With my marathon only four weeks away, the amount of time required for training is peaking. You'll have to forgive me but because of the time spent training it ends up being pretty much the only thing I talk about. This past Saturday was a 19 miler. A little over three hours of straight running. About the time my runs passed ten miles, the straight line urban runs turned extremely monotonous. I had become too accustomed to my route, both for my sanity and for my ability to grow as a runner. I knew exactly the places I could cheat, knew how to time the traffic lights if I was feeling tired, and barely ever had to deal with a hill.
Someone at work tipped me off to the >8 mile loop at Kensington Metropark. Last week I did the loop twice. This week I did two loops plus a spur out on a horse track.
When you're out there, on your own for that long, running, it really shapes the experience of your weekend. So much so that, when the question is asked, what I did this weekend, the default answer is simply "I ran".
As I said to myself "Iran". I realized I must share this MAD TV classic.
The point is, runs this long become an experience and get you in touch with a certain Place.
The Kensington run exposes me to hills, unknowns, extreme winds and a challenge I can't find in my own back yard. Google says that there is only about an 80ft vertical range to the run but with all the hills throughout the course, it really begins to add up.
It doesn't look like much as a Google track, but it sure takes some effort!