and a little cold.  The legs felt kind of good.

My plan was to run 5 miles.  To start, I opted to go on the Blue Eagle 5k route and see how it goes.  I went from there.

While the start sucked a lot and it was rainy, things got better over half a mile in.  I started to get warmed up.  I thought about even running farther at this point. 

I cruised along.  It seemed kind of fast, but the first mile was only 8:49.  The legs seemed a little dead.  The rain picked up again shortly.  It began to get dark, so I put my headlamp on.

Mile 2 was an 8:30.  It was so wet out that every time I heard water going into a storm drain it sounded like a car going by.  It was good to get to the 2 mile marking on the course.  I was past 2 miles at that point.

I continued to cruise along.  At times, it was windy and wet.  Other times, the rain got lighter.  Having a hat on to keep the rain out of my eyes was a big help.  Shortly before mile 3, I decided to add on the short loop.

By now, I was getting comfortable.  I was quite wet, but at least it wasn't really getting worse.  Mile 3 was an 8:08.  This loop went by quickly.  After that, I added a little more.

I guess I got faster because of the rain slowing down.  Mile 4 was a 7:42.  This addition ended up being almost perfect.  I ran through a giant puddle by the school.  I hit the 5k finish line at 4.97 miles.  I finished up with a 7:41 final mile.

I would've liked to have run a little more, but actually my legs didn't have much more in them.  It was good to get out and battle the elements a little.  I'll take it.

Tomorrow, I'm not really sure what to do.  I want to get back into double digit miles.  I'd like to run fast.  We will see what I have.  I just hope the rain is finally done.

 5 miles - 40:49 (8:10 pace)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Rainy Repeats and Jacobsburg

I took yesterday off and recovered very well from all the weekend trail running.  Since I was feeling good, I wanted some speedwork.  It is going to be a rainy week, so went right after work and tried to beat the rain.  I was unsuccessful with that, as it began to rain as I was driving to the D&L at Cementon.

Since I was planning to run fast, I wore shorts and a short sleeve shirt.  I had on a hat, to keep the rain away.  That was a huge help.

I didn't exactly have a plan.  I was just going to run 800 repeats.  I would've loved to had made it a full Yasso 800 and done 10 repeats.  I haven't done 800s in a long time though, so I wasn't sure what I could handle.

The warmup felt good as I headed out.  The raindrops were light.  There was some wind, but it wasn't too bad.  It ended up being worse in the other direction.

Perhaps the hardest thing when doing a workout like this is that I don't have a great sense of pace.  I usually don't run this fast.  It's not something that I can't handle, but it is out of my comfort zone.  The first repeat was a little fast at 2:54.  I was hoping to run most, if not all of these under 3 minutes.

The recovery felt good and it was over quick.  The second repeat wasn't as fast as I would've liked.  I think there might have been some slight uphill.  I could've pushed more in the end and got under 3 minutes, but it was too early for that.  I was simply trying to be consistent.  My 3:01 time was good enough.

I recovered again and was back at it for repeat #3.  The rain was coming down heavier.  I decided that this would be my final repeat going out.  I was starting to feel it.  I got back under 3 minutes with a 2:52.

I turned around right near a house along the trail.  I recovered okay again and took off for the 4th repeat.  My legs began to feel it and I felt off toward the end.  It was still a 2:56.  I was pretty happy with that.

By the time I started my 5th one, I was running into a very big headwind with a lot of rain blowing in my face.  It wasn't ideal, so that made it a perfect challenge.  I was good in the beginning of this repeat, but everything took it's toll.  I felt off toward the end.  I was gassy and felt like I had to go to the bathroom.  I still ended up with a 3:02 repeat.

I was close to my limit and now that I had to go to the bathroom, I had no choice but to quit after that one.  It go so bad that I had to start walking during the recovery.  I began looking for spots along the trail.  Luckily, walking helped make it go away.  The only problem was I had to walk over a mile back to the car in the freezing cold of the rain.

I would've liked a few more repeats, but I'll take 5 of them considering the conditions.  I probably could do 7 or 8 of them at that pace on a good day.  This will give me something to build on.  I pushed myself and hopefully some more speedwork can make me faster.  I signed up for a July marathon, so I need to get a little faster.

Since I only ran 4.92 miles and felt good afterward, I wanted more.  It looked like the rain might subside in the evening.  It didn't, but I thought a trail run at Jacobsburg would be fun anyway.  I headed there just before 7 PM.

It was raining more than earlier and it got colder too.  I questioned whether to wear a jacket.  I put the heavier one on with the hood.  That worked out well.  I was freezing early on and even put it over my hands, but I was comfortable by the end of the run.

I decided to run the Sober's Run area.  I didn't want to run up the powerline early, so I ran it in reverse of my usual direction.  That meant some fun, muddy singletrack early.  There was some mud, but it was actually more of puddles. 

As I was going through this fun section, some deer ran from down below.  They went through the creek.  I think there were 5 of them.  After running hundreds and hundreds of miles there without seeing any deer, I've now had two fairly recent sightings.  Right after that, a big bird flew off the trail.  It almost seemed like the size of a turkey.  Maybe it was.  I didn't get a good look at it.

Normally, I do enjoy playing in the mud, but I have to admit, this rain was too cold.  It wasn't a lot of fun.  I saw a guy with two fish walking the main trail back to his car.  I then headed to this singletrack along the creek.  This is a fun section that was very flooded.

I was back to the main trail shortly and over 1.5 miles into the run.  I headed up the gradual hill.  This might be tougher than the other direction.  I then turned down a trail, looking for another singletrack section.  This turned out to be wrong though, so I ended up going back downhill.

I did find the singletrack, but was on the wrong end of it.  I headed back up the hill and got back on to the main trail.  The gradual climb seemed to take forever.  I was over 3 miles into the run now. 

I got to the horse stable at the top of the hill and the horses were out.  Around this time, I looked at my watch and the overall pace was 9:22.  I didn't care too much about pace, but was curious where I was at.

Going downhill was enjoyable.  I thought I'd have fun and do the short singletrack loop along both sides of the creek.  That was a blast and I lost track of where I was at.  I didn't feel as cold now and it seemed like the rain had slowed down.  I was happy with that.

I crossed over the bridge and came back on the other singletrack section.  This is often wet, so I knew it would be today.  It was soaked.  I cruised along and my pace dropped.  As I got near my car, I realized that I was around a 9 minute pace.

I eventually went under that pace.  I was almost at 5 miles at my car.  I opted to run out a little past that and make it 10 total miles for the day.  It was a fun day in the rain, with two very different runs.

Tomorrow, it is supposed to pour again.  I'd love to run another 10 miles or more.  Maybe I can do that with one run.  It would sure be nice if it was a warmer rain tomorrow.  If I don't run much, then I guess I'll pick it up on Thursday.

800 repeats 4.92 miles - 33:56 (6:54 pace)
Splits 2:54, 3:01, 2:52, 2:56, 3:02 (2:57 average)
Jacobsburg 5.08 miles - 45:23 (8:56 pace)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Second 20 Miler of the Weekend

Yesterday's 20 miler was fun, but challenging.  The legs were very sore afterward.  I was wondering how I'd be able to run again today.  I also wasn't sure how I could manage 20 more miles.  However, as I watched friends run the St. Luke's Half Marathon this morning, I realized that I recovered pretty well.

I was tired when I got back.  I tried taking a nap, but that didn't work.  Finally, around mid afternoon, I got out the door.  I headed to Jacobsburg.  I figured it would be good to run local after yesterday's trip.

The weather was kind of tricky.  When the sun was out, it could be warm.  That was when the wind wasn't blowing though.  It was breezy and chilly.  I opted to start with a shirt.  I figured that I could take it off if needed.  That was a good choice, because I needed it.

I started heading out to do the main longer loop that I usually do.  I walked some of the early, short uphills, but this route is so runnable.  I didn't stop much.  The legs were feeling pretty good.

The wind was kind of annoying at the top, near the highway.  I enjoyed when I got on to the singletrack.  That was much more fun than the section with more stone.  I was disappointed when one section was closed for trail maintenance.  Even more disappointing was it looks like they bulldozed that trail and made it wider.  It was more fun as a narrow singletrack.  It did get messy when it rained though.

I walked some more of the short hills.  Finding places to walk was difficult because this trail is so easy.  It wasn't long and I was on to the Sober's Run Loop.  I had run for quite some time, but it was flat or downhill for a bit, so I kept running.  I knew I'd have to walk the powerline section.

I saw a horse as I started that section.  I did walk up this part.  It is quite long and I watched my overall pace climb.  I knew I'd be flying on the downhill back half.

I took it easy, but was cruising on the downhill.  I was to the road in no time.  I was now around mile 5.  I felt good, but couldn't believe I was only a quarter of the way done with the run.  I should've walked the pavement, but instead, I kept running.

I walked the big uphill later on.  That was behind the new building.  I was adding on to make this loop a bit longer.  I had a blast going over the narrow ridge section.  It goes up and down and has lots of roots.  That is my favorite part.  The only issue is getting around hikers.  There were a ton of hikers today, because it was a nice day out.  The main lot was actually full of cars when I pulled in.

Before long, I was done with the first loop.  It was slightly over 7.5 miles.  I ran it somewhere in the neighborhood of 1:15.  I was right around a 10 minute pace.

I stopped to towel off, stretch, and eat and drink some more.  It was only a few minutes.  I did carry GU Chomps again, as well as a handheld.  I was feeling alright, considering the circumstances.

