22 was on the schedule today as our longest run before the marathon. I picked up S at 6:30am and we headed up to Forest Park, intending to run the length of Leif Erikson Drive as an out and back. This is an old closed road that is paved in a few parts, but mainly gravel, with more dirt and pine needles as you get further out. It's popular with runners, hikers and mountain bikers. You can also connect with the Wildwood trail (single track) in a number of places and do a variety of loops. I feel fortunate to live within a 20 minute drive of such a great resource!
We started at about 7 am. I tried a few new things on this run that seemed to work well. I downed a gel and some water before we started out. Also, I've never taken electrolyte caps, but recently purchased some Succeed! Caps. I had a few in my pocket and took one at the one hour mark and the other at the two hour mark. I carried 2 more gels and decided to take them early on too...at about 1-1/2 hours and 2-1/2 hours. In races, I've found that I usually can't handle gel after about 18 miles. So the plan for my upcoming marathon is to take them early and then switch to just sports drink (NODM uses HEED) and the Succeed! Caps for the last third.
Overall it was a good run. We've been trying to replicate running to the aid stations and then walking through them. So I set my timer to run 15 minutes and walk 2. Had some early stiffness with my Achilles tendons but they loosened up by about mile 3. At about mile 18 I developed a sharp side stitch but was able to work it out. Poor S started having ITB problems about the same time, but we powered through. Total time was 4 hour, 2 minutes for an 11 minute pace on the dot! Not bad for a somewhat hilly long run.
I'm overjoyed to have a 45 mile week....my highest ever. I know that's still considered low for a lot of competitive runners. But there was a time when I couldn't even run 2 days in a row, so I'll take it. I feel like a 50 mile week is not too far off in my future.
And finally, for some tentative good news: I told S about my entry into the PCT 50K and she volunteered to watch our son so my hubby could run it with me (!!!). It's not a done deal....she has some things coming up that might prevent her from doing it. And I need to convince hubby that he can do it. He would never admit to being a runner. Mountain climbing is his sport of choice. But he likes to trail run the steep trails in the gorge. And on a whim entered a scramble last summer and won his age group. I think a man who can cycle across the country or solo climb Mt Ranier, can run a 50K at my measly pace. Stay tuned.....