This last weekend was 5 weeks out from the Headlands Hundred. Given that it was a long weekend, that means it was prime time for some serious training!
On Saturday I was initially planning for a long run in the Shenandoahs. But I was just way too tired. I had traveled for work all week and was still beat up from lots of recent running, especially the 40 miler a week before.
I instead planned on 20-25 miles around DC. After sleeping in a bit, I started my run and realized my legs still felt like crap. I ended up doing a very easy 13 miles with some cross/training. The old Will would have just powered through the run anyway and probably done more harm than good. I think it is a very good thing that I'm better about listening to my body now.
I got a second good night of sleep and felt much better on Sunday. My goal was to do the 25 mile Rock Creek Park loop but run it very easily to leave plenty in the tank to head to the Shenandoahs on Monday. It was ridiculously hot and humid, but I managed to run 8:30 pace and still felt pretty fresh at the end.
On Monday, I headed to the annual July 4th Browntown Loop with VHTRC. It is about a 21 mile loop, and it is a great course that has a good amount of climb but is also pretty runnable. I did this last year as well and was looking forward to going back.
Other than being ludicrously humid, it was another fun day in the mountains. I ran the loop pretty hard and felt great. I ran almost all of the first climb and about half the second climb until you hit the really steep trail section. It was fun to run with the VHTRC crew, and I finished the loop in 4:05, which includes several stops along the way to refuel and regroup.
I had hoped to feel good enought to head back out for some bonus miles, and luckily that was the case. I ended up running another 2:50 (probably about 14 miles). That was longer than I had planned, but I took something of a detour and ended up running all the way to the town of Washington before turning around.
Total run was about 35 miles in a bit under 7 hours, and I still felt strong at the end. Last year I felt terrible at the end of the 21 mile loop, and I think my time was also a bit slower. Another confidence booster for the Headlands Hundred, especially since I had run 25 miles the day before!