I swear it feels like 20. Kouba, Brooke, and I went for an amazing 16 mile run today. We met and started in Lithia Park in Ashland. We ran through the park (uphill) and then up gravel and dirt fire roads for another FIVE miles (the same start to the Lithia Loop Marathon). Yes, about six miles total up, up, up, up to start our run. (the Lithia Loop veers left and keeps going up) We took it easy, even received a phone call, in the middle of the woods, from our friend Sarah who was trying to meet us at about mile 10 of our run. An hour and a half passed by, and we were finally at the top.
Brooke and Kouba finding the trails we ran up.
What a great feeling. The views were beautiful and it was a great sense of accomplishment to come around a turn and see the buildings in the city of Ashland as little specs six miles below.
Coming down the Hit Trail, we saw Jen Sallee (who is also on the CWO SOB 50K team) running up with a friend and their dogs. Hugs were exchanged and off we went. Our legs were feeling tired, but gravity was a blessing helping us come down.
We met our friend Sara at Strawberry Lane for the last six miles. It was wonderful having her join us. Not that conversation gets dull between Kouba, Brooke, and I, but it’s a great thing to have someone new and fresh to help you finish up a long run.
This was a great learning experience for me today. I had about four Clif Shot Bloks and half of a Power Bar Gel (which are definitely not my favorite), and close to 40 oz of water over the entire run. I think my body definitely needed more. I had lost my motivation to keep going at about mile 12. That was tough to break through, but good practice for when it hits in the 50K (hopefully at more like mile 29). I’ve never had a leg cramp on a run and my right calf was almost rock hard by the time were finished. My face was crusty with salt, and I wasn’t really sweating much by the time we hit mile 15. This was a good lesson to learn on a cool, cloudy day. I couldn’t imagine how I would have been feeling on a sunny, 80 degree day. Next time, more fuel, and a bigger water pack (mine only holds about 20oz at a time) – we had to refill when we came back through Lithia Park at about mile 12, thank goodness for water fountains.
I’m also a bit worried about my shoes and feet. The shoes felt ok – Brooks ASRs. They are older and I have a new pair on the way. My worry is that my arches were hurting and I got a few small blisters. I’ve never had that issue before with my arches, so I’m hoping with a new pair of shoes, it won’t happen again. I am reading Born to Run which is starting to intrigue me about barefoot running, but that’s a whole other story.
Three and a half hours after we started, we finally came to a stop. Yes, three and a half hours - we ran slow and steady. It was crazy hilly, but we all made it, together.
16 mile hilly, trail run –
Brooke, Myself, Kouba