This was a strange run for me today. I went on a 15.71 mile run today in the mountains, starting at Saratoga Gap and going to Horeshoe Lake and back. It seemed like I was running extremely slow and unable to maintain a good pace worth anything, eventually finishing in about 3:30. I don't think it was overly hilly, no more than I have done before, coming in at around 1,500 ft. of elevation gain. In fact I did a trail half marathon last year in 2:15 and that one had 1,600 ft. elevation gain.
I am at a loss for words why I was struggling this time. The usual suspect is that I didn't eat enough before and after, and that probably added a ton to why I had to slow and or walk a good portion of the hills. Another explanation could be that I hadn't ran that much since the Napa Valley Marathon earlier in the month, and perhaps this has hampered me a bit. If this is the case than I am glad I caught it now rather than next week when I run a trail marathon. Of course a week isn't much time to prepare, but I will do what I must.
One huge plus is that it did get me out there for a good amount of time to help acclimate my legs to the distance and time. This is a huge plus. And, incidentally, this was the longest training run I have ever done, so perhaps I am moving up in life and will be able to work towards bettering my Napa time!
There is always a positive in everything. Sometimes you just have to look deeper than you would want.