Well, another great week of training in the books. My mileage was right at 110miles for the week and included 3 great “workouts”. Monday was a solid Hill Circuit at Buffalo Park… Wednesday Mike, Rob, & I hammered up Humphrey’s Summit Trail from the lower Snowbowl Parking lot to the Weatherford Trail Head (~3k ft of Elevation Change over ~ 5miles.. topping out at 12k). For the climb, I ended up running my fastest time ever – 49:51.. then we hammered the way down the technical trail pretty good.. 37:58. A great day’s work.
Then came Sunday.. Mike and I decided to run 28miles steady on the A1 Forest Service Road. We decided to do the 7miles out to the Wing Mtn Loop.. then run the 7mile Loop twice.. and then head back. With some deadness in our legs we pushed our way through the first 7miles which is mostly uphill in a steady 47:17 (6:45/mile avg). This pace actually felt pretty comfortable, but we still had 21 miles to go.. so I was just hoping that it wasn’t too aggressive. On top of that, the Wing Mtn Loop has a Heart-Breaking climb over the last 1.5miles that seems to suck the life out of my legs and sometimes my spirit.
As we make our way around the Loop the 1st time, we settle into a solid 6:15/mile pace. We were able to easily carry on a conversation, so I felt good about the pace. We held this pace for a majority of the Loop, then we rounded the final turn and headed toward “the Hill”. As we powered our way up the hill, I could feel all the spring fall out of my step.. and the enthusiasm sucked out my soul. A short while later and it’s over. In a matter of seconds, we are back on track. A good sign.. The time to recover from the Hill was pretty quick… We finished the loop in 44:59 (6:25/mile pace)… Now it’s time to go around again.
We quickly dove back into the 6:15/mile pace.. and made quick work of the first 6miles.. We made our way back to the Hill at a good clip and were now ready to climb again.. this time, it felt a little harder.. but after charging through it.. once again, I was able to make a quick recovery.. I ended up closing the 2nd Loop in 45:06 (6:26/mile pace)… Now it’s time for the 7mile gradual decline back to car.
This last section went pretty smoothly. It started raining on us pretty hard, which was actually kinda nice. Other than a slight side-stitch, the miles seemed to fly by and before I knew it, I was only 2miles from the finish. At this point, I decided to pick up the pace a bit. My side-stitch started to grab pretty hard as I increased the effort, but I grunted and pushed my way through it. I closed my last couple miles around 5:50/mile pace.. and ended up covering the last 7miles in 43:26 (6:12/mile pace). My total time for the 28mile run was 3:00:53.
A great run.. a great week.. With each week like this, I am feeling more and more confident about the races coming up. The work isn’t done.. but it’s nice to see things moving in a VERY positive direction.