I debated whether to run the longer loop again, or more shorter ones.  I figured the farther along I could get with each loop, the better.  I headed back out.  I walked the short hills again and ran a lot more.  I felt okay for awhile, but somewhere around mile 9 or 10, I was getting kind of lightheaded.  That has happened to me before here.  I think it was probably on chilly days.  I walked a little more and was good after that.

I was to the Sober's Run Loop in no time.  I continued to run a lot until the powerline.  Walking up that part was much needed.  I still had nearly half of the run to go.  The recovery was great.  I had to be careful though, because it was hard to start back up after long walking periods.  Eventually, the legs would come around though.

I cruised downhill after that.  That was tricky because it was easy, but my quads weren't thrilled about going downhill.  It wasn't steep, so at least they weren't killing me.  My overall pace dipped under 10 minutes again.

This time, I walked the road section.  It isn't long, but I lost some time because of that.  I ran for a bit, then walked the steep uphill again.  I walked some of the uphill on the ridge part too.  I arrived back at my car at 15.55 miles.  It was great to be through 15 miles at least.  My legs were far from great, but they weren't falling off.  I ran a lot of the end of this loop, so they were a bit tired.

After another rest period at the car, I decided to run the short loop through the field section.  I knew that that was about 4 miles.  I ran a lot of the beginning and even pushed some of the uphill near the Boulton area.  I knew a steep and long hill was upcoming.  I was going to walk one of the hills, but these kids were waiting at the top to push a tire down it.  I didn't want to hold them up.

I walked the steep uphill and lost more time.  It flattens out toward the top, but still climbs slightly.  I just decided to run when I hit mile 17.  I was feeling okay.

I ran along at what seemed like a slow pace.  I guess it was solid though, because I still managed a 9:04 mile 18.  My pace dipped down toward 10 minutes flat again.

I continued to sputter along in this open field.  There was a lot of wind there and it was kind of annoying.  I looked at the mountains in the distance and enjoyed that view.  It distracted me.

Since I wasn't feeling as bad as I thought I would be, I had to challenge myself, so I continued to run.  I figured that that would make it harder on my body.  I think I basically ran all of the final 3 miles.

I arrived back at my car at a little over 19 miles.  I didn't want to go up the hill to finish, so I headed back on the flat main trail.  I went along easy.  I ran by a couple with dogs.  The woman say "hi" but it was more in the way of someone you know.  I think it might've been someone that I've run with before, but I didn't actually look that closely when I saw her.  I was beat by then.

I went on this section to avoid hills.  Instead, I pushed right up one and didn't turn around until I got to the top of it.  I wanted to test myself.  I turned around with .35 miles left.  I finished up on the flat and walked some to recover.  The pace was under 10 minutes now, thanks to all the late running.

This was certainly not an easy run, but actually I was kind of disappointed.  I thought I'd struggle more with a second straight day of 20 miles.  The body felt pretty good though.  I need to stress it a little more in the next week and then recover.  If I can't put more stress on it, I might be screwed during the 50 miler.

I've now run 62 miles in the last 4 days.  That has to be my biggest 4 day period ever.  Tomorrow is my off day and I look forward to it.  I might take an extra off day sometime too, after this big weekend.  I would like to run fast one day during the middle of the week.  It doesn't have to be long at all.  I just want to keep the legs sharp.

20 miles - 3:19:11 (9:58 pace)

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Watchung Reservation 20 Miler

My quads are beat up, but that is kind of a good thing with the 50 miler on the horizon.  I need to try to do back to back long runs this weekend.  I decided that I wanted to run somewhere different.  In the winter, I signed up for a cheap 50k an hour away in New Jersey.  I didn't get to run it because it was too icy and snowy.  I thought I'd head there to run the course.

The place is called the Watchung Reservation.  I was worried as I started to drive through it.  It looked incredibly hilly.  I wanted to run 20 miles, but wasn't sure what I had.  The main loop was about 6 miles.  It was weird when I got to the parking lot, because it is close to Newark and I could hear planes flying overhead.  At least I didn't hear them later on.  It did go along Route 78, so I did hear that from time to time.

I studied the map, but it took me some time to find the pink loop.  Finally I did and I headed off.  It went downhill right away and then ran along the lake.  It was big and flat and wide open.  That made it tricky because I ended up running a lot faster than I wanted in the beginning.  I tried taking it slow.

On the other side of the lake, the trail began to climb and I could walk some.  These uphills were kind of gradual though and actually very runnable.  If I was only doing one loop, running would not have been a problem.  Three loops on the other hand, meant that I had to walk some of it.

It didn't take long to get to the top of hill.  Everything flattened out and the trail went through an open field.  While there was some elevation change on this course, it wasn't a lot of up and down.  Most of it was flat and easy going.

I went through a parking area and was sort of unsure of where the trail went.  Some people were hiking, so I followed where they came from.  They asked me about the same trail. 

This next section was fun.  It was a lot more singletrack.  That slowed things a bit, but it was mostly flat or downhill.  There were some small stream crossings.  I tried to walk every now and then to recover.  It was hard to do with such easy running though.

There were a lot of hikers and some trail runners too.  I was glad to see no horses.  I passed a mother and daughter and shortly after that, I lost the trail.  They didn't know where it went.  It ended at a creek.  The problem was I couldn't find the next set of blazes, so I had no clue where to go.  I didn't want to turn around, so I tried walking up the creek to see if that led anywhere.

Eventually it did.  I came to a wide path.  I decided that running this was a better option than heading back.  I saw some trail runners pop out right ahead of me, so I followed them.  I was now on the white blazed trail.  This came out to a road and then I knew where I was.  I didn't exactly know how to get back, but I knew which direction to go.

I turned around and went on the white trail in the other direction.  I had no idea where I'd end up, but at least I would be going the correct direction.  This had some early climbing over roots.  Then, it flattened out and I ran a lot again.

After some time, I came to a picnic area.  I had stopped there to use the bathroom earlier, so I knew where I was.  If I needed to, I'd run on the road from there.  I went to the bathroom again and found the white blazes on the other side of the bathroom.

I got to 5 mile and 6 mile and had no idea quite where I was and how much farther I had to go.  I ran into a family.  I saw them again later near the end of the loop.  Finally, after 7 miles, I came out back near my car.  In the end, it worked out and I ran an extra mile.  I needed that anyway.  I love how you can get lost and find your way on a trail run.  You never know what adventure awaits.

I rested a bit and stopped to get water.  I had drank a decent amount on the run and also took some GU Chomps.  It was kind of hot and my shirt was starting to get wet.  Rather than wear nip guards, I ran the rest of the run shirtless.

I looked at a map to see where I went wrong on the first loop.  I thought I figured it out, but was still slightly confused.  I decided to take the pink loop in the opposite direction this time.  That way I could find my mistake.

The beginning of this loop had some uphill, but was then flat and rocky.  I tried to run a lot of it and walk every now and then.  It wasn't long until I was headed downhill.  I then crossed a bridge over the creek.  After this, I followed the trail next to the creek.  It went into the water for a short period and came out around a bush.  I was at the part that I had messed up earlier.  I turned right that time, instead of left.  The trail was hidden.  At least I know now.

The quads were pretty crappy, but they weren't getting any worse.  After the first loop, I had began to question how much more I could do.  Now, I figured I'd finish this loop and get in 15 miles at least.

I walked up the hills when there were ones.  At one point, I needed more rest, so I walked a quarter of a mile.  I think I ran about a mile and a half straight through after that.  Eventually, I went down the hill and ran along the lake.  The trail goes along the road a short distance, so I walked that.

I ran along the lake and then walked the hill to my car.  It was good to be done with 2 loops.  I actually didn't feel too much worse after this one as I had after the first one.  I was at 13.75 miles.  I knew another loop would put me near 20 miles.

I was determined to give this loop a try.  The rest certainly helped.  I felt surprisingly better than I had early.  Clicking off each mile helped.  By the time I got to mile 15, I was feeling awesome.  It was amazing.  I made sure to run the rocky part first, so that I wouldn't trip later on, when I was more tired.

I walked some here and there, but ended up running a lot of this loop.  I might've even done this loop faster than the previous one.  I was running in the same direction as the last time.  It was kind of funny, I felt awesome at mile 15, but terrible by mile 16.

At mile 18, it began to rain.  I was glad that most of the remainder of the run was downhill or flat.  I was also thrilled when the rain stopped.  I ran slowly downhill.  It was great to see the lake again.  I walked along the road and ran the remaining lake section.

There was an uphill finish.  It was a struggle for me to climb.  I was nearly cramping up.  I had to find a way to run the last half mile, no matter how slow.  It would be a good test.  I managed to do it.  I had to loop around the parking lot to get to mile 20.

I had to stretch a lot after the run.  I was glad I made the drive home without cramping.  The quads are quite sore and I'm not sure how I'll run again tomorrow, but I will.

This was an excellent run.  It was a perfect place to do loops.  It was very runnable.  It wasn't too hilly or rocky.  The trail didn't go in and out too much.  I will certainly do the 50k in the future.  I bet this place will be even nicer when the leaves come in.

Tomorrow, I'm going to watch a bunch of friends run the St. Luke's Half Marathon.  After that, I'm going to try to run at Jacobsburg.  It will be tough with dead quads.  This is a good test for them though.  I'll be happy with at least 15 miles.  Then, I can rest on Monday.

20 miles - 3:31:43 (10:35 pace)

Friday, April 25, 2014

Super Wet 5

I really wanted to run fast mile repeats today.  I would've got out in the afternoon, but the legs were still sore.  Two loops at Trexler did a number on the quads yesterday.  After a nap, I felt better in the evening.

