Running Cooper’s Rock

screencapture-connect-garmin-com-modern-activity-261261204-1463328626109

After a wild desire to run up and down snowy ridges a few times a week, my left Achilles and right IT band were screaming at me.  I cut my mileage way back and have tried to just focus on getting everything feeling good enough during the week so I could make my long runs on weekends.  My IT was really bad last week, and I had intended to do an easy and relaxed 20-30 mile run this past weekend.  Yah, well intentions and actual outcomes tend to differ greatly. I went out to Cooper’s Rock State Forest to do my long run.

Boy, was I unprepared and naïve (aka dumbass) about running Cooper’s Rock.  It only took me 7 miles to realize 30 was out of the question.  Boulder hopping, climbing over and under trees, sliding down muddy rocky descents, slippery roots, and ankle-deep water flows were the dominating characteristics here with some bad ass elevation changes to boot.  What’s not to like?  There was nothing even remotely close to easy.

This one almost completely destroyed me!  It didn’t help much that I had only gotten a couple hours of sleep the night before.  The trails were incredibly technical and extremely rocky.  Footing was totally questionable.

Descending into the valley on the playful singletrack trails was incredible.  Water was rushing everywhere, and the streams were overflowing with violent torrents of water plummeting over enormous rocks.  I felt so alive.  Everything seemed to be going great until I reached the valley bottom and began to make my first ascent.  At one point, I was literally moving up a long, steep climb on my hands, moving from one slippery rock to the next.  All the snow was melting and gushing down the trails creating some very hazardous conditions.  My quads were on fire.  At 7 miles, I was at a really dark place in my head.  I sat down in the mud and began to question why the hell I was out here torturing myself so badly.  I was hungry, tired, in pain, and had lost a brand new pair of arm warmers.  Damn it.

When I got to the top of Cooper’s Rock I found myself demoralized, wasted, and just craving home.  The moment of funk hit me so fast and so hard.  I sat down, ate, and drank for a while and just decided I couldn’t go any further.  All I wanted was a really cold beer.  I began to head to my car which was a bit over 3 miles away.  I ended up detouring some on my way back down some gorgeous trails, and the amazing and beautiful views and scenery on the trails brought back some mental spark.  I finally got back to the car and sat down and stretched out my legs.  The number on my watch began to haunt me, “13 miles is not what I came here for.”  I pulled myself together and told myself I had about 2 hours of running left before the sun would start to crest the horizon, “I’ll go an hour out and come back,” I thought.

I headed back out for my second descent.  Initially, I felt good and strong. Suddenly, with every step my IT band felt like it would seize up and shatter.  By the time I got to the bottom, it was beginning to get pretty dim in places, and one thing I am not too keen about (to say the least) is running in the dark.  It literally scares the piss out of me.  It didn’t help any that I was somewhat confused about where I was.  My map was pretty pathetic.  I had a grueling ascent coming back out and wasn’t even sure how long it was going to take me to get out or where I really was.  It made me a pinch nervous, but then again, it totally took my mind off the pain I was in.

I finished up with a bit over 19 miles (yes, in daylight).  Not bad!  I felt like a million bucks when I got home, cracked open a cold beer, and began to nurse my wounds.  I was sore as crap, cut, bruised, and covered head to toe in mud, but I had accomplished what I set out to do.  I felt like I had conquered the world.

This run taught me a few things.  Firstly, I tend to overestimate what I can tolerate and push the limits way too often.  Unlikely that will change since that’s what I’m always looking for.  But it’s definitely been tearing my body down, and I’m barely staving off some significant injury most of the time.  I just don’t know how to do things any other way.  I also realized that I run so much better on real food than I do with gels.  I think gels work great for me when I’m really just cruising along at marathon distance/pace.  But for the hard distance or long distance stuff, I feel much better on real food.

Two days later and my quads are still sore like hell but I’m still full of cloud 9 juice.  I will attempt to run today for a few miles.  At least my IT band seems to have some forgiveness for my masochism and is behaving as of now.  I’ll definitely be using this run in the near future as I get closer to my ultra in June.  If this run can’t prepare me for an ultra, nothing can.

These are the kind of runs that make running so worthwhile – the ones that shatter me and I make it back home with a story to tell.

And yes, it was fun.

