A scenic 20-miler

Yesterday was my first 20(+) miler of this training cycle. Our group met outside of town in the ski region of Hockley Valley. Our coach had sent out an email earlier in the week warning that some sections of the route would be “rather mountainous, but provides for a fabulous view from atop the north rim of the Hockley Valley. Don’t miss it, it is worth the drive and effort!” I wasn’t quite sure what we were in for.

It was another hot and sticky day, already pushing 30C/86F with the humidex when we set out. Unlike last week, we were not protected by overcast skies. Once the sun came up, it was a scorcher.

The route was beautiful, but extremely challenging. We faced hill after hill after hill with a few significant climbs. Coach wasn’t kidding when he used the word mountainous.

We plodded along and took in the sights, ticking off the miles slowly but surely.

Quiet country roads (and some much-needed shade).

We eventually reached the top of the escarpment where we enjoyed this spectacular view.

We enjoyed a long downhill before making another brutal climb. You can see the road going up, up and up in the background – that’s where we were headed!

And a group shot (that’s me in front):

Around the 13-mile mark, we stopped briefly to load up on water, gatorade and oranges that our coach had stashed at a local inn. After that, the 7+ miles to finish seemed to go on forever.

This was the home stretch (more hills):

And we finally made it.

32.84K (20.4mi)
3:29:54
6:23/KM (10:16/mi)

[77.5K/48mi for the week]

Considering the route and conditions, I am definitely not disappointed with my pace. It was a hard run.

There was a pond on the property where we started and believe it or not, many of us actually went in for a swim. It was pretty deep and cooler than I expected, which felt amazing to soothe my sore, tired legs and cool me down. I took off my shoes and went straight in wearing my running clothes. Sorry, no photographic evidence. πŸ™‚

Once I had dried off, the Recovery Socks went on.

After a feast of fresh baked goodies, fruit and chocolate milk, it was time to hit the road home. In the afternoon, hubby and I had the opportunity to go out on Lake Simcoe with his mom and her boyfriend and we had a cool, refreshing dip off the boat in the middle of the lake. My legs were definitely happy.

I hadn’t eaten much all day, so by the time we reached shore I was starving. We stopped at Boston Pizza to replenish some calories with a delicious Tuscan pizza before heading home to crash.

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I have to get busy catching up!

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42 thoughts on “A scenic 20-miler

  1. I can believe it! I've looked at the ocean plenty of times after running & just wanted to dive in with everything but my shoes on.Sounds & looks like a fantastic 20mi – great great job!! So awesome you got to run that with a group.

  2. WOW that sounds tough. We tackled some hills with the double jogger this weekend, but not 20 miles worth.That pond I bet felt amazing after a long humid run.Your Recovery socks are cute..You are going to KILL your Marathon next month, I seriously can't wait for you!! Makes me wish I was running "Marathon Redemption" next month too…but alas I am in 5K land. HEHEHEHugs, Mel

  3. must. get. my. own. recovery socks!! I keep seeing them, and keep putting it off, lol! Anyway, thank you for sharing those pictures, what a beautiful country road!

  4. Awesome job – sounds like a great group to run with (and that pond at the end was perfect! I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to just run straight into the swimming pool)

  5. Marlene, that is a fantastic effort! You are really on track for a great marathon! The pond sounds nice! Down here they are filled with Cows!:)

  6. That looks like a great route, I really love hilly routes. Your running coach sounds so great, is that the running room? Our whitby rr does everthing by the book, it sounds like yours mixes it up which is great!!

  7. woohooooooooo! wow!!!!!! what a run! i bet you are feeling your quads with all those hills!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! soooooooooooooooo AWESOME jumping in the lake right after. i think you wrote about doing this before? i am SO JEALOUS! πŸ™‚ i would want the ocean or a lake… i am putting this on my life to do list,… wish it could be one of those ALLL THE TIME things πŸ™‚

  8. Great run and great job this week on the mileage! When I would go to the adirondacks to stay at my aunts cabin I would always jump in the lake after my runs! it just cooled me down and relaxed my muscles! Something about swimming after running was just fun!

  9. I'm pretty sure I'd be happy with ANY PACE on a 20-miler πŸ™‚ nice run and beautiful pics!!the summer runs *always* make me want to jump in a pool – that was a good idea, ha, love it! and also – you really can't beat a good pizza post-run. yummm!

  10. Sounds like a tough run. Way to go! 20 milers are so worth it though aren't they? Great job!Love the pics. You would kill the "hills" here in Florida.

  11. What a scenic run! I am soooo envious of that shade you had (seems like hurricanes have really thinned out the trees in my area). Great job getting your 20-miler done and nice pace too considering the difficulty of the course.

  12. that's a great pace for all those hills! you should be proud.ps- I laughed out loud about your "not" pooping in the woods. I know that is going to happen to me once, so im prepared for the inevitability of it–but, i mean–there are so many logistical concerns I have about it!!

  13. Wow that looks beautiful– but also VERY hot. You know it's bad when you can see the haze in each photo.Congrats on conquering what appears to be a very difficult run!I cannot wait until this heat subsides!

  14. that is a gorgeous run! definitely worth the crazy hills – and great for training! gahh i am so jealous! :)nice job on the 20! those cool-water pond/lake/ocean dips after a run are the best — i need to live/run somewhere where there is one nearby.

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