Last big push before the big weekend
Next weekend if going to be busy with the 29 cubed race and the Thrill in the Hills 1/2 marathon. Naturally, I figured I should get some last long miles in and stuff like that.
Saturday afternoon, I shot up to Runners Fit in Braselton to pick up some supplies and chat about the race from that morning (that I couldn’t make it too). Although Ryan claimed he ran like a girl and it was he slowest time since 7th grade, he still came in 2nd in his group. Jenny pulled out 3rd in her group. A shoutout goes to Mark B for a personal best, breaking the 30 minute mark for the 5k! Way to go!
After trying just about every racing flat they had, I got some Adidas Zero LT2. I would have preferred some Brooks (my usual favorite shoe), but the toe box on them were a little small. (Unfortunately, they were out of the next size up, which probably would have been fine.) There was some bright green Asics that were just my style, but at almost $20 more than the Adidas, my wallet won. I also got some powerglide and a couple Powerbar gels to try. They hooked me up with a Runners Fit T-shirt to wear on Saturday. (Our whole group will be wearing these to show our support of our favorite store. Last year they sponsored this race, but this year got tossed aside to a larger store from downtown Atlanta. Given that Ryan will be one of the top finishers and I anticipate being one of the last, we’ll have lots of visibility.)
I then did a casual 5 miles at Little Mulberry park. It was cold and windy, so I was happy to end it early and get home to my wife.
Today (Sunday), we didn’t have a group run planned and I wanted to get more than 10 miles in, so I headed off to do the trails at Little Mulberry (again). I took off from the Hog Mountain entrance and had a tough first mile because the cold and wind. After veering off to hit the horse trail, I quickly warmed up by heading uphill. Across the ridge, then up “The Hill”, and I was definitely warm! At the top, I hung a left on the East Meadow trail (instead of the usual right). From here I hit the little 1/2 mile loop trail around the small pond.
After pausing to play with a dog and a quick rest stop, I tried my first Powerbar gel. It wasn’t too bad and went down smooth. From there, I headed up to the Ravine trail, but I didn’t want to kill myself, so I just did a small section of it to a connector back to the West Meadow loop. This still gave me a good section of hills, but felt pretty good. Heading around, I ran into Helen and her dog (from our group), and walked with her a ways. She’s a fast walker, so I had to start running to keep up and then leave her. I came back around and did the reverse of what I did around the top to get me to the remainder of the dirt loop.
Heading back down the dirt trail felt pretty good and I started picking up a little speed. I crossed the carriage trail and started heading back up, with was a bit hard. However, once I got back to the top and started heading down, I was feeling good. after a little bit of flat and a bite of my Powerbar, I hit the next downhill section and had an absolute blast! To was a harrowing thrill ride down the side of the mountain…I would having been hooting and hollering the whole way down if I weren’t so concerned about actually breathing (and not falling flat on my face)! Oh, it was great! I’m sooo glad last week I decided to start stretching myself on downhills.
A casual 1.2 miles back to the car, some stretching, and I guess I’ll take it easy until next Friday. Total distance was around 11.5 miles per my Nike+. A little less than I wanted, but given the hills, I feel like I got a good run into it.