After Friday's Birthday Fun Run to work (18.64 miles), I had a simple goal of just taking today's trail marathon as another training run and make it a nice solid weekend of running. The combined runs over 2 days would come out to just under 45 miles and would give me a good inidicator to how my training was going. In two previous attempts at the trail marathon, I had finished in 5 hours and 4 hr 45 min, but in both cases were left gasping for air and quads crying after the double loop of relentless hills. With an early start at 7 am, I was hoping to get out early and easy and finish stronger than in the past.
With a bit of luck before the early start, I ran into Brian (aka. Lupus Runner and 100 miler stud) and we decided to run the course together. Topics included our plans for Burning River so far, or lack thereof, training, movies (could Over the Top, be the worst movie ever made) and family. Miraculously, even with all the rain that had fallen in the last few days, the trail was in pretty good shape and we managed a 2 hr 32 minute first loop. Gearing up for the second loop, I snagged a couple of chocolate chip cookies and we cut the chit chat to a minimum and put the hammer down so to speak. I had come to finish strong, and the trail wasn't going down without a fight. Without the rain, steadily rising temps and surprisingly hungry mosquitos threatened to derail the goal. However, I firmly believe in feeding off of other's energy and both Brian and I cruised to a 4 hr 57 minute finish.
I am feeling really good about my 100 miler training at this point. :)