This is one of those days that I have decided to leave my GPS Watch/Garmin Forerunner 305 from my starting place. I just brought my hydration vest and two 20 oz. bottles with me where one bottle is filled with water and the other one is filled with First Endurance EFS Mix.
I selected the first trail course which I discovered in my “playground” and has a distance of 6.2 kilometers. It ends in a small hut on top of a hill which is near a steel antenna. I usually have my first “pit stop” in this place during my long runs. From this point, I would go back to where I started to complete a distance of 12.4 kilometers. Basically, it is an “out and back” course where the first half is an uphill/ascending to a higher elevation and the second half is descending to the place where I started.
I took off knowing what was the time of the day when I left the starting line. It was 3:20 PM. I comfortably started with a short brisk walk as the first few meters were steep incline for about 60 meters. After I was over with the steep road, I started to jog until I reached a stream to cross. From the other side of the stream, I started to jog continuously and I started to breath heavily. Then I started to perspire profusely and that is the signal that I have to take a sip on my energy mix and then with my water. I would estimate that I’ve been running for almost 22-25 minutes.
Before I would approach the last two kilometers to the hut & antenna where I would enter into the last gate of a fence, I would take another sip of my energy mix and water and continue to attack the ascending portions of the hills ahead.
I usually reach the hut/antenna in 1:20 hours during my regular running workouts in the area. Once I reached the turn-around point, I took again a sip of my hydration bottles and then simply walk around the hut for about 30 seconds and I am back again on the trail expecting to be faster on the downhill sections of the route.
I try my best to practice my downhill running technique, keep my balance and make quick decisions on where to land my feet considering that the trail is uneven and sometimes muddy and slippery.
Since I’ve been running on this course for weeks and months already, I would know what to expect to most of the sections of the route. I even know how many more kilometers I would have to run and cover before I finally reach the stream that I’ve crossed. After crossing the stream, only one kilometer remains before the finish line. I usually stop and clean my legs and shoes from the flowing water of the stream. But for this time, I just crossed the stream and did not mind soaking my tired legs or washing my legs and shoes to clean them from the mud.
Finally, I reached my finish line and immediately went inside the place where I am staying and looked for my watch. It was 5:30 in the afternoon. It means that it took me 2:10 hours to cover the distance of 12.4 kilometers. I was able to improve my time by 20 minutes!
This is the result of my run on the said course in one of my regular runs—-http://connect.garmin.com/activity/380093984
Lace up, go out of the door and run!