Snow, Ultras, and a “Crew”

WIMG_0009inter has finally made its presence known to us.  It’s been mighty chilly and snowy lately.  I enjoy the different challenges
winter brings to running.  I had a blast this week running 10 miles on trails near my home in 3-4 inches of snow (some areas of drifted snow were knee deep, yikes!) while climbing 1,500 feet.  Taxing, yeah.  Fun… You bet!  I actually even managed to keep my feet relatively warm and dry by putting a plastic bag between 2 layers of thin socks and wearing gaiters.  I felt like my Salomon Crossmax shoes did exceptionally well in the snow, mud, and icy patches.  These shoes have yet to disappoint me.  However, I think for muddy or very slippery descents, the Salomon Speedcross would be even better.

I ran my first 30-mile training run (or was that just for fun?) a couple weeks ago.  I just really took my time and wanted to enjoy being out there more than anything.

There will be a time soon enough to focus purely on training.  So I lollygagged some here and there and took some photos.  I ended up wasting a good deal of time trying to adjust my new hydration pack.  I bought the Nathan Endurance Vest to use for my runs over marathon distance, and I really, really love it, but I’ve just had issues getting it adjusted just right.IMG_0008  I’ll figure it out.  So, I did a 15-mile out-and-back with 1,966 ft of elevation gain.  Took me a little over 5.5 hours.  I felt really strong almost the entire time.  I hit one spot of funk around mile 21-22, but by mile 24, I was completely mentally rejuvenated and had a very strong finish.  I felt really good about this one.  By the way, I discovered the magical powers Almond M&Ms have on my long runs!  Those things will definitely be accompanying me on every ultra run!

I finally decided on my first ultra race for next year.  I’m planning to run the Highlands Sky 40M held near Canaan Valley, West Virginia on June 15th.  I figured it’d be a pretty good entry into ultra running.  I definitely did not want to do anything “flat,” but neither did I want to destroy myself on monstrous climbs either for my first ultra.  The HS 40M has an elevation gain of 5,474 ft which I feel I can train for quite reasonably.  I definitely need to do more training on technical trails in preparation.

I’m ready, I’m ready!

Another awesome development is that I have a “crew member” in training!  Oh, yeah!  I’ve finally managed to get my daughter interested in fitness.  She bought herself a mountain bike just so she could accompany me on my long runs and provide support.  How cool is that?  It definitely eased my husband’s apprehensions about me going out for 40-50 mile runs.

Last week my daughter actually went running with me.  I told her we’d go however far she could run and just have a good time.  We ended up doing 9.5 miles!  What??  I was thoroughly impressed.  There was plenty of walking involved, but I was just out for the active recovery aspect post my 30 miler.  However, she did really well considering that she almost never runs.  The best part was that she actually ENJOYED it.  I would have enjoyed it a whole lot more had I known just how freaking cold it was going to be.  Regardless, I was thoroughly impressed with her perseverance and determination to hang in as long as she could.  We had a great time, and I feel she will be a great asset and companion for me in the long, long days ahead.  (Now she can feel honored to adorn the pages of my blog! LOL! j/k)

Weight lifting… yes, I was cleared to resume heavy weight training!  I’m more than a little nervous about it, but I’ll take it easy (err… try to take it easy) and see how it goes.

Recipe for Disaster – Bring it On!

After last Saturday’s 20-mile run, I crashed really hard.  I was exhausted for days following that run.  I felt pretty apathetic towards diet and exercise in general and just wanted to sleep all week.  I was even fairly depressed.  I got on my treadmill Tuesday for a 5-mile jog, but my shins got extremely tight and began throbbing less than half a mile into it.  I jogged and walked for a while, determined to get some type of mileage accomplished, but I finally gave up and hit the couch.  The same thing happened again Wednesday.  I was completely bummed out.  It felt like my mind and my body were just powering down.

After doing some research and talking to my sister, I stumbled upon this article titled “Endocrine System Depletion,” by Succeed! Sports Nutrition.  That article really put things into perspective for me as far as what I was going through.  I realized I recently had been experiencing other symptoms that could be attributed to endocrine depletion as well.  This is a nasty bag of worms right here.  I can be pretty tough when it comes to physical grit, but when we’re talking about hormones and chemical imbalances, that’s a hard battle to fight.

