8.2 mi. Today was supposed to be a rest day. Business travel has me in Southern Virginia and here is an opportunity to run in the daylight, on a trail with rolling hills. A way better option than rural roads in the dark with no sidewalks… Tomorrow will now be my “off” day!

Screen Shot 2018-06-25 at 10.54.16 AM 1How is it still 90 degrees at after 6 pm? The park has shady spots and exposed trails, but in order to finish in the light, I have to start now. There were a few trail hike/walkers and dog walkers on the trail. The loop was about 2.8 miles, not as long as the lady at my hotel claimed. She said 4 miles. I did 3 loops, starting and finishing on a long boardwalk.

I brought a regular water bottle with me and didn’t use all 12 ounces. Along the run, I saw an otter in the river, 3 deer feeding in a new cornfield, and fireflies. Those don’t come to Florida, and I only saw them in the forest shady section. My final loop had a breeze pick up, clouds roll over, and the start of rain. The breeze blew trail dust all over my legs and face, one eye caught something – but it cleared quickly. When I went onto the open portion of the trail, I was rained on along with a father & son walkers and three ladies on the trail hiking. They saw the three deer that scampered back into the woods when the rain intensified.

I can say that my run fitness in marathon training is good, but I have to increase what I do for the quads and downhill running. This was not a difficult trail, but for me running downhill wasn’t the feeling I should have. I felt myself pulling back on the dirt downhills, definitely adding stress to my legs as I resisted the incline pitch. I could not have run a full 26 miles with all the downhill predicted, even at a slight grade.

This is an important discovery two months from the New England Green River Marathon. I should avoid writing anything in the post-race blog entry about hills and unpreparedness because I know it needs work and attention. I can augment some of my training for this over just Blue Heron Bridge runs. I like the thought of pounding up hills sitting on the mountain bike!

Screen Shot 2018-06-25 at 10.54.27 AMHere’s the trail system – I’d return and run this route again – maybe I’ll have that opportunity before the end of August!

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