Long Run – Finally

I was determined to get my distance game on this weekend. So I set myself up so I’d have no choice. Friday I made plans with a fellow MEC Trail runner to meet an hour before the meet-up. Slight delay due to our intended parking lot being still locked, and having to drive down to another one, but slightly after 7:30 we started running.

What a beautiful morning it was.

View from one of the lookouts on the trail

Cool sunny morning with a nice cool breeze, my plan was to wear shorts and compression socks for the run to help with my recent calf soreness but because of the cooler temperature I ended up wearing pants and brought shots so I could change later if I wanted to.

We did about 5.6k before hopping back into our cars and joining the rest of the meet-up group at the original lot. Once there I decided to change into my shorts. So awkward changing pants in a parking lot in the middle of the day. Thank goodness for tinted windows and a parking lot that faces the trees. I also had a Gu, tri-berry I think. Gu was the first gel I tried (I was using chews last cycle) and it was so awful I gagged multiple times trying to get it down – I could write a saga on my first experience with that. I ended up switching to the Honey Stinger Gel for the rest of the training this spring with the intention to try Gu again once I got more use to the Gels. So yesterday was that day. Yup, still fully awful. So that was fun. Glad I only had the one on me, I ate Honey Stinger chews for the rest of the run. Mmm so good. Had the fruit punch kind which I got in my Mississauga kit but had never tried. Still delicious.

The next 9.5km or so were spent with the big group that turned up this weekend. Saturday runs have been a bit small lately, I think race season has played a big factor in that, also we had some new faces this week. We were running the trails around Cootes Paradise in Hamilton, they’re mostly flat but do feature some very long climbs here in there. My body was very not in to hills yesterday so I ended up giving up and walking the hill a lot, steep climbs still hard to walk up them!

Just some of the group that showed up that morning – on another of the lookouts! And yes I have my vest on!

When we looped back to the parking lot I was at around 15.2km and wanted to get in a couple more km so me, the girl I started the morning with a 2 other of the regulars headed out for some more. One girl turned early she just wanted to get to 10k. So the 3 of us continued on. In the middle of one of the super long hills I checked my watch and determined turning back now would get me 18, and I could finish this climb, but well I super do not want to. So I announced I was turning back and the girl said she was too when she saw we’d be around 18. After a bit of a chat that cooled us right down (don’t all long runs require 3 periods of standing around and reaching resting heart rate?) we split off from the last remaining runner and headed back.

And my favourite photo from this morning. Saw this as we were heading back to the parking lot of the final time.

18km on the trails, felt pretty great even though legs were feeling tired before the run. Not too shabby for my serious lack of long runs this spring, next weekend I’ll get out on the road to pound some pavement finally, can’t have all the long runs be trail, that’s just too kind for the body.

Total km this week: 43km. woo! Somewhat of a borrow from the week before but still happy with my total. Didn’t run today and went rock climbing instead! Hadn’t been in over a year and was missing it lately loved getting back on there even though my forearms now feel pretty wrecked. Great total body strength work though and love┬áthe strategic aspect of it.