We had an awesome run in the gorge on Sunday! With the low snow levels we had to get creative and the route we came up with got us over 25 miles and 6400 feet of climbing in just over 5 hours. It was a great back to back weekend for me with hill repeats then this run. We started at 7:30 a.m. just as a burst of rain showers began forcing me to head back to my car to gather a jacket. Of course once I got the jacket on it stopped raining and I was sweating. That is how the weather acted all day, it would be sunny and warm then the dark and rainy. Our route took us all over the Angels Rest/Multnomah Falls/Wahkeena parts of the gorge so we got lots of good climbs and some rocky terrain which was a total blast. The rocks were slippery and I decided to use one to help me over a creek but ended up sliding down the side of it onto my butt. Not a bad fall but it left me dirty! :) We thought we would run into snow on the top of Angels Rest but the trail was clear and only patches remained on the hills along side the trail. Micheal, Stacey, Steve and I were all busting butt pretty good and after about 3 hours of running we came to Wahkeena Falls. From the parking lot it's a nice climb back up to the ridge so we thought this would be the perfect time to throw in some threshold running. Micheal took off running and I followed while Stacey and Steve ran/walked to the junction. I forced myself to run every step and work hard to see how my body would respond as we neared the end of this run. I felt great and strong. This particular climb is a made up of lots of switchbacks so it was fun to see everyone. In the picture to the right you can see Stacey making her way up the switchbacks hot on Steve's heels. After that little bit of threshold work all of us were ready to take on the last climb of the day back up to Angels Summit. A rather chatty group all of sudden became very focused. Leading the way was Micheal followed closely by Stacey while I took a break to filter more water. Once we reached the Angels Summit it was 2.2 miles of good downhill running to the car. I cranked up my headphones and raced down this last hill in a manner that seemed to be effortless and fresh. It was the perfect ending to my Peak week before Leona Divide 50M and was a much stronger effort than the week before. I AM ADAPTING!
Monday was OFF! Whew....I need it to catch up on life stuff. I let so many things pile up and it was nice to get things in order. Today was a whopper of a track workout calling for 2X1000M and 2X1200 meters at R-Pace meaning I only got 70% of interval time to recover. I was on fire at the track today! I was doing my 1000 meter at a 6:17 mile pace and felt comfortably taxed so I bumped up my 1200 meters to a 6:09 mile pace. Those were harder but easy to maintain and I think I could have done 2 more. I left feeling really jazzed at the effort. My tempo run this Thursday will be shorter than usual and my weekend only calls for a 2.5 hour run with 20 minutes at threshold on Saturday. The next week will be race week so no new or hard workouts. I feel good about my fitness going into Leona and am really looking forward to the race. I love the 50M distance because it's just long enough to fall apart and come alive again. :)