The seven mile nine mile run

Or is that the nine mile seven mile run?  Not sure which.  All I know is, there are some killer hills out at Bear Creek Lake Park, and they last forever.  So it was a 7 mile run but I’m thinking it’s more like 9 miles on a flat course.  Love a Duck!

So, after the concern about dipping, I was pretty happy to have done the whole run.  It was slow, good grief there were walkers who got done faster than me in our group, but that’s okay.  My focus is on making it.  So far, I’ve accomplished that.

Did I mention it was hilly?  Which is okay really, I mean, we’re doing the half marathon in the same place in 6 weeks or so, so it makes sense to train for it, and I was quite happy to have been able to handle the hills just fine.  Image

This picture is from the turn around point.  See those little foothills in the distance?  Yeah, the ones 3 and a half miles away?  That’s where we started.  And that’s where we would run back to.  We’re standing most the way up to the top of the dam at the reservoir, the picture doesn’t show the hills nearly as well as it could.  

I did mention the hills, right?

The run actually felt pretty good for the most part.  It started right off with a pretty good little climb.  Okay, it felt like a 3 and a half mile climb, both ways!  Slight exaggeration, but only slight.  It was mostly up hill for the 3 and a half miles out, which is a little surprising since we are running away from the mountains.

The funny thing is I think it was harder running downhill, for the most part, which I’m sure has a lot to do with the fact that I’m doing that after the 3.5 mile climb.  I think I’ve figured out that right now, my base is probably about 5 to 6 miles, that’s the amount I can run comfortably.  It’s at about 5 and a half miles or so that the brain starts thinking really dude, you’ve done great, go ahead and walk it in.  I had to stop at one point where the trail crosses a road and believe me, I came really really close to doing that walking it in thing.  

I was running with two tracking apps.  One was just for tracking the run, telling me when I’ve run 1 mile, 2 miles, etc.  The second I have set just to announce my heart rate every couple of minutes.  That’s where I could really see the difference that running longer makes.  I’ve gotten to where I can start out jogging along just fine at a mid 130’s heart rate, and it would bump into the 140’s during the steeper hill climbs.  But that last couple miles I’d be plodding along – about a 17 minute per mile pace, and down hill not to mention, and still in the 150’s.  Now having said that, a couple months ago when I first got my heart rate monitor, I was pretty regularly in the 150’s from the get go, so that’s telling me how far along my fitness has come.

I’m not too sure about that 8 miles next week.  But if I can do that, then we taper back to 5 for a week before hitting the really serious distances.  I do think maybe I need to eat more the day or two before.  I didn’t totally bonk out energy wise at the end, and I did focus on having stuff with me, but I’m starting to hit the times and distance now where I really have to plan ahead so much more and fuel up before the long runs.  

Anyway, right now feels like a good time for a swim.  I guess it’s a bit late for a recovery snack, the run was over a good 6 hours ago.  So much for that dipped ice cream.  For now anyway….. 


About Ron Walter

I'm just a guy who was so out of shape he couldn't run to get out of the rain. I'm taking my life back. It's not always perfect, not always successful. The victories though are greater than the defeats. I plan to keep it that way.
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