I met Bain and Patricks Murphy and Hughes at Difficult Run this morning for a long run. The "run" refers to a "stream" though the actual run wasn't easy per se. The recent rains turned the trail into a quagmire, but once you decided to take the plunge and get your shoes (really your entire legs) dirty all was fine. We ran across cold streams (one time it took my feet a 1/4 mile to regain feeling) and up and down muddy slopes. I had never run ANY of the trails we were on but I was very impressed. This route must have traversed every single horse path, deer trail and dog-walker loop in Fairfax County. We continued for miles running along part of the WO&D trail before exiting and returning to more muddy fun. I tried to push the uphills and through some of the slop in anticipation for the big dance next month. Surprisingly none of us fell even though there were ample opportunities to do so. We circled back and returned to the parking lot. I went out with Bain and tacked on another 2 miles (he ran 3 more). I finished the day with 18; my longest run since August or September. It was a 31 mile weekend and a 74 mile week (6 days).
I have been feeling very strong as of late. My training is going well, my hip is under control, I am doing workouts and even solid LONG long runs. The 3k next weekend will show me where I am at WITHOUT any basic speed work. I have about two months until the "5k circuit" starts and then about another 2 weeks until Cherry Blossom. Bring it on.