Definitely not what I was expecting when I set out for a run this morning. I had no doubts it would be tough. 12 miles on the trails at Fort Benjamin Harrison State Park wouldn’t be easy. But I didn’t expect it to be this hard.
The humidity was almost 100%, but it was in the mid-60’s at the start. I wore my vest to get used to it and had both bottles full of water and a random veggie protein gummies for some food. I hadn’t needed anything yet so I felt safe with that.
I set my virtual pacer at 8:40 and set off from the Lawrence Ceeek trailhead and ran towards Delaware Lake. I stopped to take a rock out of my shoe and was able to hit goal pace for mile 1.
That would be the last time I would see an 8 minute mile through out. I haven’t run in that part of the park in awhile but I got through the wooden steps and ran the Fall Creek trail to the Camp Creek trail and past the Duck Pond. Somewhere in here I took my first walk break. I felt tired. I came back down around Delaware Lake and onto the paved bike trail back towards my car and the Schoen Creek trail.
The Schoen Creek trail is a tough trail that I ran a few times when we were here in January. I was glad to see afterwards that I got some segment PRs despite not running superfast today. My thought process had been to run the East side easier trails as a warmup, then Schoen as they are the hardest and end with the Lawrence Creek loop as it is easier than Schoen and I’ve run it a lot more.
Schoen is hard with lots of ups and downs and it seems like it goes forever! Since I had just ridden it yesterday it didn’t seem as long, but I guess since I was running so slow it did take forever! Also running the trail doesn’t seem as dangerous as I thought it was riding it (some of the trail is on the edge of the hill).
I knew the distance was going to be close at the end of the run. Seeing the road bikers do repeats up the hill I was inspired to run up the hill to the visitor center and get a sustained hill in the middle of the run. Getting up there I finished my gummies and wished I had more food. I ran around the flat area on top and did an extended walking break. Then back down the hill and onto Lawrence Creek trail.
I figured the trail would be busier than the others so I took my headphones out so I could hear bikes approaching me. Turns out none passed me until the last half mile and then it was a bunch! I kept trying to set goals to keep myself running and not walking. Finally I was determined to go a whole mile without stopping and completed Mile 10 without stopping and ran a lot of it around my goal pace even if the overall mile time was still in the 10 minute range. I added the Camp Glenn loop to get some extra miles in and that was a nice easy trail. I passed a dad out with his kids and he said hello and his kids asked if we were friends! After completing that mile I walked for a few minutes and then set out running again. Somewhere in there I decided that I needed to run at a slower pace so that I could keep running. That worked fairly well, but I still walked a little at the end of mile 11. Next goal was to run all of the last mile. Which I did except to let the bikers go by. There was probably 8 that went by in a short period of time. After finishing the 12th mile I walked a little bit but when I came upon the exit trail I knew I could keep running it.
So bam I finished. 12.34 miles in 2:18:56. 11:15 average pace. My virtual partner was set at 8:40. So I was pretty far off that. I think the travel and walking around at the Indiana State Fair caught up with me.
I also need to make sure I take better nutrition and add a bottle of electrolytes to help get me over the hump.