The plan was to go to the Nor-Bath Trail.  I looked at a weather map and saw that it was going to rain in about an hour.  I headed there right away. actually said rain wasn't supposed to start until 8:15.  It was very wrong.  It began to rain as I was driving there at 6:30.

Two different people were getting off the rainy trail as I was beginning my run.  They must've thought I was crazy.  All I had was shorts and short sleeves.  That wasn't bad, but with the rain, it did get a little crazy.

Since it was raining, I only could do a mile warmup.  I really wanted to try two miles to get the legs loose.  They didn't feel great after a mile, but I picked it up anyway.  Since the rain messes with my Garmin, I locked the bezel.  Therefore, I had no idea of pace.

I think I only lasted about a quarter mile of fast pace.  It was tough on my legs, but battling the rain was even more difficult.  When I had to stopped at a road crossing, I gave up on running hard.  Instead, I just cruised along.  I figured I would run 5 miles total.

I started to feel a little better.  I passed a young guy that was running too.  I was glad to see that I wasn't the only crazy runner.  I ran past Bicentennial Park.  The warmup mile was an 8:13.  This somewhat fast mile 2 was 7:34.

I turned around at mile 2.  I didn't feel like going out the extra half of a mile.  I figured that I could add on later.  The rain was getting worse and worse.  I didn't try to, but because of it, I ended up picking up the pace.  The 3rd mile was a brisk 7:01.

By the halfway point, it was raining heavy.  I was now getting quite soaked.  The trail was getting sloppy too.  I didn't really want to run on pavement, but I opted to go out on the paved park path.  That is open and it was actually quite cold with the rain.  I saw the kid running again.  I was able to add about .7 miles to the run.

Mile 4 was kind of quick too, at 7:11.  I got to the end of the path at 7.76 miles.  I turned around and ran out another .1 miles and then came back.  I was soaked by then and thrilled to be done.  The quads tired some by the end, so the final mile was a 7:38.

It was a nice, short run in the rain.  I do like running in the rain, but this was a bit much.  I was soaked with less than 40 minutes of running.  At least I was only running short today.  My legs have struggled to recover.

This is a good test for my legs.  I want to get in back to back 15-20 mile easy weekend trail runs.  One day will be at Jacobsburg.  I am not sure about the other day.  I might need to rest a lot next week.  Whatever the case, I need to focus on my ultra now.  It's only three weeks away.

5 miles - 37:35 (7:31 pace)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Two Loops at Trexler

After skipping this planned Trexler double loop yesterday, I headed there today to give it a try.  Each loop is 8.5 miles, but those are the most hilly 8.5 miles I've ever run.  I knew 17 total miles would be difficult, especially alone.  Heck, I've rarely even finished a single loop on my own there.  I usually cut across by the zoo.

The weather seemed kind of tricky.  It was super windy again today.  No place is as bad as the Environmental Center.  Luckily, I know that, so I tried to ignore the wind.  I wore compression shorts and compression socks, along with a short sleeve shirt.

I started off around 1 PM.  I haven't run there since October, so it was good to be back.  Last time I was there, I did a night run with Flo and some others.  I kind of got sick of the place, since I ran there so often early last year.

Today, I was looking forward to seeing an old friend (the trail).  I started super easy, since I've never run 2 loops there before.  The weird thing was walking about a third of a mile into the run.  It just so happens that that is the first big hill.  I needed to walk the larger hills today, or I wouldn't make it.

I got to the Bison pen and ran that small hill.  It did pay to know the course.  I didn't look at my watch too often, since pace didn't matter at all.  I had some nice downhill for awhile.  I enjoyed the beauty of the place.

It took some time for my legs to get used to this run/walk strategy.  They are so used to running straight through on flat surfaces.  I walked up the beginning of the long hill.  This hill isn't too hard, but it was still too early on to run it. 

I began running again when the hill was more gradual.  There was a mountain biker slowly climbing it.  I almost caught him, but not quite.  The barking dogs on the houses next to the trail came out again.

I walked some shorter early hills, but once I was at the top, there was a lot of running to do.  Even with this softer surface, my feet were kind of bothered.  They are just so beat up lately with all the miles that I am putting in.

Before the run, I bought some electrolyte tablets for my handheld water bottle.  I also carried some GU Chomps with me.  It was good to be able to eat one of those every so often.  They are like gummy bears.

The grass isn't grown yet, so some of the trail sections were hard to follow.  I managed to not get lost though.  The downhill was fun, but it wasn't long before I was to the uphill parts.  I made sure to walk these uphills around miles 3 and 4.  Walking up the steep hill wasn't too bad.

There are some parts to run in between the hills.  The one super steep downhill was interesting.  I tried to take it easy, but was still kind of out of control heading down it.  Before long, I was at the creek crossing.  It would've been nice to go around it, but that adds another mile to the run. 

I went through the creek and it was ice cold.  Trying to run again after it, hurt my feet.  It had to give it time for my feet to not be so cold and also dry off a bit.  With how much my feet hurt, I began wondering if I could even finish one loop, let alone two loops.  I kept going though and things got gradually better.

I walked the hill into the zoo area, but then ran some of the grassy hill after it.  I normally don't like this one, but it wasn't too bad.  I still had to mix in some walking, to make sure I didn't overdo it.  Maybe it was because I was going easier or maybe it is because I'm much stronger now than I was last time here, either way, this first loop seemed kind of easy.  The moderate hills that I ran didn't give me much trouble.

I was able to run a lot of this second half of the loop.  It is largely flat, downhill or only slight uphills.  I mixed in walking here and there, just to be safe.  I ran over top of a small snake.  It was no problem.

I made sure to walk the long hill around mile 6.  Right before that, is a muddy section.  That made my shoes a mess and nearly got them stuck in it.  It was very deep.  It was good to get to the top of the hill.

I was running just over a 10 minute pace as I got over the top of the hill.  The amazing thing was that it felt easy too.  There are rolling hills near KidsPeace.  It's actually a good climb, but you don't notice it as much because it is kind of like running long steps.  It goes uphill for a short bit, flattens out, then another short climb and then flat again.  This happens over and over.

I watched the pace drop and drop.  I was tempted to try to get it under 10 minute pace, but I didn't want to force things on the first loop.  I got to the last uphill and began walking it.

On this hill, I saw a guy.  He started hiking when I began the run.  He remembered me and was asking me where I went.  He cut through somewhere and couldn't believe that I ran the whole loop in that amount of time.  I sort of couldn't either.  I took it easy and this first loop was just over 1:25.  That might've been faster than I've ever run a single loop there.

I took a short break to refuel, towel off and rest.  It wasn't too long though.  I was back at it.  I felt pretty good after one loop.  When I was coming back from surgery a couple years ago, I walked a lot of the loop and felt the same as I did today.  The difference is that I went much faster this time.  I guess my overall speed is paying off.

Since I felt pretty awesome, there was really no question that I would be starting a second loop.  How I'd feel in a few miles and whether I'd finish, that was another story.  It was good to know what hills to walk the first time through.  I basically repeated it this time around.

The early steep climb was slightly challenging to hike.  My lower back began to get a little sore.  My legs were still quite good.  It was my beat up feet that kind of bothered me.  By now, I was in a good groove though and nothing was really a problem.  I wasn't paying attention and missed the trail turning.  I didn't lose much distance though, before realizing my mistake.

It wasn't long until I was climbing the gradual hill.  I walked the beginning and ran the upper part.  The dogs weren't out during this loop.  I looked at my watch and was amazed that it dropped under 10 minute pace for awhile.  I knew the hills would kill that, but it was still fun to see how well I was moving.

I was somewhere around 11.5 total miles and in the 3rd mile of this loop when I realized that some people don't even run a single loop in this amount of time.  I wasn't pushing it either.  When I got to the top section, it was quite open and windy.

I cruised on the downhill and still felt pretty good.  My legs began to tire, but only slightly.  I pretty much figured that I'd complete two loops.  Maybe it wouldn't be easy at the end, but I'd walk it if I had to.

I got faked out again by the shorter hill before the big hill.  For some reason, this one always fools me into thinking it is the big hill.  I don't know why.  Hiking up the big hill and the one after it took a lot out of me.  It was quite the challenge.  I still had about half the loop to go.  At least I knew most of it would be runnable at that point.

My pace went way up.  It was under 10 minutes overall and now jumped to 10:17.  With more running, I was able to gradually take it down.  Going into the run, I had no time goals.  However, after running a 1:25 in the first loop, I wanted to run at least a sub 1:30 second loop.  It looked like I was going to do that.

The creek crossing was freezing again.  I ran right after it and that took some getting used to again.  Then, I walked the long hill to the zoo.  I ran most of the grassy hill.  My feet were kind of sore, but there was no stopping me now.  It was great to be inside of 4 miles to go.

I was able to run a lot over the next section.  There were only short hikes here and there.  My pace dropped and dropped now.  It got close to 10 minutes per mile.

My legs were beginning to lose it, but it wasn't too bad.  I knew that I could keep running.  I wanted to keep doing that as much as possible.  Walking was the only thing killing my time.

I ran quickly through the muddy section this time.  That worked out much better.  My shoes didn't come close to getting stuck.  I ran some of the bottom of the long hill here, but then began hiking the rest of it.  While hiking it, I started to feel the first signs of a cramp.  I didn't quite cramp up though.

When I got to the top of the hill, I knew most of the rest of the 1.5 miles was runnable.  I ran on the dirt road and then continued to run up the rolling hills.  My time continued to drop.  It was great to get into the final half mile.

