Spring has arrived and so have the bikes on the Towpath! Of course, at 5:50am this morning, they weren't a problem but by the time I left around 10:30am, there were floods of bikes at Lock 29. It was a relatively small VR group run today. With the Michigan Trail Marathon next Sunday and many of the "regulars" in Boston this weekend, that was to be expected. Still, we had a great run. In preps for the Green Jewel 100K in 2 weeks, my personal goal was to go slower and get in 25-30 miles....gotta practice going slower or I'll never knock out these upcoming ultras. I did 3.5 before the 6:30am group run. We first headed north on the Towpath to Boston, turned right on Boston Mills Rd. and took this all the way to the Summit Bike & Hike trail....couple of REAL nice hills on this road. After the left turn on to the paved path, we followed this all the way to Holzhauer (sp?)...I think about 5 miles. We turned left again into the housing development and dead-ended at the top of the Carriage Trail. We hung a right turn and took the Carriage Trail down to the Towpath. At this point, most turned left to head back...for 18 miles. I, however, turned right and headed about 1.5 miles to Station Rd. where I turned around and headed back via the Towpath. Luckily, I met up with Chef Bill at Red Lock and he forced me to SLOW DOWN! He kept me company back to the Boston Store where he stopped for the day...he's tapering for Michigan next week. To mix it up a bit, I headed out from Boston and picked up the Buckeye Trail headed to Pine Lane. Unfortunately, I didn't switch up my running gait to LIFT up my feet over the roots and I took a nasty fall shortly after the first climb. On the way down, my left heel on my shoes jammed my right calf which caused an immediate cramp...DANG that hurt! I got up and continued on and took a left on the Valley Bridle Trail just before the rooty section of the Buckeye Trail...obviously, I was having issues with picking up my feet so no need to navigate those roots today! Once back to Pine Lane, I headed back to Lock 29. I was at 25.75 miles so I cooled down on the Towpath to get in an even 27 miles for the day. Oh yea, my "un-official" marathon time was 3:55 for 26.2 miles. Plus, "Mr. Garmin" says I burned a whopping 4100 calories! Yea!