Saturday, July 2, 2011

9 Mile trail run

I survived the longest and toughest run I have ever done this morning. Went to Pontiac Lake Rec Area and ran the mountain bike trail. There is a reason why it is, in fact, a mountain bike trail. For this area, it is about as mountainous as it gets.

I headed out to the park to learn that it didn't actually open until 8 am. Luckily, I saw a runner parking nearby while I was out there and said he parks at this certain location frequently, so I went with it.

I learned early on that I was not going to set any speed records as the hills were brutal. The biggest hills were early in the run and pretty much rendered my legs ineffective. The first mile or so was about the speed I thought I would run the whole trail, but that was far from the case. The bugs were pretty brutal throughout the run (Tip #1 - if you are going to do a trail run, put on some insect repellant) and I was very tempted to turn back by mile 2, but it got slightly better from about then on. And I saw a wild Turkey.

Around mile 3 to 4, I felt like I was settling into a good pace and felt good. That lasted until about 6.5 miles in. There was one particular stretch where between the rocks, hills and distance that my knees started to rebel. It was a struggle to finish for the last couple miles, but I did it. I am happy to say that I ran the whole 9 miles. There were a few hills where I walked near the top in the last couple miles, but I don't consider that "walking". Of the 2 hour, 7 minute run, a max of 2 minutes consisted of this walking (where I probably made as much progress up these hills as "running").

I think this run will probably be the toughest that I will do all year (unless I do it again at some point, perhaps in the fall). It wasn't speedy, but it didn't need to be. It was probably beyond my current capabilities, but I toughed it out and finished strong.

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