I've been unable to blog about Saturday's 20 mile run because we left town for the coast very soon after I returned home from the run. Since I knew I was going to be pressed for time, Sharon and I arrived a bit earlier than normal at the Germantown Rd trail head of Wildwood. It was just barely light when we arrived so we took our time getting our act together. As we were sitting there a car pulled off the road onto the small parking lot right by were we were parked, turned off the engine, but didn't park in a regular spot. We started to wonder what they were up to when finally, two runners jumped out. Of course we realized then that they were just being dropped off. And then I realized that one of those runners was Olga. So I jumped out to say hi. Unfortunately, Sharon and I still weren't quite ready to go so Olga and her friend soon continued on their way.
I had figured out a loop that was close to 20 miles and included the Maple loop that I've yet to try. We ran along Wildwood to the Maple trail for about 12 miles. What a difference a week can make. The ice and snow from the week before was all gone. We enjoyed running the areas where before we had to tread gingerly. Sharon had one mishap where she twisted her ankle badly enough that we had to walk for about 5-10 minutes. But it seemed to work itself out and she was able to finish the run mostly pain free. At Maple, the trail dipped down and then back up and then down, down and then up, up, up....well, you get the idea. It was great to run in new territory, but some of the ups really killed us. By the time we got to Leif we were about 16 miles into our run and feeling quite fatigued. The plan was to cut back up to Wildwood at the Water line (Tolinda) trail, but we started to think that maybe we'd just head to the end of Leif and then cut up a new trail that links the Leif and Wildwood trail heads. However, by the time we got to the water line, we were so tired of Leif that we decided to stick to the original plan. The water line is very steep so it was all walking there for us. I looked at the watch and I could see that we were going to be out there for at least 4 hours and I thought that meant we were going really slowly. Once at Wildwood again we had only about a half mile to go, but I was plagued with a really strong side cramp and was forced to walk. Finally with a 1/4 mile to go I was able to run again, but it seemed like such a pathetic end to our run. However when I got home and figured out the probable mileage and our finishing time, we ended up running a 12:20-12:30 pace. So that wasn't too bad for a 20 miler. Makes me realize that I need to keep a good attitude since the reality isn't necessarily as bad as I think it is when I'm out in the thick of things.
As mentioned, we left for the Oregon coast soon after I returned home so I could attend a work conference. The weather on the coast was gorgeous! No wind and sunny all three days. Due to the conference schedule I had to re-arrange my run schedule and was able to fit in a 5 miler on Monday afternoon. I'm a confirmed morning runner and really dread running in the afternoon. Monday was no different. My stomach still felt full from the conference fare lunch and my legs were heavy. But once I was out on the beach it didn't matter. There's nothing like running alongside a sparkling ocean on a beautiful sunny day!