Had a great trail run with James and his dog Maurie down in Ipswich, Massachusetts. James was in the area visiting family, and I decided to meet up with him for something we had both hoped for and received: A long trail run with absolutely no trace of snow!
We met at the elementary school which also serves as the start/finish for the Stonecat 50, and we ran two modified loops of the 12.5 mile route. We got thrown off track a few times, but never by much.
First loop went great, as we just trotted along at a slow pace (James also had a big run yesterday, 24 miles on roads) and we chatted about everything, including some preliminary plans for the Massanutten 100. I'll be pacing James at that race, which is an honor and it will no doubt be a lot of fun.
Somewhere along the first loop, we encountered the horrific stench of something dead and decaying. It was very strong and had both of us gagging. We never saw the rotting corpse of whatever it was, but boy, did it stink. I've smelled plenty of dead things before, but nothing could quite compare to this.
We finished up the first loop and ran back to our cars to replenish our water and also stretch a little. Afterwards we were off for our second loop. During one of our wrong turns, we encountered a gargantuan, wicked steep hill that neither of us had ever seen before while running here. We were clearly off course, but decided that to not to tackle such a hill would be a waste, so we decided to get to the top and then run back down it before finding the correct trail. I marveled at James' speed while running down the hill, especially one that steep. That boy can really book it.
As this loop went on, we both began to feel a little tired from our respective death marches from the day before. By the time we hit mile 20, we both felt we were on the verge of bonking. Neither of us really brought any food, and had only eaten one Larabar each during the run. Maurie the dog, however, looked very fresh and continued to take the lead with great energy. That's one neat dog.
But we brushed our lack of energy aside and ran on. Fortunately, neither of us really totally bonked, and we even picked it up a little the last couple of miles. We both agreed it's finishing off runs like this that really can help mentally.
After we reached our cars, we stopped for pizza in downtown Ipswich. I mowed down an entire large pizza with no problem. Yep, I guess I was hungry.
Worth noting the Asics shoes and Nathan waist pack continued to perform excellently. Money well spent.
Ran 25.2 miles @ 9:52/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 135/159
Lower 40s, overcast.
Shorts, long sleeved shirt, short sleeved shirt.
Not sure what's up with the elevation there in the last mile, but the rest appears to look relatively okay: