I have no idea why, but for some strange reason I've gotten into the habit of defining my long runs by the animals I encounter. Today was no exception. From this point forward the new loop I ran today will be known as the Dairy Cow 10 Miler. It's actually half of an existing route we run with a little diversion. That "little diversion" is actually Meaderboro Road. And wouldn't you know it, Meaderboro Road climbs for almost 3 miles before the turn onto Reservoir Road! Yeah, I know it's hard to believe, but it's true...a 3 mile climb! Just as you near the crest of the hill you catch the intoxicating aroma of Scruton's Dairy Farm. There's nothing like the smell of a dairy farm. I can't wait to run this hill in July. A common theme for the past 3 long runs has been a headwind. Thankfully, it was directly in my face the entire climb. With my jacket as a sail I slowed to a crawl feeling the precious minutes I had banked in the first 5 miles slowing slipping away. The objective the past month has been to run Pineland Farms race pace on the long runs. To this point, I've actually been slightly faster than the 7:15's I anticipate needing for a top 10 finish on Memorial Day weekend. At the 3 mile mark I was a little over 2 minutes up and at 5 miles I was 3 minutes up. I had driven down Meaderboro Road in the past, but distant past. I could tell from the mapping software that it was a climb, but I really didn't appreciate how long of a climb. At the 8 mile mark (and the top of the climb) I was still surprisingly ahead of my 7:15 pace. Although dirt, Reservoir Road graciously descended for approximately a mile before the final 1.04 mile push home. The loop finished up a jeep road with enough blown down, mud, and rocks to satisfy any trail runner. Thanks to the last 3 weeks of preparation I felt surprisingly fresh and pushed for a sub 70 minute loop. I clocked in at 1:09:13, good enough for 6:54's. Once again, given the course I am thrilled. Pineland Farms 25k is hillier, longer, and run in warmer temps but I'm quite a bit ahead of where I was last year at this time. Great way to end an "on" cycle. Tomorrow is the first day of my "restorative" week. I'll weigh-in and measure my body fat. The Muddy Moose 14 Miler is in two weeks. Right now I'm planning to run it with friends and enjoy myself.
PS. Congratulations to my teammates Ri and SJ who both finished the 100 miler at the McNaughton Trail Races this weekend in Illinois. -Dare mighty things.
2016: Year in Review
3 months ago