I tried to run up the last big hill, but it was just too tough.  My legs were starting to get beat and I was beginning to nearly cramp again.  I walked it and then ran the last little bit.  I was thrilled when I finished up this final loop.  Not only did I complete my goal for the day, but I ran this loop in 1:27.  I surely didn't fall off much.

This was a lot of fun and a good challenge too.  I definitely learned that I need to drink even more.  I nearly cramped up trying to get into my car.  The 17 miles I ran on this challenging course seemed almost like running a 50k on a flatter course.  It was close anyway.  It was great to do it on my own too, so that I could test myself out.

This was a good challenge as I get close to my 50 miler.  I really should've been doing training like this for a couple months.  I'll get what I can out of the next few weeks and give it a go.  Running that with Angie will certainly help.  I hope the easier pace does too.

I'd love to be recovered enough to work on my speed tomorrow.  I'm guessing that won't be likely though.  If it is, I'll run a couple mile repeats.  I thought about 10X800, but that is too many reps and simply too fast.  Hopefully, I can recover decent tonight.  I can't wait to run 2 loops again at Trexler again and maybe even 3 loops in the future.

17 miles - 2:52:40 (10:09 pace)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Shuffling the Days Around

I had planned to run with Kelley in the morning, but she had a rough night and cancelled on me.  I also planned to run 2 loops at Trexler, but I ended up with a lunch meeting at work.  I forgot to bring my watch along, so I changed those plans too.

The weather was pretty crappy today.  At least it wasn't hot, but there were crazy winds.  They were around 25 MPH.  I saw they would lessen late in the evening, so I headed out to run after supper.  It was still super windy.

I went to the Saucon Rail Trail to run 10 easy miles.  I didn't want to run out and back in one direction.  I wanted to go in two directions.  Therefore, I headed to Upper Saucon Community Park.  I actually parked across the street, because I thought I might be running after dark.  I began the run after 6:30.

I couldn't decide what to wear, but I played it safe and went with a lightweight long sleeve shirt and shorts.  That would be a great decision.  The wind was brutal at times.

I headed south in the new direction.  I knew I could go out about 2 miles there before the trail ended.  I've only run on this part about 2 or 3 times since they opened it last year.  It was refreshing to run somewhere new.  Plus, the wind was mostly at my back in the first part of this run.

I actually didn't look down at my watch until it beeped for mile 1.  That was an 8:25 mile.  I ran by the golf course and looked at some of the big houses.  It wasn't too bad without wind in my face.  I actually got kind of hot at times.

Right before the turnaround, I saw a young lady walking.  There were a few walkers and bikers, but I think the wind and the approaching darkness kept a lot of people away.  The trail ended right before mile 2.  I ran on the road very briefly and turned around.

Heading back was sort of nice in that I was going slightly downhill now.  However, the wind was in my face and becoming a real pain.  I couldn't wait to get back to my car.  Even at that point, I'd only be 40% done with the run.  The legs were feeling just okay.

I got back to my car and it was very windy.  There were lacrosse games at the fields, but they were now wrapping up.  I was onto pavement as I went to the other side of the path.  I wasn't enjoying the wind one bit.

It was nice to be heading out the other way.  I wasn't sure how far I'd be able to go out, with all the wind.  The farther I could make it, the better though.  I was going slightly downhill, so that did help.

Getting to mile 5 and being halfway done was good.  However, I didn't feel all that great.  Both of my feet were bothering me.  I still can't tell whether the one issue is simply a blister or a bruise.

One section near the other golf course was very windy.  I saw some of the trail surface blowing around and a tree branch fell right before I got there.  I had to be careful of those.  I managed to make it out to mile 6.5 before turning around.  That was good.  Shortly after the turn around, I came across five or more deer next to the trail.  I'm not sure if I missed them moments earlier.

I knew when I arrived back at my car, I'd be at mile 9.  Now, I had the wind mostly at my back.  I fought the uphill though and my feet bothered me more.  I focused on just getting to mile 8.  Every mile except the first had been under 8 minutes.

I was very glad to get back to the park.  I had to run by a couple walkers.  The uphill by my car was tough.  I headed in the first direction for this final mile.

It was always a trade off.  Nice and calm, but uphill on the way out.  Then, windy and downhill on the way back.  At least it was only another half mile with wind in my face.  It was good to be done with 10 miles.  The quads were slightly sore, but not too bad.

Tomorrow, I'm definitely going to try running at Trexler and doing 2 loops.  That will be as big of a mental challenge as physical.  I was hoping to maybe run with Kelley in the morning, but I guess that isn't happening.  Maybe I'll run 4 miles on my own, if I can get up.

10 miles - 1:17:34 (7:45 pace)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Rethinking My Plans

A bunch of friends ran Boston yesterday.  Trying to qualify has sort of been my focus over the last few months (even as I'm not sure when I'm going to race a marathon again).  It sort of hit me last night that I should probably do some training for my first 50 miler in a few weeks.

I'm in good shape and putting in a lot of mileage.  My endurance is good.  Still, I haven't done anything specific to prepare for this big race.  It's just sort of been an afterthought.  I have barely been on any trails at all this spring.  I have a lot of 10+ mile runs, but not much in the 17+ mile range lately.  I've been running all flat stuff, so I've incorporated very few hills.

I think starting this week, I'm finally going to go to the trails more.  I'm also going to do some longer, slower runs.  I'll add hills as well.  I still won't be prepared enough, since I'm kind of cramming this into just a few weeks.  However, I'm only doing the race to finish and have fun.  Still, it seems daunting because I fell apart in a 50k and now I have to figure out how to run 19 more miles.  I know I'm more fit now, but that's a big task anyway.  I'm glad that I have Angie running it with me.

I'm still kind of in between what I want to do though.  Since I have a half marathon coming up in June as well, I was hoping to run a good quality workout today.  Things didn't go too well.

The temperature has rose like crazy.  It hit 70 degrees this afternoon and was muggy.  I thought it felt nice, but that was before I began the run.  I wanted to eat lunch and then run, but storms were coming in later in the afternoon.  I had to get out right before the storms.  I wore shorts and a singlet.

I headed to Riverview again.  I took yesterday off, so I felt awesome in the beginning.  Usually, I can tell when a fast run will be good because of the warmup.  I thought for sure that that would be the case today.  The legs were so fresh and I was cruising along.  The warmup mile got faster and faster and ended up being a 7:13.

Maybe that was too fast.  The plan was 4/4.5 miles at a sub 6:30 pace.  Then, I'd run 2 miles easy and another hard segment like the first one.  I picked it up when the fast segment started.  In hindsight, I might've been running fast enough at the end of the warmup mile.  This early part of the fast running was under 6:10.

I was feeling fast, but breathing hard and this certainly wasn't easy.  I came through this fast mile at 6:20.  I blew past some geese that I almost didn't see.  I continued on.

I tried not to think too far ahead, but it was difficult not too.  This pace shouldn't have felt this hard.  I guess I was struggling with the humidity.  I tried backing off, but it is hard to back off slightly.  If I could've run these first two miles closer to 6:30, I might've done better.

I got to the part of the trail that goes under the bridge.  A bunch of geese were blocking the path, so I turned around sooner than I wanted.  It was less than 2 hard miles into the run at that point.  This second fast mile ended up being a 6:22.

Heading back, there was some slight uphill.  That made it challenging at this pace, but that was a good challenge.  Since as storm was coming, I was running into some wind.  I struggled to not fall apart.  I was getting frustrated and this run was becoming so hard.  At 2.5 hard miles, I started to do my recovery.  That was 1.5 miles sooner than planned.  My pace was slipping over 6:30 at that point and I was getting worse and worse.  I could tell I overdid it.

I thought maybe some recovery would help.  However, my foot had bothered me on the bottom again while I was running hard.  Both of my feet were sore from the pavement.  I thought it was probably wiser to not make it worse.  I just decided to run easy for 1.5 miles.  I quit at mile 5 overall.

This run was a huge disappointment.  I wanted 8 or 9 hard miles, but only ran 2.5 of them.  Some of it was the weather and some of it is my beat up feet.  I definitely need to get to softer places for fast running.  Maybe the next time I try a workout like this, I can go to the Nor-Bath Trail. 

This is the second terrible run in a row.  With warmer weather coming, I might have to readjust my training.  I clearly struggle in this weather.  Maybe if I'm going to run hard, I'll try getting up and running it super early in the morning before work.  We shall see.  I can't decide whether I'll run a summer marathon or not.  I might do it with no expectations.  That's easier said than done though.

After resting, I decided that I needed to get back out there in the evening.  I wanted an enjoyable run.  I headed to Jacobsburg for an easy 4 miler.  I figured I'd run the loop by the main parking lot.  I thought that was about 4 miles long.  This time, I'd run it in reverse.

The earlier rain cooled it off, but only slightly.  It was still muggy and humid.  I wore shorts and a shirt again.  Even with the easy run, I was soaked by the end.

I started off by the new building.  Then, there were some uphills.  I went super easy.  I also felt so relaxed.  I knew the hills would be kind of tough, but actually they weren't bad.

The biggest issue is that even with little effort, I wound up breathing heavy in the muggy air.  I didn't look at my watch at all in the first mile.  It was a 9:04 mile.  With how slow I ran and the hills, I was surprised that it was that fast.

I cruised along.  The miles seemed to take a long time.  I was enjoying the scenery though.  I noticed Wind Gap in the background.  That was cool.  I tried not to look at my watch until mile 2, but I accidentally took a peak around 1.6 miles.

