With today's run of 20.5 miles I finally reached my goal of running every section of the Wildwood trail. Now I'm ready to explore more loops. But I felt like I needed to get that out of the way first.
I'm not really sure why, but I was very wary of today's run. I just wasn't sure I could do it or wanted to do it. But I reminded myself that some of my best runs have happened on days that I didn't think would be my best. And today turned out to be one of those days! Maybe just telling myself that it could be great, made it great.
I ran an out and back, and just a bit after the turnaround a group of four guys passed me at a pretty good pace. Further along I passed them at the Saltzman road crossing (turns out they were waiting to meet a friend.) Once they got going it wasn't long before they passed me again. One of them commented "Great pace." Of course, I thought he was just being nice. But after I got home, looked at the map and logged my miles and time, turns out I completed 20.5 miles with a 11:24 pace! I had to double and triple check my map. Yep, 11:24 pace, which is pretty fast for me on trail. Even on Wildwood, which is very runnable. Even with a lot of walking on the last big hill. Heck, last week I only did 11 at about a 12:30 pace. So I'm very proud of myself and have to remember the power of positive thinking!
When I got back to the trailhead those same four guys were there doing their end of run stretching. We chatted a bit. Turns out one of them is also running McKenzie River and has already run it three times. So I got to pick his brain a bit about the trail. There are some rocky, technical portions, which are my weakness. I had been toying with the idea of doing a three week taper instead of two. It hinged on whether I got in a good long run this weekend. Since I have, I may just forgo a longer run next weekend and instead do a medium long run on more technical trails out in the gorge. Tomorrow I'm still planning on running 10, or maybe 11.
Also.....I wanted to say I really appreciate the feedback on my workout! I'm taking it to heart and I'm sure there will be adjustments.
To answer a few questions, despite the strength training, Friday really is a rest day. The amount of training I do for my abs, arms and shoulders on Friday's really isn't that taxing. I can see that Monday probably isn't the best day for working legs and I'll have to work on moving that around. However, I need to balance my other commitments to family and running partners.
And finally, I can't believe I forgot to mention cycling. I recently purchased a cheapo, secondhand (but it works!) stationary bike. Its likely that over the winter my Wednesday runs will be replaced with cycling. I'd really