Today’s long run was a doozy. While most Gazelles were backing their mileage down to 10-12 miles this week, Thon and I wanted to step it up to 15-16 miles, which would get us on track with the Fall Marathoners.
Not your typical long run people.
Earlier in the week, we were brainstorming various routes and “Map Man” suggested one that took us up north towards Far West and ended with a “big hill” before turning around and heading home. I didn’t think much of it until it was too late today.
Exposition to Pecos
Pecos to 35th (God Bless the Dry Cleaner water)
35th to Balcones
Balcones up to the Mopac Frontage
Mopac to North Hills
North Hills to Far West
Far West to…
(and back home the exact same way)
As we were running through the neighborhood, I actually made the naive and ignorant comment, “I’ve never run Ladera Norte before.” I should’ve read a little further into his sinister chuckle.
This run had a little bit of everthing today…Clouds, humidity, fog, pouring rain, sun and HILLS!
16 miles of hills to be exact.
Our average pace for the run was 9:21, which is actually respectable considering the route.
I will say this. Today, felt like an official start to Fall Racing training. The reward for the Ladera Norte climb was some of the most beautiful scenery. We were literally running amongst the fog, mist and clouds that surrounded us. It means “North Slope,” but it felt more like “north of heaven.”
I felt stronger on the hills than I have in quite a while. I don’t know. I guess it felt like a bit of an ego boost to challenge myself on some of the toughest roads in town. Besides the obvious physical benefits, I can’t underestimate the mental dexterity that is built with each step as well.
Next week, is my official start to Fall Triathlon training. Shawn and I are racing the Couples Sprint Tri next weekend, which should be a blast. I’m also looking ahead to the longer races this Fall–Olympic Distance Race in Aug, Half-Ironman in Oct and Tri 101 in Nov. It’s going to be a long few months, but I’m ready.