Sunday, September 4, 2011
Long Training Run (Burlingame 50K)
Somehow on Friday I ended up running a 50K in preparation of running a 50K in two weeks. My plan was to run for 4+ hours, and I figured I would run 28 miles. I ran 3.5 hours a few weeks ago, but wanted to get closer to the 5 hours it will take me to run the Pisgah Mountain Trail 50K. I would again run loops of the Vin Gormley trail in Burlingame, but this time add 2 miles down and around the old camp as I felt up to it. I figured I would do the 10 mile loop twice, and then the shorter 8 mile loop the last time. Things changed on Friday morning when I got the call from Muddy that he was interested in joining me for a loop. I'd been hoping to get the chance to show him some of the hidden trail gems of the park, and as long as he was up to it, we could do a long loop together. Of course he was down for that, so at 12:30PM we were off. Beginning at the picnic area parking lot, we ran north along the only stretch of evil pavement to get it out of the way. Once we entered the woods, we veered right onto Sammy C's trail. Immediately, we had to bushwack around a fallen tree, and I wasn't sure how many more we'd encounter after Irene came through earlier in the week. At the junction with Schoolhouse Pond trail, we continued straight on an unmarked mtn bike trail. We would occasionally run into tree road blocks, but nothing extraordinary. We also stopped at intersections so that I could explain where we were. Eventually we met back up with the Vin Gormley trail, and then again diverged from it to run the loop down and around the old north camp. Once again we jumped onto the VG trail, this time for good. I thought this would be 12 miles, but it ended up being 13. The pace was a little faster than I planned for my entire run, but it was still easy and fun, and took 1:42+. Muddy bid me adieu, I refueled with Gatorade, Coke, and half a granola bar, and began lap #2. This time I would stick to my original plan and run either 8 or 10 miles, depending on feel. I was feeling really good, so I went for 10 miles. My legs were noticeably stronger than last time which pleased me. This loop I completed in 1:22+, and I was at 3:05 for 23 miles. I repeated my routine at my car, and figured I could finish with the 8 mile loop without too much trouble, although I would be doing more miles than anticipated. I was in good shape for 2 or 3 more miles, and then the hurt came (physically and mentally). My stride shortened and my body felt stiff. I was in pain, not in an injury sort of way, just in a way that my body was telling me to stop. I was determined to finish without stopping however. I had short term goals: hey you just ran a marathon!, halfway around when you get to Poquiant Brook, the next stretch is smooth, after Klondike it's only a mile to the campground. Once past Klondike, I ran into Jon Short, who knew I was out there and thought he might find me. Mentally, it was a huge boost to have someone to talk with and run alongside. I still was in a lot of pain, and the three miles we ran together seemed to take forever, but I made it. 31 miles in 4:21. The last 8 miles I did in 1:16 - not too pretty. I was glad to do it though. My legs felt better for far longer, and this run will only help. We'll see what happens in Pisgah.