As a result of the light training week last week, however, i decided to roll over the missed hours into this week and tack a long run onto the weekend session so that i'd at least get one big effort in - something to hopefully soften the shock my body will experience in 8 days when i embark on the 35 mile Sioux Hustler trail with Grant. Today was that effort.
I managed 16.75 miles in 2:01 - the first 9.3 miles was run at a smidge under a 7 min mile, while for the remainder i slowed a bit to just over a 7:30 pace. Cardiovascularly i felt fantastic, never really pushing up beyond 70-80% max exertion - but the last 40 minutes were tough on my legs. They felt heavy and fatigued - my calves got tight, arches and knees a bit sore, and little blisters formed on my pinky toes. All in all though i was very pleased with the effort - i'm not going to be as fast as Grant next week, but i should be able to hold my own, particularly because i think the trail is going to be suitably bad so that we'll never really have much of a chance to approach our top speeds.
I'm super psyched also to have put in a run which, in my mind, is a good indicator that if i wanted to, i could qualify for the Boston Marathon. Sure i still had another 9.5 miles to go, but i also had an hour and fourteen minutes to run it in. Yeah, it would have been tough to finish those miles at the 7:48 pace i'd have needed to - but then again i haven't run more than 8.5 miles in about three months. The fact that my three runs (two hours) of running every two weeks (avg. of less than 10 weekly miles) has me sitting in a kind of general fitness state that is within a couple weeks striking distance of this achievement is super cool. Besides, i did todays run without food or water, on a meager breakfast and two cups of coffee - no fans, no race energy, no aid stations.
Alright - gotta go stretch. Hip flexors are starting to lock up. Might have to crawl to the shower.