Sunday, July 13, 2008

7/6/08 Back in the saddle again

As I mentioned in my last post, training wasn't going so well for while. Well I definitely had my comeback this weekend.

On Friday July 4th I did 22 miles, which was pretty rough because I hadn't been running much in the prior week. I took it pretty easy on Saturday and then headed out to the Massanuttens on Sunday.

I woke up at 4 and drove out to the trailhead where I volunteered for the MMT 100. My plan was to run 8-10 hours if things went well. This would be a pretty long run given that I was only two weeks out from Vermont, but I hadn't done a run this long in training yet. This was my last chance before the big day.

I brought a ton of stuff with me and planned to swing back to the car once in the middle of the run to restock.

The run went even better than I could have expected. I ended up running for 9.5 hours on an extremely rugged, mountainous course. I estimate that I covered 50 miles and 20K of elevation change based on the MMT 100 course description. It was a beautiful area, and there were some fantastic views whenever I got to the top of a mountain.

My legs felt great and my stomach held up really well. I was eating and drinking a ton and still felt like I had a lot of energy when I finished. The only tough part was that the course was very wet from all the previous rain, so my feet were pretty soaked for the whole time. I ended up with some pretty nasty blisters, but they were nothing that taking it easy for the next few days won't fix.

By far the highlight of the run was when I circled back to the car to restock. There was a family hanging out by the trailhead, and I said hi to them. The father said hi back and asked how far I was jogging. I said that I'd probably run about 32 miles. He asked how long that had taken, and I said about six hours (it was not quite even noon at this point). He looked pretty sure that I was crazy at this point.

I then proceeded to chug 20 ounzes of ginger ale, eat three handfuls of cheez-its, refill my pack with water, refill my water bottle, grab a few more clif bars, call jen quickly to say I was ok, and headed back out the trail. I think I might as well have been an alien.

Anyway, this run was a fantastic confidence booster for Vermont. If I feel as good as I did today, I should definitely be able to finish.

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