Friday's long run was absolutely amazing. Originally scheduled to be a 34km run to Rehovot, it was changed to a semi-local 34km run. I had not run all week, so I was really itching to get out. I had never run this route before, so I was looking forward to it.
The route was from Bet Shemesh to Tzomet Nachshon, to Latrun, then somehow to Al Derech Burma to end the run. It was unclear whether we would be running from Latrun via Highway 1 or if we would be finding our way via the trails.
I started the run from RBS with my running partner, and we ran hard. he is faster than me, and I suspected I would not be able to keep up, though he was planning on running a little bit slower than usual. The run included a few major hills, including at least leaving Bet Shemesh, the President's Forest climb, the Har'el climb, and perhaps more depending on the route.
The first 20km I ran very hard, a lot faster than normal. I paid for it in the second part of the run. The first half was great. I felt great, the pace was fast, and the weather and run were beautiful.
After a short water break at the Tzomet Nachshon gas station, we headed out toward Latrun. The Highway 3 was at an uphill gradient, and I started to struggle after a bit. I could feel wiped out from the first half running too fast. My running partner preferred to run through the trails rather than Highway 1, so we did. he had planned a route through Neve Shalom and the Burma Trail.
We took the turn-off from the highway at Neve Shalom and before we knew it, we saw a major climb ahead of us. The mountain toward Neve Shalom was a long and steep climb. It was tough, but we did it. After that was probably even a tougher section - trail.
The Burma trail is not bad terrain, but running it barefoot is still not easy. I had to run it at a very slow pace, constantly searching for good footing. Parts of it were smoother, and parts rougher, but the last 5km were slow going. It was also a bit painful, but not bad. The terrain and views were beautiful, and it ws nice to be on a new route that I had not run before.
I finished the run at 31.5km, and did not feel like extending it, due to sore feet, to complete the 34km.