Weekend of April 7 & 8
I have heard of back to backs runs, but haven’t really tried doing one that included sets of more than 10 miles. A back to back is two runs, on consecutive days, of the same distance. Back to back can also be a set consisting of the second day being longer than the first day. My great idea was to run 20 miles on Saturday and then 30 miles on Sunday. Made sense to me. So did putting a knife in a toaster. I was maybe 4 at the time.
I left Friday Harbor around 11 am, sun was shining and I soon discovered that I was over dressed by one t-shirt. After clothing adjustments I was off again towards American Camp. My plan was to run out and around the Golf Course to Cattlepoint where I would run the remaining road and trails to American Camp. Once in American Camp I would take various trails all the way out to the Lighthouse and back via Mt. Finnlayson. My trip to town would be the same except for an additional bit of mileage provided by running around the Deadman’s Trail next to the Air Port. I have run this course before and it’s a nice blend of roads, trails, hills and scenery.
The run went off without any issues. My goal was to spend time on my feet, so I wasn’t all that concerning on hustling through to the end. Mile 15 brought me images of a chocolate milkshake waiting for me at Uptown Espresso, which was at 19.5 miles. I ran the remainder half mile with a tasty treat in my hands. Nothing tasted so good as that milkshake; although I bet I look a tad silly. I ran the entire 20 miles, even up the steepest hills.
Leaving an hour earlier than I did on Saturday I was dressed for warm weather. I ran 5.7 miles out to the trail head that lead into the southern boundaries of what we call the DNR. DNR is actually lands made up of National Park, private and Roche Harbor Watershed porperties. No more DNR lands, but the name continues. I spent 11 miles running close to all the available trails. I ran around Bell Point. I ran up Mt. Young. I ran down Mt. Young. I ran the Rusty Car Trail which connected to the English Camp Trail. Up and down, round and round I went.
About 15 miles, which was at the top of Mt. Young I started to tire out. I had been taking GU every hour and eating Sharkies, but I was beginning to bonk. Bonking is no good. I decided to run out of the trail system to Roche Harbor Resort and fuel up at the store, which was close to 3 or 4 miles of running. After a Coke and some potato chips I left the Resort and began running back to the trail head for a up and over route to Egg Lake Road. Somewhere around mile 18 my lower left leg cramped forcing me to walk. From that point on I started running/walking towards town and soon just walking. At 23 miles I was given a ride by a friend. My left leg was sore the rest of the night. Bummer.
In hindsight, I not sure what I would do different. I was eating to avoid the bonk, but maybe not enough. I might have tied my left shoe to tight, which would explain the cramps. Must remember not to cut of the blood flow to the feet.
When I arrived home, I was a dog tired runner. All I could think of was how long 50 miles is and far it is from 20 miles, or 30 miles. How in the world am I going to run 50 miles? All these self-doubts, plus thoughts of cold beer, weaved through my brain. Then I realized that I need to just keep running and do what feels “right” to me. Run, eat, drink and run some more. Seems simple enough.
Next article will be about the Alger Alp 50K which I will be running on Sunday, April 15.
Run Happy, Run Hard