Monday- 13 miles- 2hrs, 2x2.5 mile DOWN hills
With a day off I headed for the hills...literally. I love Virginia! This state has it all and it was great to drive out to the Shenandoah's for some quad work in the incredible mountains. I thought about going to the Priest mtn to run repeats on the 5 miles there that have 3,000 ft of climb, but thought better of it knowing a year without hills is a long time. Instead I went to rte 758 (Woodstock Tower road) that is part of both the Old Dominion 100 mile races. It is a 2.5 mile stretch of road that climbs 1200 ft. The dirt/gravel/blacktop road is a beautiful one with views of the valley below, shade producing trees, and a ton of switchbacks.
I parked at the top of the road and ran a warm up out and back on the miles 82-84 of the Massanutten 100 . Then I set off running down the big hill. The goal of the workout was to blow my quads out a bit. Nothing like repetitive eccentric contractions. I envision my quad muscles being like a piece of wood on a lathe....I apply the chisel (the downhill miles).... and the quads are striped of their fluff, leaving only the hardened sculpted core beneath.
The first downhill repeat went well with me just a coasting but still running near 6:00 mile pace (2.5 = 15:53) Downhills rock! Then I turned around and ran every step on the way back up just to prove I could do it. (Because I am stubborn or stupid?) It took 23:44 on the way up. I was a sweating mess after this and spent some time in the shade of my car eating clif shot blocks (the greatest invention since the wheel!) and drinking gatorade.
Round two had me still thinking I could do 3 repeats and I put in a bit more speed on the down hill running 14:36. Wow! I have not run 2.5miles that fast in a LONG time...again downhills rock. The second trip back up the mountain sucked. It was 93 degrees, humid, and I was tired. I walked most of it (2.5 =37min) and decided at the top that was enough for the day.
If I had a ride back up.... I would have ran down once more....I simply didn't want to face the climb back up again.
Post run I celebrated America and its wonderful ways by having a home-made strawberry milk shake from a Ma & Pa's shop, then a grilled chicken sandwich with tomatoes and provolone cheese on wheat from Sheetz (made in like 33 seconds!) all washed down with a 44oz fountain soda. mmmmmm excessive-ness!!!! It was so missed when I was in the middle east!