We were lucky as the weather system that came through looked like it might hold off. I wore a short sleeve shirt, my vest, and shorts and a hat. The vest was for if it did rain, at least I could keep my core warm. Well about 1.5 into the run (if that) I took my vest off and never wore it again. It was muggy out on the Salmon Falls course. The trail was super nice though, it was soft but not to soft on the single track where you fell through. It was a fast trail this morning.
On the way out I took the lead and set the pace. We weren't exactly sure of how many miles we were doing, but the goal was to be on our feet for at least 20 miles. We weren't the only ones out there today. There was a large group that started maybe 15-30 minutes behind us, so for the time being we had the entire trail to ourselves. It was absolutely gorgeous out. My legs were feeling really good, I think the consistency in my workouts has been helping me tremendously not just in the physical aspect but also the mental aspects. Mentally I was feeling strong.
The three of us were making some good timing along the course. There are a few significant climbs at the beginning, but on the return those would all be some pretty fun descents. Soon we hit the fire trail and it was wide enough for us to run side by side and take in the views. We were making our way to the Movie Set, which of course once we arrived, I took a look around to check it out. At this point I was feeling pretty good and we only had a little bit to our turn around.
Once at the turn around we looked at the trailhead map and decided we would add a couple of simple loops to get our mileage up. We took off on this climb that brought with it some spectacular views of valley. The sun was shinning and it was a sight to see. The climb was pretty good, a constant grade and once we reached the top it was a very gradual down hill with some small rollers. Soon we were back at the Movie Set and added another loop along the river. This loop was interesting as there were a ton of porta potties. I chuckled at myself as there were so many bathrooms, but neither one of us needed to us them.
After this short loop we decided we better make our way back. Jenn and Trailmomma took the lead, I was glad about that as I needed a moment to myself to assess the situation. I was feeling a little low on energy, and I knew I needed to do something about it. I decided that now would be a good time enjoy some more Skittles. Instant energy, but I also knew it wouldn't last long so along with the skittles I took in a Special K bar. Now I was feeling better. I knew this because I saw some runners ahead and all I could think about was catching them. I took the lead and increased our pace a bit. We put together a nice stretch, running a bit of the uphills and keeping a strong steady pace on the climbs. It was go time, it was time to challenge myself and see what I could put together.
We were getting closer and closer to the runners so I kept the pace going, even on the slow and steady climb. I gave us a few minutes though to recover before putting together one final push on the climb. Soon we were passing them left and right. They were really nice and made room for the three of us. I knew though that once we passed we couldn't relax, we had to keep the pressure on ourselves and that meant running more of the climbs. We did just that, though I gave us a small section to recover. We were about 3-4 miles from the finish with only a few minor climbs before the long descent down Red Dragon. Here I took in more skittles, and offered Trailmomma her 1 skittle. (A joke between us) When I offered her the skittle she just took off up the hill. I yelled to her in a joking way "Fine, no skittle for you." She and Jenn were gone. They crushed that hill and hit the descent like they owned it.
I at this point was feeling the push we had made earlier and was just focused on keeping a steady pace up the hill. Once on top I let the hill take me down, dancing around the loose rocks and being carful not to let the hill take me to fast. Slowly we winded and turned and made our way down. We arrived back at the car all three of us feeling pretty good.
Back at the car we quickly stretched and changed our shoes and I jokingly said "The sky is going to open up any minute now." And as if on cue, the sky opened up. We all three laughed and quickly jumped in the car before getting soaked. Overall this run was pretty solid. We put together some nice sections and with each long run I get more confidence in my fitness. Thanks for the great run ladies, I can't wait to do it again.
Next weekend Trailmomma and I are doing the Western States Training Run. This run is the last 20 miles of the States course. Always a great run, I haven't done this run in a few years, so I am really looking forward to it.
Hanging out with this guy after the run. Miss him when I am gone
This past week training was pretty solid for me. On Monday I did 6 miles followed by 100 step ups. Tuesday was a rest day as JCM had his 2 week check up, Wednesday was hill repeats, 6 repeats. Thursday I did 6 miles, Friday rest day (doctors appointment) Saturday 20 miles, Sunday 8 Miles. Pretty good week. I always enjoy the hill work outs. I feel stronger each week after completing them and I look forward to them each week.