Sunday, September 7, 2014

Run Journal - #19 (Pictures!)

I thought I'd add some pictures to liven (some of ) these run journals. Some runs are just around my neighborhood and quite the bore, but some are a little more interesting; like today's!

I was in San Antonio yesterday so I missed my group run, so just as I did a few weeks ago, I used the opportunity to head up to Sam Houston National Forest.

Run Details:

On the road again...
I know it looks pretty bright there in the picture, but I guess that's the camera trying to help out the low light conditions, because in reality the sun was just rising. On my previous trip, I guess my excitement about going up there the first time masked just how feakin' far away this place was, because this time it felt like it was taking forever. Door to trail it was about an hour and a half, though, so I guess that's not too bad.

Off the highway and into the forest
Finally, I parked and geared up. Today I was packing a phone (with the local maps saved in case of no cell service), a GPS watch, optical heart rate monitor, Nathan Water Bottle, and two energy gels.

Shoes: La Sportiva Helios (of course!)
I picked a different trail today, but still in roughly the same area. It was a bit more technical than before as it was closer to water and water flow is what carves out the ups and downs and uncovers roots.

Typical view for most of the run
Overall it was a good run. Eight miles is my longest run. Hitting a new "longest" on a trail run may not have been my best move, but in the end it wasn't too bad. I was tired but not wiped out. GPS based pace on trail runs is very difficult to get right, especially in situations like these with heavy tree cover and lots of switchbacks, so I mostly ran on feel.  The overall pace (doing 5/1 run/walk intervals) was around 11/min. per mile, which isn't great, but I can live with it. Trail runs are harder for me than straight road runs and GPS can only keep up with so many turns and twists so it tends to underestimate distance by a bit, meaning pace will be recorded a hair slower it otherwise would.

I really enjoyed the run, but three hours of driving is a pretty hefty price to pay for the pleasure. I've been thinking about camping up there next time. Also, I'd like to find a trail that includes some views. It's probably not hilly enough for long range vistas, but some water or open fields views doesn't seem like too much to ask. We'll see...

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