Yesterday was a wash out. I was supposed to do my fast paced running but felt lousy and spent all day laying on the couch with my running clothes on (proving that I had good intentions when I got dressed in the morning). Today I stuck to my planned long run, figuring I'll do my pace work tomorrow on my cross train day.
I ran the ossipee River Trails and the Durgintown Woods Trails. After all the rain we had Sunday one would expect the trails to be a mess, but that wasn't the case! The trails Kevin built along the Ossipee are in fantastic shape for early Spring. He has an engineer's eye for mapping out and building single track. He has done a lot of mountain bike trail building and maintenance in Bear Brook and FOMBA in New Hampshire. When he moved to this area, he didn't waste any time getting to work on our local trails here in Kezar Falls. When I accompanied him to a trail day at Bear Brook last Fall, several people jokingly accused me of stealing him from them. Seeing the way the Ossipee trails drain water and stay sturdy and solid, and the way traveling them on foot or bike is such a pleasure, I can understand why they didn't like the idea of Kevin moving to Kezar Falls.
Across the South Hiram Road are the Durgintown Woods. These trails need some work and will be our project for this summer. There was some standing water and some mud on them, but it was still remarkably good running for mid- March. There are patches of ice left in the more sheltered areas, but I would estimate that about 85% of trail is now clear.
At this point in my training, my long run isn't all that long by ultra running standards, but I'm building up to the big runs in a sensible manner. I ran 12.7 miles in 2:05:15. How do I know this? Because I broke down and bought a Garmen to map out my routes through the woods. I didn't want to complicate a simple thing like trail running by adding unnecessary gadgets, but I was beginning to wonder if I was estimating distances correctly. I started thinking maybe I wasn't going as far or as fast as I guessed, since my road runs were so slow and miserable. But after trying out this new toy, I mean training tool, I have found that my 4 mile route is just over 4 miles, my 5 mile route is just over 5, my 8 mile out and back is 8 miles, and last week's 11 miles of repeated sections of River Run was exactly 11.2 miles. It seems I have a pretty good sense of distance on the trails.
The good news is that my run felt fantastic and I felt like I could have easily kept running for another 10 miles. The reason I have cut back on the distance of my long run is so I can build back up slowly and strengthen my muscles and joints and back slowly and steadily. I want to be able to run 5 and 6 hour training runs this summer and feel like I am not pushing my body over the edge. I really want to stay healthy and free of injuries this year!