So now I have a new strategy in need of development.  So, where do I even start?  I was already forced to drop my weekly mileage way back this week.  Maybe I should try to decrease my weekly mileage down to 30-40 miles for 2-3 weeks while maintaining a weekly 20 miler and slowly work back up from there.  It might even be helpful to incorporate a recovery day before and after my longest run.  Another thing I realized is that I’m often running my long runs really hard.  I can really tell the difference in fatigue and mental status whether I’ve run it hard and fast or not.  It takes me a couple days to really recover if I’ve given it 110%.  If I take it easy, regardless of how far I ran, I can feel ready to get on my feet the next day.  I probably just need to slow down, enjoy the run, and focus on the real purpose of the long run – adaptation.  We will see how I feel after my long run today.

I still have this plaguing compartment syndrome, possibly more aggravating than ever, to work with.  Obviously, cutting miles and resting a whole lot is going to be the protocol for treatment, but that’s just an avenue I’m not willing to take just yet.  It’s going to have to get me completely down and out before I’m willing to cut back as much as would be necessary to resolve it, I think.  I do realize this injury could be a major issue for the November Pensacola Marathon, and I’m going to have to do something about my legs before it gets close to that time, but I just prefer to keep putting it off as long as possible.

All of these issues almost seem like a red flag, honestly, in which I’m setting myself up for an inevitably huge crash and burn any day now.  I feel like I’m tiptoeing around the edge of physical limits!  Bring it on!  What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger… I hope!

27 Tough Miles

IMG_1181That 27-mile run was hard – a lot harder than I thought it would be.  I expected it to be really tough, but for some reason I wasn’t as mentally prepared for it as I thought I was.  Maybe it was just that kind of day.  I tried to run it super slow since I was just wanting to cover the distance regardless of time, but there were several occasions where I almost opted out of doing the whole 27 miles.  It took me a lot of effort to simply cover 18 miles that day.  I knew if I didn’t hang in there and finish it, I’d beat myself up forever over it.  I can’t stand the thought of committing to something and then giving up.  It’s just so bothersome for me.  The fact that it was gusty on and off didn’t help the situation much either.

There were definitely some major positives about this run other than covering the distance.  I found that I could actually run much longer on a lot less carbs than I had imagined possible.  I only consumed 1 GU gel, a couple handfuls of trail mix, and a liter of Gatorade.  Normally, I down a GU every 45 minutes on runs over an hour.  It is possible or even likely that my nutrition affected my run, but I really never felt low or out of energy.  It was more like I was just mentally not into it.  It’ll take some more experimenting with low-carb distance running to really see what the story is.  I plan to run 20 miles this weekend.  If I decide against doing a tempo run, I’ll run it low carb.

Any plans to run a 28 miler?  Nah, not yet!  I had almost no aches or pains the day of and after the run, but it took me 2 days to crawl out of a kind of mental fog and fatigue.  My body and mind were just tired.  Injury-wise, I felt tip-top, but I’m not ready to go through another couple days of recovery like I just did.  Not yet anyway.  And maybe changing up my fueling would have made a difference, though I had somewhat similar effects post my 26-mile run.  So the plan of the moment is to stick to 20-23 miles.  I think the 20-mile runs will be a sweet spot for building my endurance up more before attempting 27+ miles again.  I do plan to eventually work up to a 30-mile run…. but I’m definitely not ready yet.

Oh, yeah, that’s the other thing I learned, I’m not ready to go over 27 miles yet!

Carb Depletion and a Marathon – Yet Another Experiment

After a couple broken hours of sleep from getting up with my son throughout the night, the clock painfully insists that it’s 4 am and time to get up if I’m going to make that early morning run happen before the humidity kicks in.  We’ve had quite the mini heat wave for us north easterners.  As I indulge on a steamy bowl of chocolate oatmeal and a stout coffee, one thought occurs to me: six months.  Will I be able to do what it takes to train for a BQ at the Pensacola Marathon in November?  (Of course, actually going to Pensacola is contingent on my husband’s shift work schedule not changing by then.)  But do I really have what it takes?  What does it take?  Are dedication and passion for running enough in themselves?  It’s quite possible that it’s a long shot for me to expect to BQ in 6 months, but I still feel like I have to try.  I think it’s possible enough to try to make it happen.  If I don’t get it done in Pensacola, I’ll work towards the Pittsburgh Marathon in 2013.IMG_1184

It’s going to be hard, no doubt.  Especially with my schedule (or lack thereof) – a combination of extreme sleep deprivation, a husband who is a shift worker, and having the very demanding task of caring for a fully dependent child; I’ve got my hands pretty full when you throw marathon training into the mix!  I just have to make it happen.

