45k ultra trail training run

This morning began with a good old soak in the lazy pool at the Alpenbad, the bubbles providing a much needed massage for sore legs and feet. Why? Yesterday was my longest training run ever. 45k with lots and lots of hills (3000 vertical metres according to the garmin, but I think it counts every pothole).

Boredom is rarely, if ever, a problem in Leutasch, where every corner brings a new picture-perfect view.  However, any run over 3 hours can be made easier with some distraction and this time I was happily entertained by a free audio download of “The Adventures of Sally by P.G. Wodehouse.

The terrain was mixed with long sections of wide gravel trails broken up by sneeky cuts through fields, along narrow root strewn paths and sometimes over knee deep snow.

Although generally enjoyable, this was certainly a testing run.  After 34k I passed the house and tried to eat the peanut butter and jam sandwiches that I’d carefully left in the barbeque for quick retrieval. Although my stomach said hungry, digestion of said sandwiches was not easy. The search for the ultimate ultra runners’ fuel continues…..

After 5 hours 5 minutes, I went through the marathon distance in a time that was certainly an all-time worst, and I had to try hard not to feel discouraged when I remembered that the actual Zugspizte Supertrail will be 62% longer with a couple of Alps thrown in.   That said, I finished the run averaging 7’12” per km and I’m hoping for 10 minues per km in the race so the pace is probably about right.

All considered, my legs and joints feel ok today.  Not bad considering that I coudn’t really walk for 3 weeks after the Karwendelmarsch in August.  Perhaps the attention to downhill technique is finally paying off, or perhaps the real Alps will find me out in time.  The snow is melting fast so soon they’ll be a chance to get up some proper peaks.  Bring them on!

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