24 July 2011


Today was another tough but enjoyable run. Obviously that's easier said after the run than during the run. I met up with Rich at 5AM to get in this week's long run. We had decided to go for a nice and challenging trail run. My training schedule called for 20 miles, but we ended up running just 15 something miles. While it was shorter than planned, it was quite grueling with most of the trail very technical and us either climbing or descending throughout the run.

The temperatures were actually pretty low to start our run, but the humidity was extreme from the get go. As we approached the top of Monte Sano mountain around 6 am, the visibility was extremely poor, fog covering the entire valley. I started to hope that the sun would take its time to burn through the fog, allowing us to continue our run in cooler than usual temps, although "cool" is really not the appropriate term here, "less stifling" is probably better.

Richard had worked out a great loop through Monte Sano State Park, providing us with a hilly and technical loop around the mountain while running on at least 5 different trails, including Tollgate Trail, McKay Hollow Trail, Bluffline Trail and others. Looking at the elevation profile afterwards at runningahead.com it showed almost 3000 feet of ascend and 3000ft of descend. Not bad for a training run. The inserted elevation profile serves as my excuse of cutting the originally scheduled  20 miler short. We ran pretty slow, but considering the circumstances and the oppressive humidity, I am actually still satisfied with my training. After all, I ended up getting 3.5 hours on my legs.

Oh yeah, with less than 2 miles to go, a bug decided to catch a ride with me...in the right lobe of my lung. Thankfully, I had enough Gatorade left to try to wash it down. Which brings me to the biggest challenge today...hydration. I drank almost 100oz of liquids during our run and still ended up 3 lbs. down afterwards. I had used a new hand bottle (20 oz Amphipod Hydraform Handheld Pocket, which I will review briefly at a later time) filled with Propel to start the run, we were able to refill and get some water at a water fountain at the top of the mountain about an hour into the run and Rich had stashed 100 oz. of Gatorade about 11 miles into our run. Thank goodness, 'cause we were dying. The humidity over the last two weeks has been merciless and it hadn't mattered what time of day I'd chosen to get my run in. The only difference has been the actual temps ranging from 72 to 98 degrees. The humidity has been consistently high. But enough about the weather, this blog is about running.

Tomorrow calls for another hill workout and we've decided to tackle the Cotton Row Run hill again...fourteen times.

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