Monday, August 17, 2009

A scenic 20-miler

Yesterday was my first 20(+) miler of this training cycle. Our group met outside of town in the ski region of Hockley Valley. Our coach had sent out an email earlier in the week warning that some sections of the route would be "rather mountainous, but provides for a fabulous view from atop the north rim of the Hockley Valley. Don't miss it, it is worth the drive and effort!" I wasn't quite sure what we were in for.

It was another hot and sticky day, already pushing 30C/86F with the humidex when we set out. Unlike last week, we were not protected by overcast skies. Once the sun came up, it was a scorcher.

The route was beautiful, but extremely challenging. We faced hill after hill after hill with a few significant climbs. Coach wasn't kidding when he used the word mountainous.




We plodded along and took in the sights, ticking off the miles slowly but surely.

Quiet country roads (and some much-needed shade).






We eventually reached the top of the escarpment where we enjoyed this spectacular view.



We enjoyed a long downhill before making another brutal climb. You can see the road going up, up and up in the background - that's where we were headed!

And a group shot (that's me in front):




Around the 13-mile mark, we stopped briefly to load up on water, gatorade and oranges that our coach had stashed at a local inn. After that, the 7+ miles to finish seemed to go on forever.

This was the home stretch (more hills):




And we finally made it.

32.84K (20.4mi)
3:29:54
6:23/KM (10:16/mi)

[77.5K/48mi for the week]


Considering the route and conditions, I am definitely not disappointed with my pace. It was a hard run.

There was a pond on the property where we started and believe it or not, many of us actually went in for a swim. It was pretty deep and cooler than I expected, which felt amazing to soothe my sore, tired legs and cool me down. I took off my shoes and went straight in wearing my running clothes. Sorry, no photographic evidence. :)



Once I had dried off, the Recovery Socks went on.



After a feast of fresh baked goodies, fruit and chocolate milk, it was time to hit the road home. In the afternoon, hubby and I had the opportunity to go out on Lake Simcoe with his mom and her boyfriend and we had a cool, refreshing dip off the boat in the middle of the lake. My legs were definitely happy.

I hadn't eaten much all day, so by the time we reached shore I was starving. We stopped at Boston Pizza to replenish some calories with a delicious Tuscan pizza before heading home to crash.

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I have to get busy catching up!

42 comments:

joyRuN said...

I can believe it! I've looked at the ocean plenty of times after running & just wanted to dive in with everything but my shoes on.

Sounds & looks like a fantastic 20mi - great great job!! So awesome you got to run that with a group.

Shannon said...

Great job! That's an awesome pace too! Those mountains look sooooo steep!

Mel-2nd Chances said...

it was a scorcher this weekend, nice job on the run, and love the pics :) beautiful scenic spot too! :)

Laura said...

Whoa...that is a hilly run. I thought the 3 mini-hills I had yesterday were tough.
Congrats..another great job.

X-Country2 said...

Woo hoo! Sounds like your running group is pretty great. Orange slices and baked good? Almost makes up for the mountains. Almost. :o)

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

WOW that sounds tough. We tackled some hills with the double jogger this weekend, but not 20 miles worth.

That pond I bet felt amazing after a long humid run.

Your Recovery socks are cute..

You are going to KILL your Marathon next month, I seriously can't wait for you!! Makes me wish I was running "Marathon Redemption" next month too...but alas I am in 5K land. HEHEHE

Hugs, Mel

Jamie said...

That sounds and looks very tough for a 20 miler! Nice job on a great run!!!

HEATHER said...

must. get. my. own. recovery socks!! I keep seeing them, and keep putting it off, lol! Anyway, thank you for sharing those pictures, what a beautiful country road!

Denise said...

Yay!! A dip after the run sounds amazing!

jawsome said...

Awesome job - sounds like a great group to run with (and that pond at the end was perfect! I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to just run straight into the swimming pool)

ShutUpandRun said...

Man, 20 miles is a long way to go with all of those hills. Nice job!!

Jess said...

That looks like a beautiful area! Congrats on getting that big run done despite the heat!

Mark said...

Marlene, that is a fantastic effort! You are really on track for a great marathon! The pond sounds nice! Down here they are filled with Cows!:)

Heather said...

