Like last Saturday, I knocked out my long run at the Benbrook Equestrian Trail. This was my peak week before Bandera on January 10th (early taper due to a multiday hike). Overall, my legs felt pretty good despite the relatively high load the past two weeks.

This was sort of a special run, since it was also my 29th birthday! That means instead of a recovery chocolate milk, I had a fantastic sheet cake ala mode that my wife prepared while out running.

Course Notes

The Equestrian trail is about 14 miles out-and-back if you start at the Northern trailhead. I habitually park at a pull-off closer to the Marina and from my parking spot to the southern terminus is closer to 6 miles or 12 out-and-back. On Saturday, I ran and out-and-back + a repeat of the tougher 3 miles (southern end) of the trail for a total of 18 miles.

Training Goals

This long run was being done in preparation for the Bandera 50K in January. My goals for this run were to:

  • Help my legs adapt to long runs
  • Practice nutrition and hydration strategies
  • Unrelated to Bandera, but practice running with my pack so that I can go on longer, unsupported runs. Historically, my core tends to feel notably fatiaged after a long run with my hydration vest on. Lately it has not, probably because I've been doing my long runs with the vest.

Overall Sentiment

A bit slower than last week and a little less flow than last week. That's ok, you can't always count on flow during a race. I woke up in the morning with some slight soreness in my left achilles, but at this point it wasn't anything to worry about. Overall, I felt good and was happy to be outside for a few hours.

Performance

I was a little sluggish, but I wasn't thinking about my pace much. To be fair, I wasn't thinking about it much last week either and held a quicker pace. As mentioned above, I had some slight soreness in my left achilles when I woke up. I went ahead and ran (in Altras no less!). The soreness did not increase as I ran and I didn't wake up with any soreness the next day. I ran more hills than normal last week, which I think attributed to the soreness. I'm also still a little new to zero-drops (~3 months in my Escalantes less in my Lone Peaks), so I may not be fully acclimated.

Nutrition

I had a bowl of cereal and two cups of coffee about an 1.5 hours before leaving my house. I also had a few slices of bacon just before heading out the door. Every 45 minutes I ate a honey stinger waffle. Nothing much to report here, I felt good.