Friday, July 31, 2015

First Long Run In Forever

ok - hush you...I know you saw on Instagram that I did this run like 2 weeks ago...and still hadn't written it up.   Those two weeks were BUSY.  NOW I have time...and I have guilted myself into writing it before I run my next long run tomorrow.  

So, I registered for my first half since the stress fracture...and that meant it was time to get serious about training.  and then I got sick, but more on that later...let's talk about that long run.

Hubby was heading out on a backpacking trip on July 18 so I had to get my long run done and be back in Langdon by 9am or it was not going to happen.   It has been proven time and time again that running 10k in Langdon just does not work so what was I to do.  If I forced myself to run laps - I was setting myself up for disaster.  I needed a real route.   The weekend before, we had camped in Wyndham-Carseland Provincial Park and I knew there was a lovely trail was only 2.5k, but I figured it was pretty enough along the river that I could run it twice if I had to Carseland I was going to go.

It had been so long since I last ran a long run,I had pretty much forgotten the drill...I gathered my hydration and nutrition crap together as best I could.

Snarfed down a clif bar for breakfast (so not a good idea).  Put on my hear no evil see no evil sock monkey noodlehugger (to thwart any negative thinking)

And hit the road.

Less than half an hour later, I was pulling into the park.

I parked at the day use area (though that time of morning could hardly count as "day") and got ready to do this thing.  I warmed up by walking up the short pathway toward the weir so I could tart literally at the end of the trail

and then I was on my way.

Soon, that gravel path entered the trees and became really really pretty.

Even running along the edge of a busy campground, the trail was deserted.  I had some trouble getting my breathing to steady (thank you allergies this year) and my poor out of shape body had trouble coming to terms with the fact I was making it move again.   Soon, I passed the rock shoal where the girls has swam the previous weekend.  What a lovely break for that hot hot weekend that was.

Still smiling and trying to love running again.

Passed a flock of pelicans on the river.

When I got to this fence, I knew the trail was shortly coming to an end.  I needed to figure out whether I was doing laps or if I would cross under the highway and make shit up for a while to get the distance.

Moment of truth - the path started to disappear into undergrowth.

Would I turn around...or was I heading into the unknown...

Yep - I decided to keep going and not give my brain an out in case it wanted to stop when it saw the car.

A couple of minutes later, I wasn't so sure I had made the right decision when this guy in full camo gear on a bike came up from the river.  I asked him if the trail continued and, in a heavy russian accent, he muttered something unintelligible...

I giggled at this sign about Rock Snot Algae.

...and then I tottered down the steep trail to the riverside and quickly figured out he had been telling me it DID NOT continue...

I ran (no I walked) along the uneven rocky beach to see if there was a way back up the bank further on.  There wasn't so I turned back and fought my way back up the bank.  It was time to take on the country roads.

I ran into a couple of bears.

Found a really crappy aid station

At the 5k point exactly - I heard the shrill scream of a redwing blackbird...I took that as my queue to turn around.  I was fading.  The burst of speed I put on when the bird wheeled overhead made my leg hurt and I quickly saw the error of my ways in breakfasting on a clif bar.  Time for some nutrition.

Chugged down a root beer gu (not bad...I've certainly had worse)

I watched some horses running free in a field - jumping and playing with each other.  Found a pace bunny

Made a new friend a little further on

 and soon I was back on the trail that would take me home.   I didn't take any shots after that because I just wanted to get my head down and run done.  It had already taken so much longer than I had hoped it would.  And I was on a time restriction.

I got back to the car in 9.90km and called it.  No sense making up that last 0.10 to make it an even 10 when my Garmin was probably shorting me anyway.

All in all - this was a pretty run along the river.  I think if I did it again, I would do the laps just to stay on the more scenic parts.  That country road had great interactions with the horses, but it really was bumpkinland and the cars were driving too dangerously for my own comfort level.

Now for some Garmin Geekery (something I haven't had to post in a good long time).  Looking at these stats gives me a pretty good idea of what I need to work on over the next couple of months.  I am also very happy I chose to do this run on a trail to just ease my joints in to the pounding again.

As i mentioned, training has been a bit slack since this run (severe sunburn, strange illnesses, extremely busy and restricted lifestyle the last 2 weeks).   Kind of out of my hands but now that life is calming down again, I will be back on track and posting a bit more along the way.

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