Stop the insanity!

My last long run is now in the bag, thank God.

It’s been a long training season. Too long. I am so ready for this whole thing to be over. Can you say “burnout”?

I ran about 21 miles on the Lawrence Creek Trail this morning. The trail is a shortish loop, about 1.5 miles around. So I ran 14 loops to get in my miles. It took about 3 1/2 hours.

I’ve described this trail before, how it’s challenging — with rolling hills and tricky footing — but in a good way, just tough enough to keep me stimulated.

Four days ago, I ran this loop eight times around, and found that to be a nice push. Today was a considerable stretch beyond that. I ran nearly twice as many loops.

Running 14 times around anything is a bit extreme, but surprisingly, it didn’t take a toll on my mind, just my legs. I would guess there’s a couple hundred feet of ascent and descent on each loop, meaning I put my legs through at least 1,400 feet of climb.

I ran strong for the first 10 loops, finishing most of them in under 13 minutes. After the tenth loop, I slowed a bit. Once or twice, I gave myself permission to walk the short, steep sections. And on the 13th loop, I walked the entire way, as a break. That circuit seemed to take forever, but last only 25 minutes.

Then, to make up for it, I ran every step of the last loop, on very tired legs.

Then I had a 15-minute walking cooldown. My total time was 3:32:05.

Here are my splits on the loops: 13:27, 12:50, 12:44, 12:46, 12:56, 13:05, 12:52, 12:57, 12:51, 12:55, 13:49 (getting tired), 14:58 (walked hill), 25:05 (walked entire loop), 13:04.

The big question in my mind now is: Did today’s workout do any good? My race is two weeks from today. Hard workouts usually take a few weeks to do any good to your muscles and other systems, in building up strength and endurance.

Perhaps the chief benefit was mental, rather than physical — although I’m not sure how feeling tired after 20 miles will make me feel super-confident. If anything, if might raise doubts in my neurotic mind.

What the hell, it’s only 32 miles. I can walk the whole way if I have to. But I’d really rather run most of it.

In the next few days, I will think up a race goal and race strategy.

But just for now, I’m going to take a much-needed nap.

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During my run today, I could hear fireworks and canons from around the area. I could even hear a marching band or two from a Fourth of July Parade a mile or two away.

I thought about some of my favorite Fourth of July races from over the years. The one I did the most often was the Medina Twin Sizzler, a hilly 10K road race. I don’t know why I was attracted to it. The race was always roasting hot, and the course wound through areas without much shade, including new subdivisions and busy roads, which were open to traffic.

It doesn’t sound like me at all, does it? Still, I liked it at the time.

*******************************************************************************************

After my run today, Colleen and the boys met me at the park and we had a great little picnic. I enjoyed an egg-salad sandwich, salty snacks and watermelon.

The boys brought their rip-sticks (kind of like skateboards) and did lots of trick work around the all-purpose trail and parking lot. Colleen took a long walk through the woods.

As we ate and walked, a light rain began to fall. We really didn’t mind. It felt great.

Later, at home, I took a two-hour nap. It made for a full day.

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