Looks like a beautiful run - nice job! Glad you got to take a dip in the pond after to cool off.

Kelly said...

Wow, see- much as I like good views, I get worried when people tell me I will see a good view on a run haha. That does look awesome though!

Marci said...

That looks like a great route, I really love hilly routes. Your running coach sounds so great, is that the running room? Our whitby rr does everthing by the book, it sounds like yours mixes it up which is great!!

Lacey Nicole said...

woohooooooooo! wow!!!!!! what a run! i bet you are feeling your quads with all those hills!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! soooooooooooooooo AWESOME jumping in the lake right after. i think you wrote about doing this before? i am SO JEALOUS! :) i would want the ocean or a lake... i am putting this on my life to do list,... wish it could be one of those ALLL THE TIME things :)

J said...

Great run and great job this week on the mileage! When I would go to the adirondacks to stay at my aunts cabin I would always jump in the lake after my runs! it just cooled me down and relaxed my muscles! Something about swimming after running was just fun!

ShoreTurtle said...

Terrific run! This run should add to your confidence. I'm impressed that you took pictures. I only managed one camera phone picture on my 20 miler yesterday.

Vickie said...

That sounds like you had an awesome run. I'm looking for a 20 miler myself. You did great!

Road Warrior said...

Great job on the 20+ miler. You're such a rock star.

trialsoftraining said...

I'm pretty sure I'd be happy with ANY PACE on a 20-miler :) nice run and beautiful pics!!

the summer runs *always* make me want to jump in a pool - that was a good idea, ha, love it! and also - you really can't beat a good pizza post-run. yummm!

Mama said...

Wow! That's quite a run!

MCM mama

The Happy Runner said...

Great job! Hills are tough -- 20 miles of them are tougher! Love the pics.

AZ said...

At least you had nice scenery for 20 miles. Mountains = nice to look at but not fun to run.

RoadBunner said...

Awesome job!! Looks like a beautiful place to run.

I Run for Fun said...

What an awesome run and swim! Solid workout, girl. You rock.

EndorphinBuzz said...

Beautiful. I love how long runs can bring you to such scenic places!

Boris T. said...

Great job and nice pacing. The "hills" look menacing.

Gotta Run..Gotta Ride said...

Training with a group makes the hard hills all worth while!!!!

What a great post and you SHOULD be proud of yourself. :))

Melanie Tait (Mel Tries to Run) said...

20 miles! Amazing. Well done. And what a terrific pace. No wonder you went for a swim. You should be totally proud Marlene. Terrific!

B.o.B. said...

Sounds like a tough run. Way to go! 20 milers are so worth it though aren't they? Great job!

Love the pics. You would kill the "hills" here in Florida.

ShirleyPerly said...

What a scenic run! I am soooo envious of that shade you had (seems like hurricanes have really thinned out the trees in my area). Great job getting your 20-miler done and nice pace too considering the difficulty of the course.

littlesack said...

that's a great pace for all those hills! you should be proud.

ps- I laughed out loud about your "not" pooping in the woods. I know that is going to happen to me once, so im prepared for the inevitability of it--but, i mean--there are so many logistical concerns I have about it!!

aron said...

AWESOME job on the 20!!! beautiful pics too :)

Toni said...

Great job on your run, the hills and heat are tough! Love the pics, so beautiful.

Patrick said...

Wow that looks beautiful-- but also VERY hot. You know it's bad when you can see the haze in each photo.

Congrats on conquering what appears to be a very difficult run!

I cannot wait until this heat subsides!

lindsay said...

that is a gorgeous run! definitely worth the crazy hills - and great for training! gahh i am so jealous! :)

nice job on the 20! those cool-water pond/lake/ocean dips after a run are the best -- i need to live/run somewhere where there is one nearby.

Christy said...

that looks AMAZING! I miss the countryside. city running sucks! Congrats on an awesome run girl!

Irish Cream said...

Oooh, so pretty! But daaaang, that is a crazy looking elevation profile! You definitely earned that dip in the water and pizza! :)

Fair Weather Runner said...

well i'm late in the game here, but WOOOZA, congrats on that hilly run! it looked beautiful but brutal. can't wait for your marathon!!

N.D. said...

wow sounds like a GREAT run!! I'd do 20 anytime with that scenery!