I just finished a pretty successful week of training, perhaps the hardest of my life. I ran 127 miles between Sunday morning and Saturday afternoon, which is by far a high for me. I ran three workouts, each pretty difficult but not overwhelmingly so, and had a solid (for the most part) long run after 105 other miles.
Thursday night I took an easy 5.5 mile run around Falls Church and stayed loose.
Friday morning I woke up at 5:45 to start a 13 mile morn
ing run with a 10 mile tempo in the middle, The Pimmit-W&OD. I had about a two mile warmup to Pimmit Hills and started off a little fast- 5:27, for the first mile. It was rolling,and the 65 degree morning temperature was a true gift. Uphill with a slowdown at an intersection in mile two, closer to what I was hoping- 5:40. I don't have my watch with me to recall the rest of the splits, but they were mostly 5:40s, and I managed to keep that up through six miles so so. Miles seven and eight, however, were mostly uphill, a lot
more than I recall them being, and I was dragging by that point. I'm pretty sure by that point I was over 6:00 pace, but the last two miles were downhill on the W&OD Trail, with only four or five intersections. Based on the spot splits I took at the half mile markers, I ran a few 5:20s there to finish it off in 57:51. I jogged a mile home, showered and went to work pretty bushed. I did an easy five miles on the treadmill in the early afternoon before meeting up with Pokey for our drive to Joe Wildfire's wedding in Portersville, Pa.
We arrived at around 11:30, hung around the campfire for about an hour and a half, then I headed to bed- a thin sleeping mat in a tiny tent. I got to sleep sometime after 1:15, waking up a few times because in the tent next to me, my friends Dan and Bill were snoring like nobody's business.
This photo is from Giles County, not Moraine State Park, but I like it
The sun woke me up at 7 am, and I stayed in the tent, drinking water, trying to get ready for the 24 miles I had planned for my run that morning. I eventually got up and saw Pokey walking around our campsite wearing his suit. I guess he was cold. We sat around for a bit and stretched out, then started on our way to Moraine State Park. We drove eight miles of the loop I mapped and parked and were on our way. It was a bit later than I was used to starting runs, especially long runs, but it was cool, high 50s, and not humid. I started out fast. Way too fast, actually. As it turns out, I was about 3.5 miles in at 6:05 pace before I started to slow down, and it was pretty hilly. Maybe I was excited about running in western Pennsylvania, maybe it was the weather, maybe I was still amped from the tempo run the day before, but I realized I was going a little too hard and eased up. I was a little worried that I didn't see Camelot Road, what I presumed to be an access road that would have added some distance onto the loop.
I wasn't too concerned, though. The second turn came much faster than I was expecting, and I started climbing more steeply than before. It was generally rolling terrain, mostly shaded after a sunny two-mile stretch on West Park Road.By the time I was on Mt. Union Road, I was flying up and down the hills, and tracked one runner down within two minutes of seeing him. When I got back into the park and hit the sun at an intersection, I slowed down. Miles 9-11.5 were pretty slow, and I hit 11.5 at 1:17 even. I grabbed a gel and a bottle of water from the car and headed back out, practicing squeezing the goo out as I ran and washing it down. I didn't have enough water, though. By mile 15 I was pretty dry, and I stopped at a park office to hit the water fountain. The next few miles were alright, but against drenched in sun. The hills that I so playfully bounded up the first time were damn near impassible the second time. Again, no matter how cool it is, I am going to sweat like a mother. The downhills even seemed too steep. When I got back to the park again, I skipped a meandering loop and cut off another half mile and wound up with a 1:20 11 mile second loop, much slower than I would have liked, but hey, I slept a few hours on the ground the night before, didn't have much water and just finished a 127 mile week with three strong workouts, then just ran my third longest run of my life. I'm okay with it all. I was expecting to be hungrier, though.
After brunch, we headed back to the park to swim in Lake Arthur, and on our way back to the wedding I bumped into former Pharaoh Hound Todd Kletter, there with his fiance and daughter.