Following Hal Higdon's advanced half-marathon training plan, I set out to run easy for two hours today. I also tried to mimic the elevation profile of next weekend's race course in Westfield, except I wanted it to be harder. So I planned a route that would get the climbing and descending muscles some action. Oh, they got action.
Jen dropped me off at the (ever-awesome) Leverett Co-Op and then I ran home. 14-ish miles. The first four were mostly uphill, all the way to Shutesbury. Then, for good measure, there was another mile of climbing to top it off. Actually, I felt pretty good, if a little chilly (there were still a few inches of snow on the ground up there and the wind was pretty biting). Then it was four solid miles of quad-pounding downhill to where I'd stashed a gatorade bottle in the woods.
Note: If you eat a quarter of a box of Cheez-Its the day before your long run, you only have yourself to blame for what you'll probably need to run into the woods to do the next day.
By the time I got to 9 miles I was feeling good, but a little fatigued as well. So the next few miles of trail running on Mt. Orient weren't exactly... speedy. Or much of anything, really. It was still a bit icy up there too. I went pretty slow, not wanting to twist or tweak anything. Back on the roads I was able to open it up some, though, and cap off a fairly awesome weekend long run with a nice, comfortable stride into the home stretch.