The past two weeks have been intense. A lot of running and a lot of great experiences along the way.
I ran a road race in Jackson the day before July 4th; this was my fourth year running this race. It is always a good race and a fun get together with a bunch of the teammates that I haven't saw since summer. I ran a strong race, winning with a summer best of 15:10, beating Linkous this time by 3 seconds (last year he beat me by .4 seconds at this race, 15:37). Strangely enough, I think I have finally figured out how to approach a summer road race, it took four years to do so. Since my legs haven't been in any kind of workout shape, nor even sub 6:50 mile pace runs, a road race is a fast moving thing. Anything feels fast, even if it is a 16:30! Whatever the case, I now feel relaxed and comfortable knowing that I an confident in plan distance training, that allows me to run a decent 5k. This is all leading up to one day anyway.
I also had the experience of a lifetime just this past weekend. A little event first described in an email from Eric Grossman as a "no cost, no frills, 2 day running event" took place down in Jefferson National Forest. This was pretty much back to back marathons, the first one starting at 3 pm on the 9th and the second one the next morning at 8 am. Eric Grossman invited the locals there and I tried to get some people to come along with me. It ended up just being 4 people, Eric, Guy, Jennifer, and myself. We all camped out at the Hurricane Campground, it was somewhat seclusive and not over populated at all. It also had a nice cold stream running just steps from where we stayed.
The two marathons went great. The first day ended up being closer to 27 or 28 miles. Eric put together a couple of great routes on singletrack, doubletrack, and forest service roads, hardly having to repeat anything. There were probably about 3,000 feet of incline in each of the runs. It was mostly Eric and I running together both of the days, he is training for the Burning River 100 at the end of this month. I learned so much about ultra-running just from running and talking with him for over 7 hours. The experience was amazing the my mind is just rattled at how much fun I've been having this summer, blogging just doesn't do it justice. Sometimes I can't explain it all at once.
Here is what my training has been for the past two weeks:
AM: 10 miles (1:12:30). Up to the Fire Tower and around.
PM: 6 miles (43:30). Up to the Fire Tower again, with CC. We went 4:42 on the hill. Only 5 seconds off my fastest time.
14 miles (1:42:46). Hangover out and back. Was hitting 7:10-7:20 consistently.
17 miles (2:01:00). Most of this was by myself on the trails, but met with CC to do the last 6 on the road.
13 miles (1:33:00). A couple loops around the main trail at Brush Creek.
8 miles (57:00). Little less for the race tomorrow. Hard on the trails though.
13 miles (1:25:10). Jackson 5k in 15:10, won. 10 miles warming up and cooling down. Nice chatting with Mike Sawicki.
17 miles (2:01:00). Back in Meigs County for the weekend, never touched any pavement, just gravel roads.
Total Miles: 98
Total Time: 11:35:56
10 miles (1:13:00). One of the hotter runs of the summer so far.
10 miles (1:12:00). Met CC in Hocking Hills and ran some nice trails on the Buckeye Trail.
10 miles (1:10:00). Ran with CC, went up to the Fire Tower.
AM: 8 miles (56:30). Fire Tower run
PM: 5 miles (34:00). Little fast on trails.
27 miles (3:51:10). First of the back to back hurricanes. Felt real strong.
26 miles (3:34:06). Second of the back to back hurricanes. Felt even stronger.
10 miles (1:15:17). Great run with Keegan, Reece, and John Williams at Great Seal. What an amazing day.
Total Miles: 106
Total Time: 13:44:57