Super duper run today. Not quite super awesome but pretty damn fine. I think some naked ladies and money on the trees would have made it better but aside from that, it was about as perfect as I could ask for. The weather was a huge factor as it's finally creeping into fall, my favorite season. Mostly because my birthday is in October but also because it means cooler weather, the kids are back in school, and the holidays are coming. Which means presents. And more presents.
The run was fairly uneventful, big surprise, but I did take advantage of the easy pace to move branches off the trail, swap out SD cards in my trail cameras, and gander about. Well, I looked around a little bit. Most of the time I was distracted by listening to podcasts (The Park Run Show and Mission Log) and trying to NOT think about my pace and instead DO think about my form and stride. Once I warmed up after a couple of miles, I felt like I was really in the groove. The last two miles felt really nice and I almost, almost felt like I was floating along down the trail. With half a mile left, I picked up the pace for my "three minute push" and brought my pace down to a 10 minute average pace (instead of a 12 minute average I expect on the trail). And that 10 minute pace was probably faster than that because I pushed hard for three minutes then backed off the gas for the last two minutes until I stopped the clock. I didn't back off a lot but it felt more like a normal pace.
Anyway, along the way I saw a heron, plenty of squirrels and small birds, and a large hawk. I'm pretty sure I heard some deer but I never saw any. And seeing as I avoided Snake Alley this morning, I'm glad I didn't see any snakes.
This used to be a swamp. It also used to be home to the White Tower of Isengard. It fell over a year or two ago so now it just looks empty.
Temps were about 55F to 60F. Partly cloudy sky. Light to moderate breeze. It was pretty breezy in the open so in the forest is was dialed down a bit. No humidity.
Fluids and Fuel:
Pre-run was yogurt, breakfast burrito, and half an iced coffee. During the run I had a bottle of Hammer Fizz and half a bottle of plain water. Recovery was an iced latte.
Aches and Pains:
Nothing really hurt during the run. My back felt stiff when I was stretching after I finished. I did step on some sharp rocks here and there but that's expected on the gravel trail. Everything else felt fine.
Wore a winter beanie for a mile or so. Wore my gloves the entire time. Wore two shorts, partly to stay warm and partly for the extra pockets. Forgot STRETCH so my phone ended up in my pocket. It worked out just fine. I also tested out the rock plates in my shoes. They seemed to work okay but I'm not sure if I'll use them or not. They felt funny when I walked in them, especially in the heel. Almost like I had rocks in my shoe. But running they felt fine.
Carried my large pepper spray. Didn't have any issues.
Mile 1 - 13:23 (AVG HR 137) (a little long in distance and time since I started it early then stopped to grab my gloves and bottles)
Mile 2 - 16:22 (AVG HR 138) (spent the extra time swapping out the SD card)
Mile 3 - 20:08 (AVG HR 142) (this was really closer to 2 miles due to my turn around point)
Mile 4 - 11:55 (AVG HR 153)
Mile 5 - 11:23 (AVG HR 159)
Finish - 1:13:12
AVG HR - 145
PEAK HR - 177
MIN HR - 109