23 miles - 3:14 - 2,600'
Out/back x 2 - 50:34/49:08/47:50/46:25 - (1:39:42/1:34:15)
This is the same out/back I did yesterday, but there's no way it's 6 miles one way - I don't believe that I did an 8:05 pace on this today considering the effort on the first out/back so I'm going to call it 23 miles. If it's 24, great, I just don't want any bad suprises when I do the Tsali 50k in 4 weeks. If this IS a 6 mile trail I'll know right away after the first 10-12 miles at the 50k.
The first out/back was very comfortable, so I decided to pick it up a bit - couldn't believe I took almost 3 minutes off the first out - my effort didn't seem to me that I'd take off that much. About 5 minutes into the final leg I decided I'd like to see how I'd feel going at a tempo effort the rest of the way, so with about 30 minutes left I picked it up to tempo effort and finished with a strong/controlled effort. I was really fired up on the last leg, sort of aggressive, like I wish I was playing soccer. At one point I was hoping that Joe Pesci's character from Goodfella's would come out on the trail with a bat so I could straigten him out! Forget about it. This is how I feel when I'm running well, a little crazy, I have to try extra hard not to go too hard or I'm done. I held the fiery well and finished strong. If I can feel like this on my next 2 race days I'll be very happy. Now I just need to learn how to control and time that so I can feel that well on race day.
For the past month I've felt very strong after the 2 hour mark. During the first 2 hours of these runs I find myself questioning if I can make it 4-5 hours, then after the 2 hour mark I start to feel like I just started, time starts flying by and I fall into a nice groove. It's almost like I'm lacking some confidence at the start, then I settle in and I'm ready. Even today I didn't feel like the first half was anything; my run didn't even start until Maureen and the kids came to pick up Tima and I was off on the 2nd out/back. I take all this as I'm getting closer to "Mastering the Distance."