First of all, before my run, I nailed my funny bone harder than I ever have. It was terrible. OK, just had to get that out there...on with the show.
Plan for today was to run 8 miles. I'm at work still, so I decided to try a run that I had been trying to do since last summer: the goal was the run the course for the 24 Hours of Great Glen. Now in its 13th year, the 24 Hours of Great Glen is a 24-hour mountain bike race. Racers ride it either in teams of 2, 4 or 5 or ride it solo. Goal is to ride as many laps as possible. It's awesome. I'd love to put on a 24-hour trail running race here someday. Hopefully...
Anyway, the course is listed as 8.5 miles. I knew it would be a touch shorter, since we have one piece closed off for a construction project of sorts. So, heading out the door, I estimated the run to be 8.25.
Right out of the gate this gets in my head:
This is not a good sign. I have no idea where it came from. Maybe it was because I was wearing red leather pants. (I wasn't actually wearing red leather pants.)
Aside from the torture of Loverboy, I felt great. Much better than yesterday. This is a really good sign. I have no idea how the body is going to react to the increasing mileage, but so far so good. I cruised along for the whole run.
Much like yesterday's run, this route involved a good mix of single track and carriage roads, with some double track thrown in for good measure. I didn't start at the official start line, since that would have involved me walking about 1/3 of a mile to get there. That would have been dumb since the course goes right through the main courtyard which is about 20 feet from my office door. So, I started at a point in the course that would be about 1/4 into the lap for the mountain bikers. This also meant that I would run right past the point where I started near the end of my run to then tackle a stiff climb and some of the toughest single track on the course. That being said, I like saving the tougher stuff for the end of the run. Puts hair on my chest...and apparently other places. Too much?
The course makes for a great run. It would make for an even better run if you didn't know the trail system. While you never repeat anything you pass through some of the same intersections twice: for example, come in from the south and turn east, then a few minutes later come in from north and turn west. Since I knew where I was the whole time, I kept thinking two things: 1.) I'm here again and 2.) Everybody's working for the weekend. That's not entirely true, as thankfully, I was listening to Audioslave before I headed out on my run:
Ah, that's better.
Not much else to report, except I looked at my training log before I went out and realized that I hadn't worn my Merrell trail runners in about 12 days. Yikes. Too much time on the roads. I've been doing the mellower trail runs in my road shoes, too, so that accounts for some of the usage. Oh well.
As it turns out, I must have been feeling better than I thought. The loop on took my 1:06:37, which is pretty speedy for me. I never felt like I was pushing it. I would classify my pace as either easy or just a notch above easy. Very comfortable, though. Again, hopefully, another good sign. Or I could have just been trying to run away from the deer flies, which were aggressive. Of course, it would have helped if I was wearing a blue cup on my head.
The course as ridden last year was 8.25. With the changes, I'm going to call my an even 8. Here's the elevation profile as ridden from the actual start of the course. My start and finish was right around the 1.5 mile mark.
Many thanks to Sven for the data.