Sunday, October 24, 2010

End of a long week

I've already run 25+ miles this week, including the half marathon on Sunday and the night trail run on Thursday night. Today I wanted to do some more trail running, but in the daylight this time. The Fells are close to home, have lots of interesting trails to choose from, and the standard loop is 7 miles which is just what I was looking for. After pottery in the morning I headed to Sheepfold but as usual, the parking area was full, so I parked over on South Border Road by Bellvue Pond. A quick look at the map reminded me of where the trails went and off I went.

Right away I could tell that my legs weren't feeling great. They were tired and so was I. Do runners think of their legs as separate entities? I picked my way though the usual trails, climbing over some downed trees and skirting some mud and running water. Ah, this was rugged. At Sheepfold I paused a bit to have a Gu and pet some dogs before headed back on the mountain bike loop towards the hill. I ended up in a warren of tiny trails before coming out on a yellow blazed trail that led me to the water tower where I got the first comments on my Dirty Girl gaiters. After a brief stop for the view and running into a friend who was out for a hike I started down to the mountain bike trails in the back corner of the Fells.

I finally got into something of a rhythm here, not a fast pace but a comfortable gait. The discomfort and soreness drifted into an inconsequential haze and my mind drifted to thoughts of friends running or rowing this weekend which made it easy to continue. Around the corner of the reservoir and some fun switchbacks then onto some fire roads again where I could pick up speed. At one point I noticed an orange and white station that looked like an orienteering marker and sure enough some fast young people in spandex carrying maps went running by. They were running in all directions through the woods and on the myriad of trails, which made my casual run a bit surreal.

After passing though the start/finish line and seeing dozens of orienteering participants I headed through some random woods until I caught my trail to Bellvue Pond. The finish felts strong but I didn't have any desire to go further, 7+ was fine. I had to rush back, get food, pick up my rebuilt bicycle wheel and head to the river to catch some of the Head of the Charles Regatta. It was a busy run, one that never completely clicked, but a good day to be out. It was good to push through a bad start and persevere. I'm sure the ability to do that will serve me well some day.