This week I shook things up a bit and knocked out my long run on a Thursday night. My wife and kid are out of town visiting family and my Mom is going to be here this weekend so a Thursday night long run made a ton of sense.
Trinity Trails is a large urban trail system in the city of Fort Worth. The Southwest Trailhead is roughly one mile from my house, so the majority of my runs that are over an hour long are on Trinity Trail1. It features both a crushed limestone trail and a concrete trail that run alongside each other and follow the Trinity River. The two trails converge in a few places, but for the most part you can pick your poison. It also features access to several neighborhoods, bars, outdoor shopping centers, parks and downtown Fort Worth. It's really one of my favorite parts of living in the city2.
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. My core tends to feel notably fatiaged after a long run with my hydration vest on. Today the pack weighed about 8lbs with the majority of the weight coming from my 2.5l hydration bladder, but I also ran with my Olympus E-M5.2 camera and Panasonic 20mm lens, weighing in at ~1.1lbs.
This was an enjoyable night run through a beautiful city. I'm working on a blog post on the tendency for trail runners to discount urban running as something you have to do for fitness. While working on it I realized I had very few photos of runs in my own city. I've always enjoyed running with a camera, even if it slows me down. When I'm not traveling for work I have a tendency to want to rush back to my house to be with my wife and kid, but since they are out of town I was able to rekindle a bit of that aspect of urban exploration.
My legs were pretty tired at the start of the run. Before I left the house, I foam rolled a bit and performed some dynamic stretches. This helped a bit, but I'm not overly worried about taking off on long training runs with tired legs, especially when I plan for either a rest day, recovery run or cross training the following day.
Overall, I'd rate my performance as good enough. I'll also note that I stopped and took pictures a few times. While I did pause my watch while I was doing so, long breaks can lead to stiffness which was something I noticed after one of my photo stops.
Not just a ton to report here. I ate a PB&J 90 minutes prior to heading out. During the run I ate four Honey Stinger Waffles and had four salt stick chews. Had it not been for the photo stops I would've only eaten three waffles, but I spent roughly 40 minutes taking pictures so I opted to eat one extra.
- I have a preferred route in my neighborhood that's a little less flat for runs less than an hour
- Their is an expansion scheduled to connect the trail to my neighborhood. Right now I only have one unprotected, busy street crossing, but I'm really excited to see that number go down to zero.