Sunday, July 5, 2015

Marathon Training Continues

On July 3rd, I set out for a 17 mile run. The weather was perfect, 65 and sunny. Cool for July, but excellent for running. To avoid having to run on a main road, I decide to rack up as many miles around my house as I could before I set off on the real adventure. Having a destination to run to is more fun than just running in circles. My destination was a small lake named Stanley Lake at the top of a mountain.

Loaded down with 42 ounces of water, Hammer electrolyte drink, and some honey stingers, I first ran up the road and stopped just short of a major hill. I then ran down the road past my house and turned onto a dirt road. Once again I ran to the start of the big hill (same hill, just different road), then turned around and ran back. By the time I got to the start of the real run, I had racked up six miles. That left just 11 to go.

The Endless Mountain of Pennsylvania.
Living in a very hilly area, I really can't avoid the hills if I want to go anywhere. After a two mile uphill run, I turned right onto a dirt road that would take me to Stanley Lake. Dirt roads are great. They muffle the sounds of my feet and are usually tree-lined and peaceful. Only one car passed me the entire time. I saw several deer, a fox, and million of butterflies.

Stanley Lake is a 30 acre lake with a  limited number of homes and cottages around the lake.  Being 4th of July weekend, there were lots of people mowing yards and starting cookouts. The smokey smell of hamburgers and hotdogs was in the air. At the end go the lake, I stopped to take a picture and empty another water bottle. I was at mile 12, but had quite a bit of water left. The temperature had gone up a little bit there was a slight breeze and it felt great.

Stanley Lake
Getting to Stanley Lake had been mostly downhill. This meant the return trip would be mostly uphill.   I walked the steepest hills and took my time on the downhills. At mile 14, I was back on the paved road and had several small, but steep hills to negotiate. I again walked the worst of them, but chose to run the downhill. This may have been a mistake because by the time my watch beeped 16, my quads were sore and tight.  At mile 17, I pushed for two more tenths and then called it good. My 17.2 mile run was complete. I was still a half mile from home and slowly walked the remaining distance.  Walking after a long run really helps the legs feel better the next day. This is something I did not do last year and had very sore legs for two and sometime three days after. I also did very little walking. Just waking for 20 to 30 seconds gives the legs a break and makes the run more enjoyable.

My next long run will be 18.2 miles. Because I'm only doing a long run every other week, I have a little time to plan out my next destination.

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