This week I’m focusing on long runs and hoping to hit at least 60 miles by the end of the week.  I have been experimenting with doing long runs in a carb-depleted state in hopes that you can actually acclimate the body better for burning fat reserves as fuel.  When I first started doing this, I did notice a little sluggishness on my runs, and my muscles tended towards fatigue quicker, but I don’t seem to be experiencing any symptoms as of recently.  I’ve been doing these carb-depleted runs now for about a month.  Mind you, there’s absolutely no intention of restricting carbs on race day or even on some critical speedwork days, it’s just the idea that having the body adjusted to fueling up with fat will move the wall out that much further.  I have no idea how long or how much volume you have to achieve before any obvious benefits manifest themselves.  I just make sure I do one-two 5+ mile runs a week in a carb-depleted state.  I do not consume any carbs on these runs, only water.  For 3 days, I eat well under 100g of carbs while I pump out these runs.  I try to make sure I get a good long run in especially on the 3rd day when I know my glycogen stores are zapped from the previous 2 days of low-carb runs.  These runs are typically slower and focused more on running for a certain amount of time instead of mileage.

Time for a power nap before I hit the pavement!

26 miles – Hurts so Good

Yesterday’s long run carried me 26 miles.  For the first time, it finally occurred to me why it’s not so common for people to run that far for regular leisure.  While basking in my enlightened moment and pushing painfully through mile 24, I also realized I was truly in love with distance running even though I found myself questioning whether I had pushed myself too far too fast… again.

During the last 3 miles, the real aches and pains made themselves at home – my quads rhythmically aching, Achilles screaming with each step, and my knees wanting to buckle with each push-off.  All this “suffering” just to prove to myself that I could make the distance.  No medals or cheers at the end of this 26 miles, just my own knowledge that I was capable of not just doing it again, but doing it faster.  I finished with a time of 4:01:51, and now I am certain I can achieve 3:40 with just a little more work.

The soreness and tenderness of my quads and knees really began to set in 4-5 hours after the run.  I stayed hungry all evening and ate whatever I wanted.  I wasn’t really that tired, just sore and lazy later in the evening, so I did nap on and off and ice my knees.  Surprisingly, this morning I don’t really feel much sorer than I did last night.  I filled up this morning on a big bowl of chocolate-cinnamon proatmeal and have a day of shopping planned.  We shall see if the fatigue and DOMS finally hit me while I’m out and about today!

My plan now?  Take 2-3 days off from running and heal up good.  I think I’ll do a couple days of split-routine upper body weight training just to keep myself busy and throw in some yoga on the 2nd or 3rd day depending on how fast or slow I recover.  Then if all goes as planned, I’ll start some slow recovery runs and walks on the 3rd-4th day followed by recovery jogs of 3 miles the rest of the week.  Then I’ll reevaluate my strategy for the next week.  In the meantime, I’ll assemble a game plan to focus on cutting back my finish time.

Battling Compartment Syndrome

This lower leg pain is really getting in my way.  It seems this month is the month of injury!  My sister is down and out with a good bout of runner’s knee.  I’m fighting against all common sense and still running with a fairly nasty case of compartment syndrome especially in my left leg.  It’s becoming incredibly frustrating and has been the theme of the day for the last week.

Last Saturday, I ran my new distance record of 18 miles.  While the run overall went incredibly well, I could have finished much, much faster had it not been for incredible tightness, pain, and numbness predominantly in my left lower leg.  I actually ended up walking a large part of the first 3 miles, stopping and trying to stretch, attempting to get movement and feeling back into my left foot and lower leg.  It was so bad that I was just about to go home when it eased up a little (and that’s bad).  I decided to risk it and run through it, hoping it would continue to resolve as it has so many times before.  Luckily, it did resolve on its own, and I was able to continuously pick up pace throughout the run.  I still made great time, I felt.  For the most part, it was a very good run and I didn’t even feel like I ran 18 miles.  That evening I was only a tiny bit stiff in the first few hours after the run, and the next day I felt like I hadn’t even completed a long run the day before.  Everything was almost perfect… except the start of the run.

