Last run before the Beach to beacon. I decided to do the pit loop which is mostly off road running. This is a 3 mile loop that starts from my house. It is a good run that allows for some speed at the end but still has a couple pretty good hills in mile 2.
I hit the half mile mark at 8:22 pace but did well warming up as I reached the 1st mile at 7:33. At this point the course is a packed dirt road which has a little give as pushing off so it slows the pace some.
At 1.5 the course veers up a little hill into the woods behind an old gravel pit that is now a water reservoir. This is where the horse flies (some call them deer flies) are waiting for dinner. 6 or 8 were quite happy to have me meandering through the woods as they apeared quite hungry.
As the trail winds up hill the terrain becomes very soft sand and this is quite difficult to run in. I find myself landing more flat footed and leaning back a bit. As if the soft dirt is not bad enough, the trail starts up a pretty good grade and follows the rim of the pit.
The uphill is scattered with some loose rocks, many hidden by leaves, a bunch of dirt mounds (which I assume were created for anti errosion) many old branches and the occasional horse dropping. Plenty of things to keep your mind off the fact that the pounding of the breath precedes the fatigue of the legs and the slower pace allows the flies to catch up and swarm.
The view down the pit slop to the quaint pond below and the vegitation on the opposite bank always lift my spirits as I climb this hill. Once at the top one would think their problems were over, but there is a downhill that is plastered with various sized loose rocks. It is very difficult to negotiate a place for the feet in flat areas and not twist an ankle.
Once past the rock grove, you turn out onto the road for a 7/8 mile tar-road finish. Right at the turn you have to work a fairly steep but short hill then it is a slight downhill before a flat .7 mile finish.
I love the finish as I can get a pretty good kick and it ends right at my house so the walk is short to get in my pool cooldown.
I ended today at about a 7:45 pace ...I figure just fast enough to feel the workout but not so demanding that I jepodize my condition for the race in three days. probably the perfect workout.
After a short walk to catch my breath, it was very refreshing to dive into the pool for a few cooldown laps. The only drawback to the evening was watching the Red Sox fall apart....more errors than little league I think!