Long, Slow, Hilly Distance Run

This morning I awoke at five and felt like in could run the world. In my head I knew that I should do a longer run to make up for the bike ride I did Sunday in place of my LSD run.

Having hit the hay early last night and feeling super-charged when the alarm went off, it only took me ten minutes to get dressed and out the door.

My legs weren’t quite as compliant as my mind, however, and were refusing to move with any sort of bounce or lightness. My glutes and hammies were still tight after the long ride and weren’t going to let me move quickly today.

I headed off down the street and immediately chose the more challenging hilly route figuring that I was already moving slowly so I might as well make it count!

The morning was beautiful and cool at 70F with little humidity. There was also very little traffic at that time in the morning and the roads were pretty well empty.

At mile three I felt fabulous still and didn’t want to start heading home. I had water with me and some clif shot blocks, plus time to spare, so I turned off towards Evansburg State Park and some of my favourite trails.

The last time I ran out this way there was snow on the ground. I took a couple of cut throughs that used to be roads but have long since been closed off and have become overgrown. Having read recent articles about ticks and Lyme’s disease I found myself trying to avoid any long grass as I ran, and I tried to stay towards the center if the trail. I made a mental note to check my legs once I got home.

Once I reached the main road I decided to continue the adventure rather than head home and took another back road to an abandoned quarry. This led past an old abandoned bridge, and then runs parallel with a lovely part of Skippack Creek, then on to a very long and steep ascent through some overgrown woods up another old closed-off road. I’d only run this route once before and had taken some wrong turns so I quickly checked my GPS to make sure I was headed the correct way (which I was).

To finish off the run I tried a ‘short-cut’ from a busy road that leads up a very steep slope to a cut through to the local middle school. This reduced the amount of time I was on a busier road and had me heading back towards home.

All in all it was a wonderful run and such a great way to start the day.

Was I fast? No. In fact I was pretty darn slow with a pace around 8:54 for the 10.3 miles run. The route was particularly hilly though with a gain around 680 ft, so that’s nothing to be sniffed at around these parts.

Am I happy with that? Yes, today I think I am.

Here’s the map of Evansburg State Park.

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