Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!
Met up with the NVRC to go for my longest run of the season. Was pretty nervous. Arrived at the designated location to find that the park and parking lot were closed due to all the fallen trees from the October snow. By 9am there were only four of us there and we decided to relocate to another entry point along the Toftrees path (at Waffle Shop parking lot). We were - Marty, Dave, Denise and me. Almost immediately Marty and I pulled away from Dave and Denise as we settled into an easy mid 9s pace. It was only about half a mile before we encountered the first large fallen tree obstructing the path. We climbed under and around and proceeded on. Marty had lots to say and told stories of the various runners in the group and their running successes and failures. Maybe about 2 miles in we were caught by Jeff another NVRC runner who had been searching for our group having missed us at the start. He seemed to be a much faster runner but stayed with us the whole way. There was much climbing under and around and through thick brush along the trail. When we popped out the back end of the trail (4.1 miles) Marty and I had some blood running down our legs. We made a nice little loop of the residential area at the end of the path before turning around. We then made our way back along the same trail. The weather was pretty gorgeous - low forties with hardly any wind. On the way back I was even a little warm in my shorts, tank and long sleeve technical t. I am very glad I didn't wear tights - I would have been too hot and I think I would have been worried about them getting torn or mangled by the brush. It wasn't until around 7 or 7.5 miles in that I started to feel a little bit of fatigue. The pace was so comfortable - I was able to talk throughout. Marty calls this one's "forever pace" - the pace at which you feel you could run forever. In the end the run was 8.8 miles and took 1:23.40. Without correcting for the time spent climbing through brush that put as at a 9:30 pace. Felt awesome. Running with people is super fun. I hardly thought about the running part or how fast we were or weren't going. Perhaps this is a consequence of being at a moderate pace. We definitely ran faster on the way back than on the way out. 41 minutes for the first 4.1 miles (10:00). 5 1/2 minutes for the little residential loop of .6miles and then that leaves about 37:10 for the 4.1 back (9:04). I figure its safe to say we lost at least 2:40 to the wreckage. Correcting for that the pace was more like 9:12 overall, sub 9 for the back half. Unintentionally I think I just ran my first "distance run" with negative splits. My ego probably prevents me from running that slowly on the first half of my runs but it feels very good to have spring in your step on the second half.
14 hours ago