Epic! That's the one word I can use to describe this weekend's run. That is both for the weather and the course. First, the course. We did a 16 mile run Saturday morning. Our first loop was a fairly flat 7 1/2 miles. We completed the first loop 1 hour. Just the perfect pace for our marathon gaol of 3:40. Then things got interesting. I decided to push the pace down to a 7-7:30 min/mile pace for the first 5 flat miles of the second loop. This was going to really tax our legs so we would hit the hills fatigued and really have to focus on good form to allow us to push through the gruelling hills (not an exageration-these hills we run are very steep and quite long, just ask Chris Schauble @chrisschauble who was a "hill virgin" before Saturday). These hills added another 2 miles to our second loop. When it was all said and done, 2:12 for the enitre run. I felt great, legs were stiff but nothing hurt, and our time was great; hell we only ran 12 minutes slower for the second loop, but we also added 2 miles of hills. That means we actually ran way faster on the second loop. Negative splits are always nice.
Now for the weather. When we started it was mildly overcast and looked like the rain had passed. 5 miles into the first loop, the skys opened up and DUMPED rain on us for a good 15 minutes. Then, the skys started to clear. Once again, it looked like the rain had passed. Then we turned to face the west and I saw a huge grey/black cloud. I was hoping we culd beat it, but no such luck. That sucker caught us with 3 miles to go. This time it rained harder, even sending us some pea-sized hail, the entire rest of our run. That means we had to do the hills in the rain/hail/wind. Not too pleasant.
All in all. a great run. Leg strength was buitlt, leg endurance was built, and mental confidence was solidified. I am a happy camper with 20 days to go until the LA MArathon.
One 11 miler and an 8 miler are our only "longer" runs left. All the rest are weekday maintenance runs. The work is behind us, the reward is in front. Which direction would you focu