In the morning, we had the opportunity to run the stunning Orange Grove Trail...which is a 10 mile loop near Lake Louisa State Park (just beyond it actually as we found out). It's beautiful red dirt road which is pretty easy to run on.
See, here's a picture of a bit of the trail.
I actually love this trail, and find this run to be the best of the week.
Given I haven't been doing any hard running the past month, Coach Mark said to run the 19k fairly easy to moderate today (a loop and a bit of the trail)...making sure to have fun, while adding some steady effort in if I felt good and my calf didn't bother me.
I haven't actually downloaded my watch yet - but I ended up running with Beth, one of the other campers for most of 5-15km. This was great because she pushed me harder than I probably would've pushed myself, especially on such a warm morning. At the same time, I enjoyed the run immensely because I wasn't worried much about pace and the scenery was great.
On the last km, Beth finished strong...but I had another 3km to go, so I held back a bit. I crossed the one loop finish, and then turned around and ran a 1.5km out and back to finish my 19km workout.
At the end, Beth, Lindsay and I were thrilled to have had a great run. Honestly, it is mornings like this when you feel happy to be alive.
Really happy with how the run went, especially given yesterday's double-Sugarloaf day. Also, my calf didn't bug me at all...yea!
Watched a few others finish their workouts and cheered the last two guys in (one who ran an entire double loop since he's training for Boston).
We grabbed a Starbucks on the way home - and then had a very quick meal before we had to head out for our bike ride.
Oh, the bike ride. It was interesting to say the least...and definitely felt like a repeat of last year.
You see, last year, the coaches managed to get me (and the folks I was with) lost in both directions on the way to the Allen's Challenge (a fun event that involves watching people try and devour 11 scoops of ice cream and 6 toppings within 15 minutes). If you look at last year's post, you'll see I rode 75km instead of 60km thanks to our lack of directional ability.
While I joked about last year's directional challenges being the coaches' wanting me to do extra mileage...I kind of have to wonder about the truth of it when almost the exact same thing happened today. Except the route was longer this year, so it made the extra mileage even more challenging. Instead of the 35km easy that we were supposed enjoy on the ride to Allen's...our small group of 5 ended up going a good 50km to get to Allen's.
But, hey - we managed to find the ice cream spot after stopping several random people on the street and then at a fire station. Of course, thanks to our 15km delay...we got there after everyone else had taken a break and after one of the campers destroyed the Allen's Challenge record (held by Coach Mark) by something like 3 minutes. In truth, It looked like they were all just waiting around for us to arrive so they could leave.
I admit, I was disappointed. Watching that ridiculous challenge has been a highlight of camp the last two years. And being so late meant I didn't even get any ice cream.
Admittedly, part of that was the fact I decided to ride home (at that point, I figured I might as well go for the extra mileage) while the other 3 campers I was with opted to get a ride home from Allen's. I don't actually know if they got ice cream, but I hope they did. Meanwhile, I managed to down half a Dr. Pepper before I had to turn around and ride home.
Aside: I honestly don't recommend riding 90k in the heat on 1 gel and half a Dr. Pepper (after running 19k in the morning)..but I am proof it can be done. Thankfully I had plenty of water in my Camelbak and had brought an extra bike bottle full of water - so hydration wasn't an issue. Phew.
Thankfully, we got home without any detours. I admit that I rode around the resort's entry round-about 7 or 8 times so my watch would tick over to 90km. Because, well, now I've done a full 180km of riding in 2 days....along with my 19km run today and my 3k swim yesterday. That's actually not too far off an Ironman (another 22.2km of running and 800m swimming)...although it was spread out over a lot longer than the 17 hours I'll have next November. Figure it's a pretty darned good accidental simulation though. Right?
And really, if you're going to have extra miles - today was a perfect day for them. It was sunny and warm, but not as scorching hot as yesterday. Really, other than a bit of wind, it was a great day for a ride.
Got home in time to take a quick shower and then head out with my house to the camp dinner at the ESPN Club in Walt Disney World. I admit, I was pretty tired by then...but it was a fun evening spent with fantastic people.