After Wednesday's tough interval run at Biltmore, I was planning an easy recovery run for yesterday. But Chad and Todd wanted to do an evening trail run, so who was I to turn them down?
We headed out for the Davidson College trails and ran the familiar 8K loop, plus a half-mile to and from the CVS meeting place, for a total of 6 miles. I felt good, completing the run in an 8:10 pace and not letting up on some steep uphill sections. I used to run these trails all the time, but have been favoring road runs lately in preparation for the marathon. I was pleased to see that what I used to think of as tough hills now seem quite easy, even at a fairly quick pace a day after a tough workout.
That said, this morning I needed to do another 11 miles, and my legs were beginning to feel the strain of a week that, while it didn't feature a lot of distance, ended up having little letup. Chad met me at the CVS and we headed out on a relatively flat run, to the Fleet Feet store in Huntersville, 5.5 miles away. I felt pretty strong as we started, and we rattled off a series of fairly fast miles: 8:09, 8:15, 8:14. We hadn't wanted to take it that fast and slowed down a bit for Mile 4: 8:29. But by Mile 5 we were back up to an 8:09 pace. We stopped for a quick break at the Fleet Feet. I had decided not to wear a fuel belt, so I sipped a little water out of a spigot next to the store, which wouldn't be open for another hour.
Then we turned around and headed back uphill towards Davidson. There's a nice little stretch of greenway for about 1.3 miles between Fleet Feet and Westmoreland road, and we enjoyed the scenery as we headed home, 8:19, 8:29 and 8:36 for miles 6-8. At this point I was beginning to tire due to the lack of hydration and fuel, but I kept pushing the pace. Chad seemed to be getting stronger -- not surprising given that he was carrying a water bottle and ate a couple gels along the way. We ran miles 9-11 at 8:20, 8:19, and 8:26. This ended up being only 10.8 miles, but that was plenty for me, so we called it a day, an average pace of 8:20, which is pretty quick for what was supposed to be an easy 11 miles. Tomorrow I'm going to do an honest-to-goodness recovery run.
Details of both runs are below.