So far during this marathon training cycle, I have maintained an ultraconservative ramp up in weekly mileage, increasing distance by 10 percent or less. This past weekend held a 12-miler in store for me, as I would strive for 26 miles total. But then I ran with the Martini, and everything changed.
We got together Saturday morning for my long run, which required me switching my planned five-miler to Sunday. However, Martini's trail route would rearrange my plans.
This was the first time in a long time that I ran with Martini this year. He's been busy running multiple marathons and an ultra, while I have busy not doing those things. For Saturday's run, he took me on part of the Fools 50K course, which he ran in April and finished well under 6:30.
Martini claimed the run would be about 12 miles, linking together a variety of trail loops in northern Summit County. With the aggressive trails, I wore my New Balance MT101s, a low-heeled but stiff-soled shoe.
I carried with me a bottle of watered down Gatorade (orange G2) with chia seeds. It was the first time I have carried any sort of hydration or food during a run this year.
The morning temperatures were cool for the start, but it definitely warmed up by the end. Martini tracked the run with a GPS app on his phone, and the little electronic voice kept ticking off the mileage.
By the time we reached the last trail loop, we were already over 10 miles. I was starting to realize this run was going to be longer than planned. Everything felt fine up until that point, but I was already beyond my longest run of the year, which I logged last Monday.
We had been running at about 11 to 12 minutes per mile, a slower pace than most of my long runs this year but faster than most of my trail runs to date.
Martini's phone announced 11 miles, and my legs started to feel cramped.
I started trying to gauge how much farther we had to go, and the sound of 12 miles didn't make me feel hopeful.
I was just hanging onto the pace when I heard 13 miles, but I started to recognize the end was near -- one way or another.
Finally, we emerged from the woods to the rolling grassy hills of Pine Hollow. The final tally was just over 13 and a quarter miles, our final pace just under 12 minutes per mile.
The five miles I had planned for Sunday became four.