This week I had to plan to complete my long run on Thursday as it is my weekend to work. I almost, almost talked myself out of the run. Mentally I was a bit exhausted and just overly fatigued that morning. It had been a long week in both work and working out. But I overcame my mental fatigue and headed up to the Overlook for a few hours of fun that included the Dam Hill and the section to No Hands Bridge. Talk about hilly and working the quads.
I started out going down the Dam Hill and once at the base which was about 3.5 miles I hit the single track trail and really focused on pushing myself and not running comfortably. I pushed myself to the 5 mile point and quickly took in a gel and a salt and headed back. Heading back I again pushed and really focused on my climbing. At the base of the hill I ran all the way to Cardiac and than power hiked until a sign and ran. I was going to continue to focus on running this hill as hard as I could. You know what I found as I kept running up? I found out that my legs have become stronger and the burn didn't come up on me as quickly and I was able to push through it.
Once I hit the pavement I didn't stop running, my speed slowly gained as I dug deep and pushed myself a bit more with each step forward I took. I hit the top of the hill in 34 minutes and by Garmin it was around 3.5 miles. Not bad for all the climbing I did.
Back at my car I quickly refueled, filled my bottle, used the bathroom and headed to No Hands Bridge. At this point my legs were feeling good, which is great considering how I had pushed myself the first 10 miles. As I pushed the descents I decided that I would go around Robie instead of up and over, as going around would give me some more rollers I could use to focus on running and it would also give me a little more mileage that I was looking for.
I arrived at No Hands and turned around with a little over 4 miles on Garmin (14 plus some total). I headed back and I noticed that my legs were a bit tired. Maybe from pushing myself earlier in the day or even from the training the past few weeks. But I pushed on, running the fire road and making my way back to single track. Once on the single track I transitioned to a power hike and really focused on hiking with a purpose, not just walking but HIKING!
Once I hit the fire road I began running again and I didnt' stop until I reached the Overlook. I ran a little over 18 miles in 3:20. This run had a lot of climbing which was great. This is going to be part of my weekly runs as this run today has everything that I am looking for.
Hills, hills, hills, did I mention that hills are my new focus right now?