I’m hoping that if I do some warm up walking prior to a run, it will make a difference.  I’m also going to start doing some extra calf stretches on a daily basis.  Something’s gotta give here.  I almost wish it were as simple as just going down to a physician and getting a quick fascia release and getting it over with!  I have negative patience for this.  It worries me to try to enter any races as I never know if or how bad it’s going to flare up.  It usually doesn’t make me completely stop running until I’m 1-2 miles into a run.  Other times, my legs will get tight and heavy but it will dissipate before I have to stop.

Maybe I just need a break and take a couple days off running and just do some speed walking.  That doesn’t sound like very much fun. L I’m hoping to do a 20-mile run in a week or two.  I’d sure like to be able to give it everything I’ve got.

Injuries suck.

“I Felt Like a Distance Runner”

Running 15 miles seemed unfathomable not that long ago. Now, that distance seems like a great and relaxing way to spend a Saturday afternoon!  My previous longest run was 13.1 miles, and, yes, this was on my treadmill.  I was ready to take it to the great outdoors!

I had different estimates on the length of the actual trail distance.  On average, it seemed to come out to be 14.5-15 miles.  I knew I wanted to do it in a straight run instead of out-and-back.  The trail is basically flat and follows the river through small rural towns and neighborhoods as well as wooded countryside.

My husband and I took two vehicles and dropped one off at one end of the trail, and he drove me to the other end.  I set out excited but with a slight feeling of uneasiness as to whether my lower leg issues were going to plague me or stop me completely.  The good news was that I would have regular opportunities to call the whole thing off if I couldn’t make it.  There were plenty of places to arrange a pick-up whenever I came to one of these small communities except for in about the last 4-5 miles which is a fairly isolated stretch at the end.

There were very few people on the trail for the most part until I came within a mile or so from the towns.  Every once in a while I’d cross paths with the lone distance biker.  To my amazement, I only saw a few runners, and they were only right on the very fringes of the neighborhoods.

This was the very first time I actually didn’t listen to music until I was in the last 5-6 miles.  The sound of water gushing and roaring was everywhere along the trail.

Around every bend laid a waterfall or stream.  I crossed over numerous quaint converted train bridges.  The river was really stunning with its green-blue overtones and mini rapids glistening in the bright spring sunlight.  It was just a gorgeous day for a long run.

I fussed with myself to hold my pace back constantly, but eventually after about 5 miles, I decided to just run however my body wanted to.  In the end, I ended up finishing sooner than I had calculated, so it paid off to just let myself go.

At 6 miles in the trail was blocked off for construction.  Well, turning back was out of the question.  I came to run this trail all the way, and that was going to happen!  I jumped over the construction tape and went about my merry way.  I only encountered 2 bikers on this very long and isolated stretch of the trail.  Eventually I found the offending obstacle to be a completely washed out section of the trail.

About 10 miles in my legs were feeling fairly fatigued, but I had no trouble brushing it off.  The only real issue I had was the increasing soreness on the bottoms of my feet.  Luckily, that didn’t start until about the 12th mile and didn’t become unbearable.  I kept in touch with my husband, calling home at fairly regular intervals to ease his mind and also to give myself a break and walk a little.  At mile 12, I proudly told him I’d call him from the car. 😉

I continued on the trail, traversing a long bridge spanning the river and crossed into a wooded area.  I was almost there!  I ran through a dense neighborhood and began looking for the park where my car was.

Now, I had never been on this trail before so I wasn’t completely sure where it came out at.  I found myself standing in the middle of town on a main street.  Well, this didn’t seem right!  I tried to check my GPS, and it apparently decided to take the day off.  I phoned my husband, “Errr, I think I’m lost and I’ve already been 14.5 miles!”  Apparently, while I was in the zone I missed the turnoff on the trail that led to the park.  My husband checked the map and guided me about a mile back on the trail to my “exit.”  I thought, “Finally, I’m there!”  Little did I know, the last mile was going to be the hardest part of my journey!

The street that led to my car was about a mile long, and it harbored some mean steep inclines for legs with miles on them.

At first I planned to walk the hills, but I got fired up again on my last wind and went for it and ran through it.  Low and behold, I finally spotted my little yellow car, legs and butt burning!  I walked circles around the car for a while, legs being confused as to why we stopped, and checked my Garmin – 16.11 miles in 2 hr 49 min.  Really?  Oh yeah.  A mile more than I had planned.

