Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Best Training Run of the Year

On Sunday, I posted what I thought was my best race of this past year. Now, I want to reflect back on my best run (non-race) of the year. So far, I have 224 runs from which to pick my favorite. Two easily come to mind: a snowy 20-mile trail run with Gregg and a frigid 50-mile trail run that I did as part of the Riddle Run Fat Ass (non race, but sort of a group race-like fun run). Both were crucial training efforts on my build-up to the 100-mile Umstead race. I suppose the 50-miler was still technically a "race" since male and female winners were declared and finish times were recorded. That was an awesome 50-mile run/race for me...bitter cold, unsupported, long run plus a night time effort all rolled into one. That 50-mile "Riddle Run" report is available here. Since that run will be classified as a race, that leaves my long trail romp in early January as the best training run of the year!

The January 6, 2013 20-mile trail run was done with my running buddy Gregg. I think we were both "training" for the 50-mile Riddle Run attempt at the end of January...and I was slowly building toward the 100 miler in April. We started at 8am and there was a few of inches of snow (and some ice) covering the 5-mile loop trail. Temperatures were in the mid-20s with a brisk 15-20 mph wind. It was cold and slippery. Looking back even now, I can't believe we actually did all 4 loops and completed the 20 miler. According to my notes, we negative split each loop--running slightly faster for each 5-mile loop! That's impressive. This was the first test of my new clothing, drinking, eating, and electrolyte replacement plan. Plus, the first real test of the new Hoka running shoes. Even under less than optimal conditions, everything went well. This run was a huge confidence builder heading toward the 100 miler in early April. I declare it the "best training run" of the entire year. Thanks Gregg for joining me on this cold long run back in early January. We should do it again this January.

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