20 mile trail run

Phew – This last Friday I set out to do a 10 mile out and back trail run. Leaving from Sparks Lake out to Lava Lake and back. I completed it, but it kicked my ass. It was a good reminder at how much more difficult trail running is compared to road running.

Sparks Lake Trailhead

Sparks Lake Trailhead

I could not have asked for better weather. Mostly blue skies with some occasional clouds to keep things cooler. About half the trail was in old growth trees that provided ample shade. The trail itself was a mixture of soft sand, lava rock and solid single track. It was probably the most technical trail I have ever ran on.

My goal on this run was to prepare for the McKenzie river 50K next weekend. This included finding a pace that wasn’t too ambitious, ensuring all my gear was good to go and practice doing some walking/running. Overall I did pretty well. I made two big mistakes that made the last few miles a struggle.

1. Didn’t drink enough early on – I didn’t get started until 9AM and it was already pretty warm. I neglected to drink enough and I paid the price for it later in the day. My stomach wasn’t able to handle gels so I couldn’t fuel properly. It’s hard to drink when you aren’t that thirsty.

2. Ran the wrong direction – I left all the uphill for the way back, this made for a very difficult afternoon

Lava Lake Panorama

Lava Lake Panorama

Overall it was a hard run but fulfilling. It was the furthest I have ran since the Eugene Marathon and was very happy with how my recovery was from it. It was also a beautiful day to be on the trail, no complaints there.

Sparks Lake to Lava Lake runkeeper log

I finished the run about 1PM and was starving. I called in an order to Pilot Butte Drive-In for my favorite burger; Blue Cheeseburger, Fries and Strawberry Milkshake. I know I wiped out the whole run calorie wise with this one meal, but that is also part of the reason why I run, so I can continue to have a meal like this on occasion. Yum.

Pilot Butte Drive-In Blue Cheeseburger

Pilot Butte Drive-In Blue Cheeseburger