With the Cleveland Half Marathon this Sunday the 18th, my last long run of ten miles was scheduled for this past weekend. With a busy couple of days ahead of me, I knew if I didn't get out there as early as possible there was no way I'd be running those ten miles. So, I managed to get myself up bright and early Friday morning and was at Edgewater Park by 6:30 am.
The nice thing about Edgewater Park is that it's a big loop. Technically there are two loops: the lower beach is one mile around while the upper loop is 1/2 mile around with a hill connecting the two. It's actually a very popular place for local races, such as the Next Step Run for Shelter 5K and the Garage Sale 5K. Because the loops are pretty precise in terms of distance it makes running multiple miles easy as you're essentially just running laps.
When I was training for the Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon I often went to some of the other Cleveland Metropark Trails for the express purpose of not running in a loop. I'd run a few miles in one direction then turn around and run back.
During this training, however, I found that running in loops isn't that bad. Especially when I'm running on the upper loop which is just about half a mile around. In theory, you'd think that attempting a ten mile run like that -- meaning twenty laps -- would be boring but it really wasn't. I just plugged my earbuds in, turned on my playlist, and went to work. I ran a handful of miles up there, then went down and did a couple laps on the lower loop, then headed back up to finish out my 10 miles.
I do have to take a moment to say that I love love love that the Cleveland Metroparks have taken over management of Lakefront Reservation (which Edgewater Park is part of). They've been managing the property for just about a year now and the improvements they've made have been incredible and with summer just around the corner, every time I'm out there these days I've seen the Metropark trucks making rounds, cleaning the beach, picking up trash, etc., in anticipation of warmer weather when the park and beach get super crowded.
A few weeks ago I saw a pair of blue jays flying around, this time I saw a woodpecker, a goldfinch, and a tricolored blackbird. I'm going to start keeping an eye out for more birds from now on.
After my ten miles I stopped at one of the picnic benches to stretch. Not a bad view, eh?
I'm glad I got out to the park as early as I did and not just because it was already 70 degrees at 6:30 but because I am a bit of a slow runner and those ten miles took me about 2 hours and 45 minutes to complete and I had a volunteer gig at the Western Reserve Historical Society at 11 am. When I walked into the library and the volunteer coordinator asked how I was and I mentioned I'd just run ten miles she said luckily they had lots of special projects that required sitting. Whew.
Between the run, the volunteering, and then grocery shopping, this is what my FitBit looked like by about 4pm.
Needless to say, I gave myself permission to veg out for the rest of Friday.
This was my last long run and I have to say I'm really happy with the Hal Higdon training plan I used and already plan on using it again when I start training for the RNR CLE half in a few months!
I'm so so so happy to be running outside again but because of the crazy winter we had I had to learn to embrace indoor running! So head on over to Jessica Gets Fit to read my guest post on how I learned to love the treadmill.
Love from the ashes,