I didn't even hear the watch beep for the second mile.  That one was 7:54.  I looked down and it was at 2.17 miles.  Now, I had mostly downhill to enjoy.  Before that, there was some gradual uphill that was slightly challenging.

I went easy downhill as well.  This third mile seemed to take awhile.  It was nice running alongside the creek.  I realized that this route would be shorter than I thought though.  Mile 3 was an 8:08.

I arrived back at my car at mile 3.4.  I thought about beginning the loop again, to get to mile 4.  Instead, I went across the road.  That would give me some slight uphill too.  I continued on.  At 3.95 miles, I saw two people walking up ahead, so I turned around and got to mile 4.  That was an 8:22.

This run was so relaxing and much needed after the terrible afternoon run.  I need to get on to trails more.  Even though everything is still dead, it is nice anyway.  It saved my legs too.  Oddly, it began to rain as I was walking back at the end of each run today.

Tomorrow, I'm meeting Kelley in the morning.  We're doing a short 4 miles.  Then, I want to run at Trexler in the afternoon.  I really want to run 2 loops, even if they are super slow.  The tricky part is that I often struggle to run 1 loop there on my own.  Two might be very difficult.  It is a good mental task though.  I plan to walk a lot of of the hills.

Afternoon Run  5 miles - 34:33 (6:55 pace)
Evening Run 4 miles - 33:28 (8:22 pace)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Disappointing Easter Run

Sometimes it pays to listen to the way you feel, not just while running, but beforehand as well.  I watched the Flyers game and felt tired and had no desire to run after it was over.  However, I grabbed my stuff to get out there and give it a go anyway.  That decision didn't work out.

The plan was to try to run 15 miles at goal pace.  Since it wasn't too hard to do 18 at that pace in similar conditions two weeks ago, I thought it would be no problem.  After all, I did that that day after an 80 mile week.  Now, I had a 40 cutback week that I'm coming off of.

The weather was nearly perfect.  It was in the upper 50s.  I'll take that all year long.  I wore the shorts and a short sleeve shirt of course.  I headed to Riverview on this sunny day.

I took off and headed toward the Route 33 Boat Launch.  The legs didn't feel all that great.  Two weeks ago, I was able to run 6:40 miles without much of a struggle in the beginning.  Today, it was totally different.  I had to work more than I wanted to and the pace wasn't quite as fast.

My foot was a little sore in the beginning too.  At least it wasn't the problem area that had been bothering me.  That might've finally gone away.  I came through the first mile at 6:47.  That would not have been bad if I was working a little less or feeling better.

Since I was moving quickly, this start flew by.  Before long, I was to the Boat Launch.  I ran through the parking lot and decided to continue on.  I came to mile 2 in that area with a 6:46.  I continued to not feel very good.

I decided that I'd run on the softer dirt trail section along the river.  I figured maybe that would help.  I did that and felt a little better, but I still wasn't great.  When I got to the section where I could take the Boat Launch road, I did just that. 

That meant a short climb.  Then, I was on to the bumpy road.  That was awful and frustrating, but the worst part was that I was fighting a slight headwind.  Not a good thing when the body doesn't feel great.  I came through mile 3 at 6:48.

The terrible feeling just wouldn't go away.  I slowed a little in this next mile, but still felt terrible.  By now, I figured that it wasn't worth fighting my body.  Sure, I could've worked hard and battled through this, but what for.  When I'm struggling this early, it is better to just shut it down and rest.  Even though I was over a mile out, I quit at mile 4.  That mile was a 6:59.

I'm not as bad as today's run indicated and probably not as strong as the run two weeks ago showed.  I'm likely somewhere in the middle right now.  I was super confident after that run, but this one brought me back down to earth.  I thought one week of recovery from back to back 80 mile weeks might be enough, but I think I was still paying for it today.  I definitely need some more rest.

This weekend has been sort of frustrating.  I have a ton of friends running Boston tomorrow and I'm happy for them.  I'm also disappointed that I haven't made it there yet.  I know I have the ability to run the time needed to get there, I just have to learn how to run it.  Running a fast marathon is so much different than any other race.  I feel like I could BQ about 80% of the time right now and run a sub 3 hour marathon about 40-50% of the time right now.

I'm stressing out too much about that goal.  I was even thinking about maybe trying to jump into a marathon the week before my 50 miler, even though I know that would be a bad idea.  I know I'm still getting faster and faster, but I don't know how much longer I can train at this high of a level without backing off and taking a break.

I feel like I'll improve enough to run a sub 3 hour marathon by the summer.  However, the heat will obviously be a huge ex factor, even at night.  If I sign up for that race, I need to go into it with no expectations.  That's easier said than done.  For now, I should really start to think about my upcoming half marathon in less than two months.  I need to work on improving at that distance and at a race I know how to handle.  Maybe I should just concentrate more on that race, sign up for the marathon, but just let the marathon happen.

Tomorrow is certainly an off day.  I'll run again on Tuesday.  I have no idea what I want to do.  I think I need a faster workout and a half marathon quality workout this week.  I'm definitely not jumping up to 80 miles again this week.  I'm thinking I need to get back into the 60s though.  These mere 4 miles are a slow start though.

4 miles - 27:20 (6:50 pace)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Pair of Allentown Runs

Today was the final day of my cutback week.  I had to get 10 miles in.  In the afternoon, I was handing out flyers to notify people of the St. Luke's Half Marathon next weekend.  Therefore, I decided that I would run in that area (in Allentown).

I was all ready to head out the door at 11:15.  Then I realized that it was still almost 2 hours from the time I was supposed to report for the flyer handing out.  Rather than sit around and waste an hour, I left and decided to run a few miles before it.

It was another gorgeous spring day.  The temperature was in the upper 50s for this one.  We were meeting near Cedar Beach, so I thought I'd run there and over in the Rose Garden.  I could get 3 miles or so in anyway.  With the good weather, I wore shorts and a short sleeve shirt.

I started off on the stone trail around the pond at Cedar Beach.  I was on pavement before long.  It was a busy day around there.  The toughest part was navigating through all the walkers in the Rose Garden.  The first easy mile was a pretty solid 8:08.

Although the run was nice for the most part, it was quite breezy in a few directions.  Luckily, that changed up pretty quickly.  My pace picked up too.  The outside of my foot wasn't bothering me, but now the inside felt tight instead.  My second mile was a 7:26.

I passed another runner around this point.  He wasn't going too quickly.  I enjoyed running through the wide open section of Cedar Beach.  I looped around the pond and eventually got to my car right before mile 3.  That mile was another 7:26.

I still had plenty of time, so rather than stop, I kept going.  I figured if I could do 4 miles, I'd have less to do later.  I ran back around Cedar Beach for another loop.  This mile was a bit slower at 7:32.  It was good to be done and I had just enough time to eat lunch before meeting everyone.

We did quite a bit of walking when handing out the flyers.  My feet got a little tired.  I decided to head to the Parkway after that, to finish my running for the day.  One loop around there is slightly over 6 miles, so that would work out good.

I didn't change out of my clothes from earlier and by now they were dry.  It got a few degrees warmer now too.  The Parkway was buzzing with activity.  I decided to run the loop in the clockwise direction.  That was the opposite of what I did the other day.

That also meant some challenging early hills.  I realize now that I have to run hills more.  I stayed away from them in the winter.  I'm pretty fit, so I don't struggle with them, but I don't exactly fly over them either.  Still, this first mile was 8 minutes flat.

I saw a couple women wearing long sleeve shirts and long pants to run.  I have no idea how they could do that.  I was sweating a lot with what I was wearing.  They were doing situps later on too.

The hills were a little tough, but they didn't slow me down.  I passed a woman going around a curve.  I went up the Fish Hatchery Hill.  That was a bit of a challenge.  Even with that, I ran mile 2 at 7:24.

The downhill was nice, but my legs were getting kind of beat up.  That woman didn't go up the hill, so I ended up coming out behind her an another woman.  I went by both of them and ran mile 3 at 7:09.  Catching them made me run a little faster than I would've liked. 

Now, I was settled into some flat running for awhile.  I cruised along.  The legs were certainly getting tired.  Mile 4 was another 7:24.  I came to 4 people on horses going the other way.  I don't know if I've ever actually seen horses there.  If I have, it hasn't been often.

I had some more hills and then it was on to some pavement.  I had fun going up the one hill past a little girl riding her bike.  With 1.5 miles to go, I was beat and couldn't wait to be done.  I passed over the creek with about a mile to go.  Mile 5 was a 7:26.  I was now headed near the start.

This gradual uphill was a bit of a struggle.  It was good to be on flat for the final half mile.  I looked at my watch often then.  I didn't look at it too much during the run though.  I tried to simply enjoy the beautiful day.

I finished up a short distance from my car and was able to walk back there.  The final mile was a 7:12.  I picked it up a little at the end.  My legs were shot though.  I finished up a solid 40 mile week.

By running on stone trails this week, I was able to eliminate the problem on the outside of the foot.  However, my quads don't do well on this type of surface.  They are now quite sore.  I guess I have to get back onto pavement and see how I do.

I'm hoping to run 15 miles tomorrow.  It is Easter Sunday.  I'm looking to run it at marathon goal pace.  I need more of those runs.  I know I'll be running it on my own, but it would be nice to run at the same time that someone else is running.  That would be a big help.  I'm thinking I'll go to Riverview.  I seem to really like running there for some reason.

