From about 5 miles to 9 miles, the trail is very muddy (after crossing Fire Lane 1). The kind of muddy that makes you consider checking for leeches when you get back. Out past mile 10 – the trail looks like this:
…and it just goes and goes. I really felt in some cosmic way that I was being rewarded for the risk, I was (for me) in uncharted territory never having been out this far from my origin. I wondered if the trail could continue to get more beautiful…in perpetuum. For about a mile I thought about that… what is that? Is that perfection? I have no idea what that would look like or feel like.
The most amusing self-talk of the day was when I said aloud somewhere on the Maple trail, “I have no idea where I am.” I tried to triangulate my position based on mileage, trailheads I passed, memory… and finally concluded that in fact I was on Earth. “Earth…still on Earth.”
- slice of toast w/almond butter + honey before pushing off (plus coffee)
- 60 oz of unflavored Tailwind in the hydration pack
- 22 oz of lemon Tailwind in the bottle
- 1 pack of Strawberry Clif bloks
- 1 espresso Clif shot
- Pearl Izumi EM M2’s
- Pearl Izumi arm warmers
- OR speed sensor gloves
- Hind drylete compression shorts
- Smartwool socks
- Nike Dri-FIT t-shirt
- REI visor
- UD SJ Ultra vest (bottle in one side, camera in the other)
I ran out of fluids again – but not until about mile 17 when I finished up the last remaining ounces and ate the caffeinated Clif shot to carry me home the last 4 miles. The Clif bloks go down very easily and satisfy the calorie deficit for a little while. I can feel the bump from the calories after about 20 minutes. The espresso Clif shot is what it is – kind of like jet fuel on empty stomach. I’m sold on Tailwind – my trial packs are gone, but I preferred the mild taste of the unflavored I drank on this run.
I’m finding that my system is relatively shocked after returning from these long runs. I’m actually not that hungry when I get back – I’ve been slowly stoking the fire again with some simple carbohydrates – half a bagel or a handful of nuts until I my appetite comes back, then I try to eat some soup, a yogurt, crackers. Nothing complicated for a few hours.
Shoes rocked again. I had to stop a couple of times to get mud and rocks out, but other than that – they felt great the entire run. Smartwool trail socks are a waste of money – I’m regularly throwing them away after these runs as the toes burn through. Darn Tough or the Injinji’s seem the way to go. No more Smartwools. First time in t-shirt and arm warmers – really nice combination – I was cool but not cold and my arms and hands stayed warm all day. I rolled them down a few miles from home as it began to warm up – it was kind of like rolling the windows down – felt nice. No chafing issues – body glide head to toe and compression short are de rigeur for the long runs.
Repeated the ice bath when I got home. Like: clear out the ice machine, fill the tub to waist depth with cold tap water, sit down (yowza!!) then dump in the bucket of ice. I sat for about 15 minutes…mostly thinking about warm sunny beaches. I’m finding that any soreness I would have had is reduced/eliminated and I can run the next day with no issues. And I did.
This is my 16 mile turnaround tree. 8 out from Lower Macleay. I stop to give this tree a hug when I run by. I love this tree. There is this piece of bark on the side…
…I could go on, but I won’t.
I stepped over a few of these guys on the trail; the only fauna I saw for the day except a little mouse who was zipping ahead of me zig zagging down the trail trying to lose me. And he did when he zipped off the trail back in the woods. We ran together for about 15 seconds – long enough for me to think about taking my camera out and filming a mouse running in front of me. Mouse and man. Running through the woods.