I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend. On Saturday I ran the Trail Loppet 1/2 marathon. Emphasis on “ran”. I knew that I had only run 13.6 mile before (since the injury) and didn’t want to chance anything. Plus I wanted to get in a long run on Sunday to see if my legs could do a 20+ miler. So, I purposefully ran really relaxed — at a “threshold”-type pace. It was a lot of fun! Great course (minus a few wrong turns, but that just adds to the fun) & great people.
I won for the women, which surprised me. Elaine Nelson was 2nd, and she’s a very talented and fast woman. I passed her around 2 miles or so and could feel her breathing really hard already at that point. Were we going that fast? I didn’t think so, but I can’t really tell on trails. I ended up beating her by 5 minutes.
Sunday was just as great. I went out for my long run w/ the Vakava team (yeah, chasing after rollerskiers!). My only goal was to try to see how far my leg could take me. I told myself that if I couldn’t do 20 miles today that Des Moines wasn’t an option. I was a little nervous, just hoping it’d work today…
And it did! I felt really great!! Funny how my legs had a little “spring” in them even after having raced yesterday. I’ll take it. I ran 17 miles pretty relaxed, maybe a little faster than I should have. That happens when you’re chasing people on wheels :). At 17 miles, I picked it up to marathon pace. It actually felt pretty easy. 6:33, 6:37, then 5:48 (last 1/2 mile I decided to go all-out)(also, this mile was downhill). So, a little faster than my true marathon pace, but I think that’s OK — it’s more about teaching your legs to run hard when tired than anything. I then did a cool down back to the car. I had only planned on 20 miles (which would have been to the end of the marathon pace miles), but the vehicle was a little farther away than expected… so, 22.4 miles on the day. WOW.
So, yeah!! I am SOOO excited that I’m back & able to run. I had a smile on my face for most of the run :). It’s so fun to be able to cruise & go far. It’s also fun for me to think that I’ll still have a chance to pull off what I originally wanted to do — a fast time at a fall marathon.
Now, just need to stay healthy/fit for the next month!