First Run 4 miles - 30:32 (7:38 pace)
Second Run 6 miles - 44:37 (7:26 pace)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Near Perfect Day

After a PR 5k yesterday, it was an easy day today.  The plan was to just run 10 miles.  I thought about traveling, but decided to head to Freemansburg to run on the D&L.  I wanted a softer surface.  That area recently had been resurfaced to gravel.

The weather was nearly perfect.  It was in the upper 40s, with the sun shining.  There was a slight breeze.  I wore shorts and a short sleeve shirt.

I thought about running out 2.5 miles in each direction.  I was going to head toward Easton, but then I saw a goose down the trail.  I didn't want to mess with it.  I headed the other way.

I started off feeling pretty good.  There was only minor soreness from last night.  The pace was comfortable and the first mile was a surprising 7:40.  Usually my opening mile is slower than that. 

I was enjoying the scenery and beautiful day.  I was also deeply in thought.  I didn't even look at my watch until the first mile was nearly over.  This trail is never super busy, but there were quite a few people out during the run.

This direction was a little chilly, with the slight breeze in my face.  The second mile was a 7:28 and the third one was a 7:24.  At mile 3, I came to Sand Island.  I decided that I would keep going out.  The canal was busy on both sides of Sand Island.  People were fishing everywhere.  I had to make sure to not get in the way.

I kept going out.  I figured that I'd head to mile 4, before turning around.  The trail did start getting a little uneven.  However, I made it to mile 4.  That mile was run at a 7:14.

It was good to turn around.  I looked forward to get to miles 5 and 6.  I was at mile 5 back at Sand Island.  It was still a little breezy, but better in this direction.  These were run at 7:21 and 7:05.

I am running on softer surfaces because it seems better for my sore foot.  However, it seems to bother my quads and lower back a little bit.  They started getting kind of sore.  I ended up eating some small bugs that I couldn't see.  That was annoying.

I saw another runner and a few families on bikes in this area.  The run was very uneventful from that point.  I was back onto the new section around mile 7.  That mile was run at 7:08.  I now had a mile left until I was at my car.

I arrived near my car at mile 8.  That was a 7:02 mile.  I headed out in the other direction.  I had to slow greatly to get around a goose.  It was no problem though.

I went out in the other direction.  There were a bunch of people that were biking in this area.  Quite a few people were fishing in this Freemansburg area as well.  There was a big group of geese that I went around. 

I went out to mile 9 and kept going.  Mile 9 was a 7:02.  When I looked at my watch it was at 9.11 miles.  I decided that that was a good time to turn around.

I cruised on back.  Now, I had a headwind.  I looked at the overall pace and saw it was around 7:15.  I picked it up a little to get under 7:15 pace.  I didn't want to get near the geese again, so I ran briefly on the road.  I ended with a 6:56 mile.  I had quite the walk back to the car.

It was an outstanding weather day and I enjoyed the run so much.  I wasn't looking forward to it beforehand, but I was glad that I made it out there.  Knowing that there would be days like these are what helped me push through the brutal winter.  I knew it would be great if I was in good shape when spring finally rolled around.

I've been backing off this week.  I've now run 30 miles for the week, after 80+ each of the last two weeks.  Tomorrow, I'm hoping to run 10 miles.  That might be one or two runs.  I'm not sure.  I'm hoping to run with the BCR in the morning.

10 miles - 1:12:19 (7:14 pace)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Third Thirsty Thursday 5k (A New PR)

Yesterday's run was cut very short.  On the plus side, that meant more rest before my 5k today.  Kelley and I did meet this morning for an easy run on the D&L at Cementon.  It was a mere 5 miles.

It was a tough morning from a temperature standpoint.  It was around the freezing mark at the start, but it was sunny out.  I went with long pants, a long sleeve shirt and even a jacket over it.  It was breezy.  I had gloves too, but those didn't last long.  If I was running faster, I would've worn less.

Kelley wasn't sure if she locked her car, so I ran pushing Evern in the stroller for a bit.  The little guy was having a blast, gabbing away.  He did that for most of the run.  He didn't actually sleep until the end.

Going out was nice and easy.  I guess the wind was at our backs.  Coming back was a different story.  It was in our faces and uncomfortable.  Since it was a little chilly, few people were even out at all. 

It was good to get the legs going, to prepare for the evening.  My foot did bother me in the last quarter mile.  Otherwise, I think running on the stone surface was a big help.

I rested during the afternoon and headed to Reading for the evening run.  I figured it would be good because the race is cheap, usually fast and in the evening (when I prefer to run).  I haven't run a 5k since New Year's Eve or even come close to running those speeds since.  Really, I had no idea what I was capable of.  I was hoping I could PR and at the very least I wanted to run sub 19 minutes.  I ran a 19:16 on New Year's Eve.

This course was the same one that I ran on in the fall, when I had surprise speed.  That night in October, I ran a 20:29.  I knew I'd crush that today.  I was interested in seeing the progress that I'd make.

I got there early.  Figuring out what I'd wear was kind of tricky.  It was still cool and windy.  I wanted to wear a singlet, but it just felt too cold for that.  I was glad that I brought a regular short sleeve top as well as other gear.  It worked out well.

I went out for a quick mile warmup.  It was good to get the legs going, but also get a feel for the wind.  It was headwind to start and a tailwind on the way back.  That was very helpful to know.  I also learned that I needed my sunglasses.  The sun would be right in my eyes at the finish.  Originally, I thought it would be off to the side for the entire race.

The warm up was so so.  The legs felt pretty good, but honestly, I thought they'd feel better.  I figured I could still do well in a short distance race though.  Now wasn't the time to lose confidence either.  I had to laugh when I got right to the turnaround.  We ran on a bridge over the river.  It was so dark in the fall that I didn't even realize that the trail did this.  I sped up at the end of the warmup mile and ran it at a 6:59.

Registration had a long line and the race started late.  That was a little frustrating because it messed with my warmup.  Also, it was cold standing around.  Looking at the past results, this series looked very competitive.  Because of that, I elected to start in the second row.  Since there were so many people signed up, some of the starting line was off the trail and in the grass.

I took off and quickly realized I wasn't in a good position.  There wasn't much room and I got hit by at least one elbow.  I sprinted past a bunch of people to get into the right spot.  I felt good.  I decided to begin by running on feel, rather than looking at my pace.

I tucked in somewhere between 6th place and 8th place.  I ran right on the heels of these two guys.  I saw the one guy earlier and he looked like a Ryan Hall clone.  I actually thought he'd win the race.  Instead, he provided an excellent wind blocker for me, as we opened into the headwind.

Those two guys were chatting briefly.  I was breathing fairly hard, so I couldn't chat at all.  I felt pretty good though and like this might be a pace I could sustain.  Finally around 3/4 of a mile, I peeked at my watch.  It was around a 5:45 pace.  I wasn't even sure if I could run a sub 6 minute mile.  I was happy thus far.

Somewhere a little past the first mile, which I ran in 5:52, the Ryan Hall lookalike started to pull away.  I went with him briefly past the other guy.  The pace was too quick though, so I drifted back as well.  I was now in 5th place.

I started struggling as we approached the turnaround point.  There's a short climb and then a more gradual climb to the turnaround itself.  I knew I just had to get there and then I'd have the wind at my back.

Turning around was awesome.  There was no wind and now I was cruising downhill as well.  I felt so much better than I had a minute earlier.  It was also very helpful to see all the people behind me in the race as they were heading out.

It seemed like a long time until we got to mile 2.  I came through that at just over 12 minutes.  I thought to myself that I had not run 2 miles in that time since high school.  Maybe I had during my PR 5k a few years back actually.

I was suffering though.  This second mile was a 6:07.  I definitely wasn't consistent, but at least I was finding out what I could do.  I had really wanted to run a sub 6 minute pace and now I was at that point.

The big issue is I was having some trouble breathing and my legs were feeling it a little too.  I didn't know how long I could hang on.  At least I knew I didn't have to hang on much longer.  Even still, I looked at my watch often and it seemed like the last mile was taking forever.

The guy I passed earlier passed me back.  I did hang onto him a little and that did help me a bit.  I knew I'd never pass him back again, but at least I could pick it up a little.

As we were going into the sun, I flipped my sunglasses down.  I put them back up though and decided to just look at the ground and the guy's feet up ahead.  I was glad to be in the final quarter mile.

There a parking lot to run though in that section.  Then, it's short uphill finish.  That is tough, but at least it is the finish, so you can give your all then, if you have anything left.  I was right at 6 minute pace.

I could see the clock and now realized that I was going to come in right around PR territory.  I picked it up big time in the final tenth of a mile and finished one second under my PR.  I ran an 18:41 back in 2010, although we cut that course, so it was 3.05 miles that day.  Today, I ran an 18:40 on a full 3.1 mile course.

I was kind of hoping I might run a little faster than I did, but I was very satisfied.  I really wasn't sure what I was capable of.  If I actually trained at these faster speeds, I could definitely knock a good chunk of time off of this time.  The final mile of this race was so uncomfortable.  I guess it is good to push like that sometimes though.

I talked to the young guy that just finished ahead of me.  He actually lives in Bethlehem.  It's a small world.  I ran a cool down in the other direction.  I spent that mile celebrating with myself.  I saw the women's 2nd place finisher too.  I was glad to beat all the women today.  That rarely happens and I always consider that an accomplishment.

I almost left early because I didn't think a cheap series race would have awards.  It turns out they did and that I won my age group.  That rarely happens in this bracket.  All 5 guys ahead of me were in their 20s.  I guess that's what happens when you run a weeknight evening 5k.  All the folks with families skip it.  It's nice to not have responsibilities.