It felt good.  It felt even better when I got home and indulged on all manner of carbs and a few beers that evening.  The next day, I amazed myself at pumping out 6.5 miles on my treadmill while I replayed the events of the run in my head.  Finally, I felt like a distance runner.

This Saturday… at least 13 miles planned!  Next month, I’m planning to do a 20 miler.

 

Today it’s 15 miles

I’m setting out today to complete my first 15-mile run.  I’ve already done 13 miles, so I’m sure it’ll be a piece of cake!  These long runs are just so addictive!  Today’s run, I believe, will put me close to 40 miles this week.  My legs have been really cooperative all week long; I’ve had only mild occasional shin splints and no true sign of compartment syndrome in my tibialis, so I’m considering upping my miles to 45 miles next week and gradually working my way back up to 60.  Earlier this week, I thought I was experiencing early symptoms of Achilles tendonitis, but that seemed to subside on its own.  I seem to really be acclimating to the higher mileage… finally!  I’ll be setting my sights on a 20 miler in no time!

The plan today is to avoid an out-and-back run.  This requires some serious logistical planning! Temps are supposed to be in the low 60s and sunny. I do wish it were a little cooler than that especially since I probably will end up doing most of the run in the 60s, but you gotta go when you can!

Now, I just need the sun to come up so I can get going!

The Best Dam Run

Every run leaves some sort of impression on you, and yesterday’s run was the kind of run that rejuvenates and brings life back to you. It reminded me what running is all about and why I began running in the first place.  For the first time in months, I found myself completely absorbed in the scenery and the moment of the run itself.  I felt completely in tune with my body as if running were just a natural state.  I found myself for the first time forgetting to look at the passing miles on my Garmin and found myself being slightly disappointed as my run came to an end.

IMG_1067I got to the trail head fairly early, and though the weather was constantly threatening to make conditions a little less favorable, it never really got any more serious than a few spats of rain.   It was pretty chilly starting out.  All the weather sources seemed to think we were going to see some hint of sunshine, but that never even came close to happening.  I was really glad I had opted for my arm warmers and light gloves.  The temperature and overcast conditions ended up being really perfect in the end.

I set out, geared to the teeth, at a decently slow pace and struggled a little to hold myself back for the first mile.  Not long into the run, my tibialis in both legs became increasingly tight and slowed me down to a quick walk.  By the time I was into the second mile, I began to question whether or not my legs would even be able to make it the whole way.

I started feeling really frustrated and began considering at what point I should decide to turn back and try another day.  I pushed those thoughts aside and continued to press on, alternating between walking, snapping pics, and jogging through the 2-4th miles.  Turning back just couldn’t be an option.

 

The trail was really beautiful and serene.  It follows the river all the way out and back along what used to be old train tracks.  There were ducks and geese hobbling around all over the trail.  Small waterfalls were gushing over with the most recent downpour.  Spring color was everywhere, and even under the dreary, cloudy sky, was refreshing and impressive.  Around every curve hid a new little treasure.  The river was dark and gloomy, but pressed against the bright green landscape, it almost seemed to exude a certain beauty in its own way.  Time passed incredibly fast, too fast.

IMG_1066On the way out, I only encountered one other person.  It was quite nice to have the whole trail all to myself.  At one point, off in the distance, I could make out what appeared to be my destination, and I picked up the pace.

By 4.5 miles, I was having little-to-no tibialis pain, and I was keeping a comfortable 8:50-9:50 pace. At 5.64 miles, I had reached the dam.  Obviously, the dam itself leaves little to be desired, as I don’t think dams are ever very majestic with their heaping piles of accumulated trash and river junk.

I stretched out and took a few pics, and then proceeded to head back.  My legs were completely agreeable the entire return trip.  I settled right into a quicker pace for the majority of the way back.  I only made a few stops, mostly just to pee and snap a couple pics, but I was really into the run mentally.

Being later in the day as I was coming back, I did encounter more people but only within the first 3-3.5 miles of the trail head.  After the first several miles, it’s hard to find any evidence of human activity.  The few houses that are on the trail disappear completely after about 3-3.5 miles.  It’s quite secluded.

I ended up back at my car before I even realized it.  It was 11.3 miles round trip, and I felt refreshed and like I could keep going.  But today, I resisted that urge.  I’ll save it for the next long run.

 

This was definitely me on a good day and one where numbers were anything but significant.