I have been saying for weeks that my goal is to do one double run every week to prepare for Hood-to-Coast in August. I have managed to squeeze in a couple of them so far, but have been anything but consistent.
Over the last week or so, a little reality has set in…we are a mere 4 weeks out from the race and s**t is getting real! I know if I want to attempt to run fast for all 3 legs, I better get my
butt legs in gear and on the road.
After postponing this week’s double run on Wednesday in favor of sitting on my couch, then again on Thursday in favor of dinner with friends, there was no more postponing today.
I completed my scheduled “long” run this morning, 9 miles at HMP + 20 seconds (8:15 min/mile). It was hot, brutal and my legs were still feeling yesterday’s 66+ mile bike ride.
It was by far one of the hardest long runs I have had in a while. Probably a major contributor being that I didn’t stop and refill my water bottle and was feeling dehydrated and light headed by the last mile.
**The two inconsistent splits in the middle were almost completely uphill miles. After a big day of cycling I seem to be able to keep a strong pace on flats, but I really struggle on uphills.
Despite having a tough morning, I knew I still needed to get out and get the second run in. I took a nap, rested, foam rolled and drank a TON of water and by the afternoon I was feeling confident that I could get back out on the road again.
But in addition to getting double runs in, the other thing I know I need to do is to find a way to prepare for this:
Yep, that’s my first leg of the race at Hood-to-Coast. 1500+ ft of elevation loss.
So what did I do tonight for my second run?
I ran down a mountain. Paris Mountain, to be specific.
It is much shorter than my nearly 6 mile first leg at HTC, but it is a good start! The elevation drop doesn’t look that dramatic, but according to Garmin stats…
It was over 1000 ft. of elevation loss in 3.75 miles! With a pace of 7:46 min/mile.
I had some idea as to what to expect because I have ridden up (and down) Paris Mountain on my bike numerous times, but this was the first time I had run it.
Brad drove me to the top and dropped me off.
The peak of the mountain is marked for cyclists. I am usually MORE than happy to see those words at the top!
I decided to start with the longer, but less dramatic side of the mountain for this first little venture into descending so I told Brad to head down and I would see him at the bottom.
I took it super easy where it rolls, not pushing any of the uphills and felt great on the downhills. I was just enjoying the views, letting my legs go and loving seeing the fast splits on my watch.
But about 3 miles in, I started really feeling the descending taking its toll on my legs. I was torn as to whether to open up and let my legs fly down or to hold back a little and try to control it. Both hurt equally as much and both felt like I was putting out a lot of effort.
Running downhill is fun, but now I know why these downhill legs are rated as “HARD”. The pounding on my legs and the burning of the muscles in my quads was brutal. And I definitely don’t have to worry about DOMS…the soreness has already set in!
I am hoping that it is a combination of the whole days’ running and not just the “running down a mountain” thing that has made me so sore. Because if it is, I will be in trouble on August 24 & 25 when I still have 2 legs to run after the big descent!
Needless to say, I will definitely be out there doing this again during the next few weeks!
Who has advice for me on descending for long distances? Anyone know the best approach to running down a mountain?