AM Run 5 miles - 44:11 (8:50 pace)
Warmup 1 mile - 6:59 (6:59 pace)
Race 3.1 miles - 18:40 (6:00 pace)
Cool down 1 mile - 7:55 (7:55 pace)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Foot Problems

Things don't always go as planned.  Today, I was shooting for 12 miles.  I didn't end up hitting that.  It was chilly out, so I waited until later in the afternoon.  I then headed to Riverview.

It was still in the low 40s with a decent breeze when I started.  I went with shorts and a short sleeve shirt.  That was a little chilly at times, but I managed.

I had to use the bathroom in the beginning, but it was locked.  That meant that I needed to go over to Hugh Moore Park and use the one there.  I headed out in that direction. 

The legs felt great and well rested.  Taking it easy the last few days has been great.  I considered a faster pace today, but I want to race tomorrow night, so I figured I might as well put it on cruise.

It wasn't long until I was in the park.  The first mile was a solid 8:17.  About 1.25 miles into the run, I was at the bathroom.  That was a quick stop and then back at it.

The bottom of my right foot, near the smallest toe, has been bothering me for weeks.  I guess it got worse with the big mileage weeks the last two weeks.  Now, it was bothering me again.  It felt kind of hot.  The other side of that foot was a problem too.

The problem occurs right where I land with every foot fall.  It's not unbearable, but it is surely uncomfortable and I can feel it with every step.  I ran on stone trails the last few times out, and the lesser impact of those seemed to help it.

Rather than battle through and take a chance, I decided to back off and quit after the second mile.  There is no point in risking more problems.  I don't know what it is.  I don't think it is a stress fracture and I did some tests for that and didn't find a problem with it.  It could be a bruise or maybe even a blister underneath some of the skin.

Since it doesn't bother me on softer surfaces, I think I'll try to stick to those for awhile.  If I have issues then, I'll back off even more.  I need it to get better, not worse.

Tomorrow, I'm still planning to race.  That race is on a stone trail.  I also think that when I run faster, I impact the ground with less force and it doesn't seem as bothersome.  I can tough it out for a 5k and will do that if I have to.  Beyond that, I'll be cautious.

I'm also going to run with Kelley in the morning.  We are going to meet at the softer D&L.  Hopefully that will help.  I'm just looking for an easy 5 miles.  I am curious to see what kind of 5k time I can run, since I haven't run that fast for that short of a distance since the Peepsfest 5k on New Year's Eve.

2 miles - 16:20 (8:10 pace)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Boston: One Year Ago Today

A year ago today was the Boston Marathon bombings.  I'll never forget that day as it touched so close to home, with several friends running the race and competing in it being a goal of mine.  I was glad everyone I knew made it through safely.  That day, I ran 18 miles and thought of those running the marathon, while I was doing my long run.  After that, I went to a track meet and that's when I first actually heard about the bombings.

Today was a terrible weather day.  It has been raining since early in the morning and is supposed to continue.  Sometimes, it came down very hard.  I thought I'd have a break in the late afternoon, before supper.  While it did let up, I never actually got a break.  It rained throughout my run.  It was warm though, so I wore shorts and short sleeves.

I took the last two days off after back to back 80 mile weeks.  I knew my body needed some good rest.  I headed out to the Lehigh Parkway to run 8 easy miles.  I don't even know what made me decide to run there.  I knew it would be sloppy and pavement would've been a better choice.  I guess I liked the idea of a 6 mile loop to get through most of the run.

I took off and felt great in the early going, other than getting wet.  I was also slightly cold, until I warmed up.  The legs felt great though and I was well rested.  I wore older shoes, since I knew they would get messed up.  I cruised around through the puddles on the stone path as I headed toward the Robin Hood Bridge.  Early on, I realized that this is the same place I did my 18 miler exactly a year ago.  I didn't even plan it that way.

The rain was light in the beginning, but it picked up pretty quickly.  I was happy that I had a hat to keep it out of my eyes.  As the trail curved, past the bridge, I came into a headwind.  Now, it was uncomfortable and cold.  I came across a pair of ducks.  I saw two more a short while later and another pair near the end.

After opening with slightly over an 8 minute mile, I was flying through mile 2.  That ended up being just over 7 minutes.  Most of the first 1.5 miles was flat and somewhat enjoyable.  I went through the paved section and that was a nice change.

There aren't many hills, but some of them did cause me slight trouble today.  Before long, I was back near the clubhouse, but on the other side of the creek.  That was around 2.5 miles.  I now had flat running for awhile.  There was a good amount of rain coming down and I was soaked. 

I passed another runner around mile 3.  I saw him starting when I started and he was going slower than me.  I figured that he must not have run up the Fish Hatchery Hill.  Other than him, it was quiet out there.  I kind of enjoyed the peacefulness.  Even on a rainy day, the Parkway can be a beautiful place to run.

I ran mile 4 at a sub 7 minute pace.  That ended right before the Fish Hatchery Hill.  I don't run hills much these days, so I wasn't sure what to think.  I was surprised at how easy it was.  I was cruising up it.  I got to the short, flat section part way up.  Then, I was humbled.  Climbing the second half of the hill was a bit of a struggle and had me breathing heavy.  I ended up running that mile at just over 8 minutes.  Going downhill was a nice recovery.

After the hill, I was definitely feeling it.  I couldn't wait to get to mile 5 and then mile 6.  The short, rolling hills were tough by now.  At least it was raining less.  I saw a guy fishing in this area.  It was good to go down the hill by the clubhouse.  I passed two women going the other way, followed shortly by the guy that was running earlier.  Those were the only runners out there today.

I completed the loop at exactly 10k distance.  I now had less than 2 miles to go.  I headed back out.  I decided I would cross the Robin Hood Bridge, for a shortened loop back to the clubhouse.  The small hill was a bit of a challenge.

It wasn't too long until I was back at the clubhouse.  I elected to finish the final third of a mile on the road.  I headed out until I hit that point.  The rain was picking up again by now.  I was happy to be done, but walking back a third of a mile was into the rain.  It became quite cold.

This day made me reflect a lot.  At this time last year, I figured I'd be preparing for Boston right now.  It's disappointing that things didn't go as planned.  I guess God had other plans for me though.  I'm just grateful to be able to run and run well.  I remember those 18 miles last year and they were challenging.  Now, 18 miles seems like a piece of cake.  I'm so much stronger and faster than I was.  Eventually, it will pay off and I'll reach mile goal.  Hopefully, it will happen sooner rather than later.

Tomorrow, I'm looking to put in about 12 miles.  If it isn't too difficult, I'd like to run them around a 7 minute pace.  More mileage near goal pace is always helpful.  I don't know where I'm going to run at.  I don't want to do too much though, since I'm planning on running a 5k race on Thursday evening.  I need to be fresh for that.

8 miles - 58:47 (7:21 pace)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

End of Two Big Weeks

Today was the final day of running for the week.  This is the most mileage I've ever done.  It's the second week ever of over 80 miles.  Last week, was the first time I went over that milestone.

I needed 8 miles to get to 80, but I wanted to run 82 miles.  I finally slept well and got to the BCR run.  It was at the Route 33 Boat Launch. 

The weather was great.  It was a bit chilly standing around in short sleeves, but I was fine once I started running.  My clothing selection was good.

It rained overnight, so things were a little wet, but overall not too bad.  We headed toward Bethlehem on the stone section.  Mertz, Gayle, Tom and a few others took off.  I haven't been feeling strong with all the miles I've been putting in, so I had no desire to go with them.

I ended up behind the front of the group.  Kelley was running without her stroller and baby.  That meant she was going a little faster.  I ended up running with her.

We chatted and the miles went by pretty quickly.  We decided we would head out 3 miles and then go in the other direction when we got back.  I was planning to run 7 miles and Kelley wanted to run 8 miles.

Everyone passed us on the way back.  It wasn't too long until we were turning around.  We did so right before getting to Kimberly.  It was almost mile 3 at that point.

The pace was under 8:15 for some time.  On the way back, a loud train went by across the river.  That must be really annoying for the people living in those houses.

Kelley told me I could go faster, but I decided not to.  I figured why run slightly faster and run alone.  I would've liked if we were going a little quicker, but I preferred the company.

I ran this softer section yesterday.  It seemed to help my legs and feet.  It was more of the same today.  My legs were terrible in the middle of the week, but they seemed to get a little better by today.  At least they weren't worse.

Kelley wanted to go to breakfast, so she asked the group where they were going after the run.  We headed back out in the other direction.  It didn't take long until we turned around.  Originally, I was going to do 7 miles, but I had time for an 8th mile, so I ran the whole thing with her.

It was good to be done with the first run, but I still needed a few miles yet.  I went to the Lafayette spring football game.  Shortly after lunch, I headed to Bicentennial Park to run 3 miles on the Nor-Bath Trail.  I had to at least run 3 miles.

It was very warm by the time I started.  There was a nice breeze at least.  I decided I'd go out 1.5 miles and turn around.

In the fist half mile, I was very stiff and awful.  It felt slow.  I was actually amazed to see the pace was around 9 minutes flat.  I didn't think I was moving that fast.

Eventually, the legs came around and I felt good.  My lower back had been sore too.  The first mile was an 8:17.

I cruised along and enjoyed the soft surface.  I might need to head here a few times this week, to save my legs.  There were quite a few people running, walking and biking when I was there.  I blew by one runner.

I decided to just keep going until Savage Road.  That put me at almost 2 miles.  I nearly caught a few more runners.  I felt good as I went back.  Mile 2 was easy and a solid 7:18.

