...and before I know it, my planned 12-15 miler turned into an 18 miler. Actually it was about 18.6 though Garmin recorded only a part of that since I keep forgetting to restart the damn timer after I take a little break. I wasn't quite sure how long it would take me to do 15 trail miles, but I only planned to be out there about 3 hours. I ended up being on the trails for four.
Anyway, this run is a test for me to see if I can go the longer distance. I'm considering doing the SJT50K in about a month, but before this, my longest race had been the PS Half-Marathon. My plan was to get up early this morning so that I'd be out on the trail by about 6-6:30. Well, when my alarm went off and I lay in bed, I was thinking that there was no one waiting for me so I decided to sleep in a bit. I ended up starting at 8am, just a tad bit late on a weekday.
My strategy on this run was to try to keep my heart rate down to around 155bpm; that's about 86% of my max HR taking my age into account. Do the math. I was doing pretty well with it, except for the uphill. I was testing to see if it would be more efficient for me to jog the uphills or walk them. For the steeps, I decided that the only option is to walk, while I can jog slowly up the gradual inclines. My HR was hovering around 165 to 170.
Oh, I did see a baby snake sunning itself on the trail. That was a nice surprise though it actually startled me. Wish I had my camera.
To make a long recap short, I felt ok except for the last 3 or so miles to get back from the El Moro Ranger Station to my car parked at Newport Coast at the end of Bommer Ridge Trail. I had to add extra mileage to this run since I made a couple of wrong turns earlier in the run and had to backtrack. I also made a decision to drop down to the ranger station to fill up my water bottles since I was running out. It was hot and my legs weren't used to the mileage. I was hungry and dehydrated, and even though I filled my two water bottles, I quickly guzzled the water down. I barely ran the rest of the way since it was mostly uphill. On the flats, I tried to jog, but even that became an ordeal for me. I eventually made it back to my car, and while I was jogging along the path lining the gazillion dollar homes and admiring them, I couldn't get over how perfectly manicured this part of the trail was.
I noticed that my feet don't hurt like they used to when I trained for my marathons when I did my long runs on pavement. when I got home, I took a cold shower over my legs to try to simulate a cold water bath. That didn't last long. A hot shower after this long strenuous run was in order. Final average HR was 157bpm.