First 16 Miler

I should be sore today.Getting out of bed should have been hard, I shouldn’t have been able to work out and do lunges and squats. Yet I felt completely normal. I don’t get it, I ran 16 miles yesterday, aren’t you supposed to feel that?

Ok, sure I didn’t push it for those 16 miles. I knew it would be long so I aimed for an easy enough pace so that I would be able to carry on all the way. I guess it worked.

I made sure to get some carbs on Wednesday night and avoid too much soy or beans. On Friday I woke up at the normal night, ate a bagel with honey and almond butter, got ready and went. Truth be told I really wanted to stay in bed and sleep. But I knew it was a beautiful day and that I should just go for it. And beautiful it was. Sunny, temperatures in the mid 50’s when I started and the 60’s by the time I was done. It was absolutely perfect. I was not alone in that train of thought. Many people, mostly bikers were out on the trails.

I planned my route to include a section of trail I’m familiar with and one I’ve only done once. The first part was about 5-6 miles, following the usually Pine and Explorer loop. I tried to trick my body into thinking that was just the warm-up. Somehow it worked because it went by fast even though it took close to an hour. I was around a 10:00 pace and that was fine with me. I still had ground to cover with some good uphill. Then I hopped on Hardtime forest road, followed by the roller-coaster of South Ridge. I took a tiny break at the apex (actually running back to it because I missed it) to put a rock down on the cairn. Then it was downhill until Bent Creek Forest Rd. The fun wasn’t over yet, At that point I knew I had to follow the Forest Rd on a steep uphill and connect with Sidehill whose beginning can’t qualify as flat either. Last time I ran those I had to walk.

I’m proud to say I ran all the way. Even passed a biker. I made it back to the car in 2 hours 41mns and a few seconds. Averaging a 9:58 pace. Not so bad for a hilly 16 miles.

Fueling wise, last time I ran 14 miles I carried Gu Brew with me and got so sick of it by mile 11. At that point I wanted fresh water. So this time I skipped the brew, did water and took regular sips of a Gu gel and 1 cliff shot block. I think I had about 1/3 of the gel at 55mns, a sip at 1h20, another at 1h40 and one Cliff Shot Block at 2hours. Back at the car I had Emergen-C in water and forced myself to eat a Cliff Bar (Peanut Butter).

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