Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Saturday Long Run: Cougar Mountain Edition

Last week Saturday, September 27th, I ran my longest run ever, 16 miles. On the trails at Cougar Mountain it took three hours and forty-five minutes. HOLY CRAP. That is a very long time to run.

Stacey and I made plans to meet up again for another long run. I had to do 16, she had to do 24. We started at about 11:30 in the afternoon, which works because it is so much cooler in the woods! 

The day threw a few challenges in our path, though. A hilarious, or maybe not-so-hilarious, collection of events (including both of our Garmins dying) that held the ability to really put us off our game-- but, like Taylor Swift, we were able to shake it off and put one foot in front of the other. For 16 MILES!

The run was my second with a new hydration pack. The Ultimate Direction Ultra Vesta felt perfect on my eight mile run earlier in the week, so I was confident wearing it for my 16 miler. Thankfully, I was right, the pack was/is AWESOME. I highly recommend it-- and maybe will do a bit of a review on it soon.  Not sure if I was just getting used to drinking from a hose, versus drinking from the bottles on my beloved waist belt, but I do think I under-hydrated. I ended up drinking one total liter during the whole run, and I definitely felt it. So that was a major lesson: drink more with the hydration pack!

Squinting in to the sun, not succeeding at hiding my exhaustion. 

So, anyways, we did two loops of the High Heels Running Group route. The first loop I initially felt great, but then started to lose stamina earlier than I thought I should have. I walked almost every hill, lagging behind Stacey who was running up everything (again: trail-eating BADASS). I mis-read the map, got us off track, finishing the first loop later than I planned. It threw off my rhythm and my eating plan. After a very quick stop at the car, it was back out for loop two. I gave myself a pep talk and was grateful for Stacey's energy to help carry me through. Luckily with some food and water, I was feeling better, the stamina was back. Unfortunately, my body felt the toll of the miles. I had a general idea of where we were mileage wise, but not having a working Garmin kept me (luckily) from slowly watching the distance tick by. When Stacey and I got back to the car we calculated, between dead Garmins and phones tracking the rest of the mileage, that we had about .4 more miles to do, so we ran the rest of it! An out and back down the driveway of the parking lot and then a lap around some horse trailers and we were D.O.N.E.

Matt and I at the end of my run.

My body really hurt when I was done. Not specific pain, like my knee or hamstring, just an all over deep ache and soreness. I got home and took an ice bath and eventually felt ready to go out to dinner. Everything still ached when I went to bed, and it was a pretty fitful night's sleep-- which is annoying following a long run!-- but surprisingly felt normal when I woke up. Had a very busy Sunday, which included a yoga class with my daughter, and my legs felt okay, So, I guess that is a good thing?

Since my mileage will now decrease until the 30K, I guess that means I am tapering. Woo hoo! Will admit that I am now pretty nervous about the race, My 14 (.6!) was tough, but the 16 was HARD. My hope right now is that the stars align for the race. My fueling will be spot on, my adrenaline will carry me through . . . and my feet will remain blister-free, haha. 


  1. Cougar Mountain is REALLY, REALLY hard in comparison to Point Defiance. If you ran 16 miles on Cougar Mountain, you are certainly set for the race. Seriously excited to read your race report!

    1. Thanks Lindsay! Glad to get the feedback from someone who is familiar with both. Excited to write the race report, too, haha.


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