August 5 (Wednesday) - 16 mile run from King Pine to the Maine state line and then the loop down into Freedom/Eaton and back. I've done this run a few times and parts of it multiple times. I've never done it this fast though. It's a very hilly run with almost 2200 feet of elevation gain over the 16 miles. A lot of the loop is dirt/gravel/ and the rest pavement. I had in the back of my mind before the start that I could average maybe 6:45s on this run even with a 8-9 minute 7th mile which climbs straight up for the entire mile from the Maine line. There's about 5 big climbs on this run and the rest you'd have to work for. I felt great until about 10 miles (just over 66 minutes) and then started to feel the effort. I was running slightly up tempo at that pace because my fitness isn't 100% but I was not killing myself on the hills and I was never running all out on the downs or flats because I was weary of the distance at this point in my comeback. I was keeping it honest but trying to plan for the entire run. If my watch said 6-anything or low 7 by the time I was splitting a mile, I was happy. But by 11, right before hooking a sharp right onto the climb up at Cushing Corner, I bonked hard. I had a gel with me but decided to push on without out it. I felt slightly better on the descent and flats but once I hit the last big climb up at 12.5 I was hurting badly. I almost had to walk. I just don't have the good strong climbing legs right now and my cardio was off. I felt strong but not strong enough to push the pace as I did earlier in the run. I survived the climb up to about 14 miles and then dropped for the most part during the last 2 and let gravity help me through the splits. It didn't help that it was pretty warm out and bright sunshine bearing down on me for most of the run. I do love the route though. It's quiet and honestly I'm not sure if I actually saw a car go by me the entire run. Too many off-leash dogs though (and by extension, asshole dog owners who should themselves be slapped instead of their dogs). I got run at by 4 dogs and barked at by another 4 at least. I can deal with the annoying barking as I run by but the chasing and jumping up for a mile down the road is unacceptable. I guess nobody ever accused these dumb hillbillies of being smart about anything so I guess owning an animal responsibly fits into that pretty nicely. 1:48:21 for the 16.1 (6:44 pace). Just under my target but had to work for it. Next time it will be easier.