I logged 36 miles this week. It would have been higher, but I skipped Saturday's run and instead went snowshoeing with Sharon and another friend and running partner, Janet. The forecast a few days out was for rain, even up on the mountain. But we lucked out and enjoyed a pleasantly cool day, with temps probably in the mid-30's to 40 and no rain until we were on our way back to Portland. We hiked the Twin Lakes trail, starting at the Frog Lake snow park. Part of our hike was along some of the PCT trail that's also part of the PCT 50k/50m. When I ran the 50k last summer, we had ideal, unseasonably cool weather. But there's the possibility that it could be in the 90's or more this year. So as we hiked along the snow-covered PCT, I told myself I was going to forge this memory into my brain so I could retrieve it in the potentially dusty, sweltering hours I'll spend there this July. Our snowshoe hike wasn't far so I didn't feel challenged aerobically. But my muscles got a good workout and it was great to spend some time out in nature with friends.
Today I wasn't able to get out for my long run until 12:30. Note to self: In future, consider loss of ideal training time before signing up husband for ultra. : ) I headed out to Wildwood and decided on a 16 mile out and back starting at the Birch trailhead. It felt weird to be out there in the afternoon. And I was surprised I didn't see more people out. But despite the warm weather, the sky was gray and it felt like it could rain any minute. I'm used to saying good morning and almost did to the first person I saw. But then I caught myself in time and just said hi. I prefer good morning. But good afternoon sounds too formal, so hi it is.
The first few miles didn't feel that great. My Achilles and calves were aching, probably due to the snowshoeing the day before. I told myself it could be a slow day. Finally I was starting to get into a groove. The best part was when I crested a small hill and had a moment of pure clarity. I thought to myself: This is what it means to be alive!
The way back seemed slow and I walked a lot of a long hill I had run the week before. But it turns out I ran a fairly even pace. And faster than when I run Wildwood with Sharon. I know that she's faster when she runs by herself too. So maybe we're having too much fun out there and need to push it a bit more when we're together. But I wouldn't want to get rid of all the fun. : ) Next week I'd like to bump up my mileage into the 40's. Hopefully that will include a long run in the 25 to 30 mile range.