Goal today was to get in a preview of the 15.5 mile Big Brad Ultra loop, starting at the Bradbury Mountain main parking area (as opposed to the school). I did most of it... but got a bit lost at times. That's alright, getting in about 75% or so of the correct trails was pretty satisfactory.
I should know these trails better than I do, but whenever I run here, it's usually with a group and someone else is leading. I haven't had to pay much attention to where I was going, making me the man who was given the fish but was not taught how to fish.
I started off with Ian, Zak and Nathan but my right heel was bugging me after a few miles so I opted to slow down. That, and I'm rusty. Nathan hung back a few times to make sure I was making the correct turns, but I missed the Fox West trail and was going down the snowmobile trail at one point, trying to remember if that was part of the course (I verified it wasn't when I got home).
As for the heel, I've been wearing the Saucony Peregrine 3 shoes from last year... the same ones that gave me trouble back then as well. I'm only wearing them now because I blew out my New Balances, and the Peregrines have actually served me well this spring up until now... but now they're also blown out (huge tear on the left side of the left shoe), so they've been given a fitting death. Will do some research today on what pair I want to try next. I've had several adequate trail shoes before, but I've still yet to find a pair that's perfect, or at least somewhat close to perfect. I suspect the heel pain will go away with a better fitting shoe, just like last year.
Anyway, back to the run... despite the rust and the heel, it went quite well. Pace was very slow, but that was intentional. I just wanted to get in the mileage and get a good visual of the course. Towards the end, could not find the Lunchbreak Hill turnoff to save my life. Was a bit frustrated by that, but decided to just continue down the Terrace Trail and call it good.
Ran 13.8 miles @ 12:04/mile pace.
Upper 50s to mid 60s, mostly cloudy, humid.
Saucony Peregrine 3, shorts, short sleeved shirt, handheld bottle (water).