This run went by quickly.  Before I knew it, I was at mile 3.  That final mile was a 7:13.  I finished before crossing the road again.  That worked out great.  I walked almost a mile to cool down.

I'm not sure what I'm doing tomorrow.  Ryan is having an organized BCR half marathon run.  I'd like to go, but I also could use the rest.  If I sleep well, I might give it a go.  Otherwise, I'll likely rest two days in a row. 

Next week, will be a much needed cutback week.  I'll run 40 or 50 miles.  I'll probably do the same the following week.  That should allow me to recover.  I've now ran 163 miles in the last 14 days.  I need to absorb that training.

AM Run 8 miles - 1:05:58 (8:15 pace)
PM Run 3 miles - 22:48 (7:36 pace)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Beating the Rain

Yesterday's run was a new adventure on a new trail.  Today, it was back to the normal routes.  I couldn't decide where to run, but eventually just settled on Riverview again.

The weather was a factor that had me worried.  I looked at the radar and it appeared that I'd have several hours where rain would just miss us.  However, if it changed course a bit or a cell popped up, I could get soaked.  I slept very little yesterday after watching the Boston run come through late at night.  I had no choice but to get in an afternoon nap before the run.

I headed to Riverview a little after 3 PM and was glad that the rain had held off thus far.  It was quite warm, in the 60s.  I wore short sleeves and shorts.  I knew that could be costly if it did rain, but I figured I'd deal with it.

I decided to headed toward the Route 33 Boat Launch.  I figured that I could do short out and back segments in each direction.  That way, if it rained too much, I could cut the run short.  I guess because it was cloudy and a chance of rain, few people were out and about while I was running.

The first half mile was terrible.  The legs are so beat, so I was moving very slowly.  They came around as I got used to the run.  They were never great though.

It wasn't too long before I was to the Boat Launch.  I haven't run on the stone/dirt trail toward Bethlehem in some time.  Even though BCR is going there tomorrow morning, I decided to head that way.  I wanted to get to 3 miles before turning around.

My legs did enjoy the change of surface.  The scenery wasn't bad, but I can't wait until the leaves start coming in.  Everything still looks so bland.

As I neared mile 3, I saw a group of about 5 or 6 teens walking on the trail.  I had a tough decision to make.  I wanted to go out farther, but at the same time, they could certainly cause problems for me if they wanted to.  I was on quite the remote section now.  When they saw me, they moved over.  I figured if they were going to threatened me, they probably wouldn't do that.  I took a chance and went by them with no problems.

Even though I was still concerned about the rain, I wanted to keep going out farther.  The legs were feeling better and the more mileage that I could do going out and back, the better.  I figured that if I at least ran to 3.5 miles, I'd have less than 3 miles to go when I got back to my car (since the goal was 10 miles).

I was running into a slight breeze on the way out.  That wasn't surprising, since the storm was heading northwest and I was running west.  I got to 3.5 miles and kept going to 4 miles.  The first mile was well over 8 minutes, but the rest of these miles were under 8 minute pace.  I was going easy.

I passed a guy with a little dog.  It was kind of annoying getting around the unleashed dog, but he didn't bother me.  I was glad too, because the guy was on his phone and couldn't have done much right away, if it chose to go after me.

I ran to 4.5 miles and continued on.  By now, I was planning on trying to get to 5 miles before turning around.  At 4.9 miles, I came to two women walking a dog.  I decided it wasn't worth dealing with that and trying to pass them, so I turned around then.

It was nice not having a wind in my face now.  I was disappointed to see that the guy with the little dog had turned around too.  I wasn't looking forward to passing them again.  At least I knew the dog was no danger.

Mile 6 was well over 8 minutes for some reason.  I'm not sure if that was accurate, because my effort seemed quite consistent.  Mile 7 was much quicker than the other miles too.  I think my signal probably got messed up with the cloudy weather.

The softer trail had helped my legs, but they still didn't feel great.  I kept slowly counting down and clicking off the miles.  Getting to mile 7 was huge and so was mile 7.5.  I passed the group of kids again and even thanked them for moving over this time.

Before the Boat Launch, I took my shirt off.  I was sweating a lot and worried that I might start chafing.  The cool air felt good.  I now had about 2 miles to go and was back on pavement.

The pavement wasn't too bad.  I was already feeling much better.  I gradually caught up to another runner.  He was so overdressed.  He had on long sleeves and long pants.  You can tell who has been running all winter and who hasn't been.

I enjoyed the last mile.  I think my watch might've been off a little bit again.  I had a bit more distance to run when I got to Riverview Park.  I crossed the road and headed in the other direction briefly.  I then finished up a solid outing.

Running back to back 80 mile weeks has been tough.  I'm almost there though.  I'm currently at 72 miles, with a day to go.  I want to add 10 more miles tomorrow to finish out the week.  If I can get up, I'm going to the BCR run in the morning.  That always depends on how much sleep I get.

10 miles - 1:18:32 (7:51 pace)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Schuylkill River Trail

Any time that I take a road trip, even a short one, I like to try to add in a run.  That was the case today as I was headed to Conshohocken for a basketball tournament.  I knew the Schuylkill River Trail was right there, so I decided to run on it.

I started after 3 PM.  The weather was great by then.  I wore shorts and short sleeves.  Conshohocken was busy with activity.  I figured that I'd run out in both directions.

The goal was to run 12 miles total.  That would put me at 62 miles for the week and my goal is 82 miles this week.  I wasn't sure if I could accomplish today's plan or not, since I was feeling quite beat yesterday. 

I was very happy when I started off.  While I didn't feel great, I felt much better than I did during yesterday's two runs.  I guess I at least was able to recover some.  I had no idea what it would be like running this trail, since I had never been there before.

I started off heading north/west.  The path is paved for miles and miles.  It is an awesome place for bikers.  I saw a ton of them.  Very few other runners or walkers headed out in the direction I was going.  Later on, I'd saw why.

I figured this would be a nice and scenic run along the river.  The Septa train tracks are between the river and the trail though.  A train went by early on in the run.  I had another adventure in the first mile as well.  I was coming to a pair of geese.  I would've got to them around the same time as a biker.  I knew to be cautious.  I wasn't even close and all of a sudden, one of them came running at me.  I turned and ran the other way.  It then took off and flew right over my head.  The second one did the same thing.  That frightened me, but I dodged a bullet.

Earlier, I had an option to split and take the main trail or go on the Cross County Trail.  I stayed on the main Schuylkill River Trail.  Not only was this trail away from the river, but it cut through industrial sections too.  The sights weren't pretty.  With no leaves on the trees, that was no help either.  There was also no protection from the sun because of that.

Miles 1 and 2 went by comfortably.  I wanted to run out to mile 4 and turn around.  Shortly before mile 3, I saw a sign that the trail was closed up ahead.  That meant that I had to turn around before hitting mile 3.

As I was heading back, I was now running into the wind.  That was no fun.  I also didn't realize it, but part of the trail was a shared road with cars and trucks.  It was barely used, but a truck did come out in front of me.

A bunch of bikers came in the other direction while I was coming back.  I figured that they must turn around and come back, but they never did.  Maybe they knew a detour around the closed section.

Without much scenery, the miles clicked off slowly.  Since I didn't go out as far as I wanted to, I decided to do a short out and back on the Cross County Trail.  That trail was very open.  There wasn't much to see there either, but more industrial buildings.

I was going uphill now.  That wasn't fun, but on the plus side, I had the wind at my back.  I was at around 5.33 miles when I got onto this trail.  I decided that I'd try to run out a mile and then head back.  That would get me back to my car around mile 8.  Then, I'd have to battle it out for 4 more miles.

I continued on and wasn't feeling too bad, even though I was climbing a lot.  I kept a steady pace.  In the beginning of this trail, I went under Route 476 (I did that one the other trail too).  That was cool.  After that, I saw these giant nets ahead.  I realized that it is from the driving range that you can see from the highway.

I crossed a road and kept going.  I now decided that I would run to mile 7.  I ending up running in front of Ikea.  I turned around at mile 7, not far past the store.

After turning around there was some slight uphill.  However, it was now mostly downhill.  The problem was that I was running into a headwind.  That got annoying very quickly.  I always had an issue, no matter which direction I was running.  My foot was getting kind of sore too.

It was good to make it down the hill and back to the Schuylkill River Trail.  It wasn't long until I was back near my car and then on to mile 9.  I figured I could make in through these final 3 miles.

Now that I was back in Conshohocken, the trail was busy.  There were some cute women out running in this section.  The plan was to run to mile 10.5 and then turn around.  I now was running on flat trail and with no wind to deal with.  That was nice.

I passed a couple runners, including a guy that was moving at a decent clip
.  I then turned around at mile 10.5.  I was cruising at this point.  The final 3 miles got faster and faster.  They dropped from 7:16 to 7:06 to 6:51.  I was happy to get that last mile under 7 minutes.  I was even more thrilled to be done with the run and having made it out in one piece.

When I got back, I went to watch this cross country run to Boston.  It came through Bath and went right by my house.  I wanted to run it, but I couldn't afford to.  Those 11 additional miles would've been difficult too.  Maybe if it comes around again next year.

Tomorrow, I'm looking to put in 10 miles at least.  I'd like to do more if I can.  I'm still undecided if I want to run 2X.  That's not likely since it is already early morning.  I'll probably just run once in the afternoon.  My body isn't feeling great, but I think I can make it through 2 more big days.

12 miles - 1:29:15 (7:26 pace)