Last Sunday's four hour run (which ended up being just over 16 miles) was fantastic. I felt strong the entire time, just a bit tired at the end. Throughout the run I was reminded of the first time I ran 16 miles, which was a year ago that same weekend. I was training for the Point Defiance 30k. My friend Stacey practically had to drag me through, I was seriously struggling!
Since that first 16 mile run I have run 16 or more miles at least a dozen times. Not all of them amazing runs, but none of them as tough as that first one. It felt so impossible the first time, but now is a manageable long run.
Tomorrow I am running the Point Defiance 30k again, this time as a training run for the Deception Pass 50k. The weather? 100% chance of rain! This actually doesn't bother me at all-- in fact, I love running in the rain!-- but it's a pretty long run, and I am wondering how tough a couple of spots on the trail will be (including the last steep downhill that requires a rope). So, a four-ish hour mudfest it is.
Running lately has felt great. I am slacking on everything else (stretching, strength, etc) but running? Perfecto. Wednesday's 60 minute run, with some hill sprints in the middle, was so much fun. I found the perfect hill, steep enough to make me work, not so steep I can't sprint up it with decent form.
Part of my run on Wednesday. Not the hill.
So far I am thrilled with my new training plan. Running by minutes instead of distance takes a lot of the pressure off. Of course, having been through a 50k training cycle already, I feel more at ease all around-- I know I can do it. It's just a matter of how well trained I will be!
I still need to post about my family's August vacation on the Oregon Coast (yes, two months ago!) and last week's camping trip on Mount Rainier. Here's a preview of how that went:
Eloise and I being photobombed by a mountain.