I ran this morning 21km. Man, am I wiped.
I made a mistake. I ran the wrong way.
There is a clear and easily defined route of about 18.5 km, and it is easy to extend by running out an extra km here or there to increase the distance. The route, as the BS Running Club usually runs it is out to the 10, right on the 375 until Elah Junction, right on the 38 passing Zechariya towards Bet Shemesh, right on Tzeelim and up to RBS. From my house to my house that is about 18.5km.
But I ran it backwards. The route as it is has two very large and steep hills near the end of the run that make the end very difficult. if those hills were at the beginning of the run it might not be so bad, but they are at the end. You hit these hills when you are already tired from running for so long.
So, I thought I could avoid these large hills by running it the other way. Sure there would still be hills, but nothing so bad. There would be a long gradual incline, but very slight. I calculated it was a better direction.
Boy was I wrong.
While I saved those steep hills, there was far more uphill than I remembered, even going in the opposite direction. Let's put it like this: there is a reason the club runs the route in the direction it does and not the other way.
There was a very long, though not steep uphill towards the peak above Zechariya. Then there was another long hill after Zechariya. Then after turning left at Elah Junction and running along the 375, the whole road in that direction is uphill, albeit most of the time at a slight incline, but in some sections more seriously.
When I hit about 16 km or so I started to feel wiped. Like I was running on fumes. The hills had gotten to me. I pressed on and finished the run at 21km, but I didn't extend the run as much as I thought I might. I only extended it enough to get it up to 21 - rather than the 24 I was considering. I wanted to hit 21, so I cut it at that. The thought of 24 was dependent on how I would be feeling, and at 21 I was feeling like I had had enough.
It was a great run, and as far as the view is concerned, running the same route all the time gets a bit monotonous. Running it backwards is a nice way to break the monotony - seeing the course from the opposite perspective is nice sometimes.