My family left this afternoon for six days in California. I already miss them and don’t know what to do with myself. So I’ve been eating. Just polished off the “Candy Bar Classic” ice cream. Any cookies in the house?
Anyway, my first “official” week back from my running hiatus was last week and I had a good run of workouts for the most part. It’s 18 weeks to go to the marathon so it was also the “official” start of marathon training for me. And all other things being equal, I’m still trying to do more mileage in lieu of more intense training (like Gazelle intervals). So I managed 50 miles last week with the following:
monday: 8 miles at the firecracker with the stratford loop
tuesday: 7 miles on my own at the trail
wednesday: 7 miles on my own at the trail
thursday: tempo with Gazelles (7 mile TLT loop, last 4 @ tempo)
friday: 3 miles
saturday: 15 miles
sunday: 3 miles plus a little biking with the kids
I was encouraged by the firecracker as I did the last 3 or so near tempo pace. Tuesday and Wednesday were better than average recovery runs. Friday and Sunday were just filler miles, but they’re useful I think.
The tempo was a mixed bag I guess. It was the new route with the I-35 seven mile loop, with the tempo getting a flying start at the 4 mile marker. I preferred that to the line-in-the-sand 40-person time-trial race start we used to do at mile zero. I felt good on the 3 mile warm-up, and tried to discipline myself to actually run a true tempo (i.e. the ubiquitous “10k pace”). Of course I went out a little too fast the first half mile of the tempo portion (3.07?), though I still felt under control through two miles. But from there on in it was a struggle. Rich TheBig dusted me those last two, but I never really slowed down, so he must have hammered it. My splits were: 6.17, 6.22, 6.22, 6.22 for 25.25 total. That puts me at about the same fitness as February, maybe a little stronger. Not bad I guess for my first time back and with the weather and the new course. The effort was a little harder than I would have liked as I think back to recent tempos at near 6 even pace that seemed easier, but I’m in no hurry right now.
Saturday’s long run was a mixed bag too. Intended to run 12 easy, would have liked to stay on the trail but if you want to run with the group, got to make some sacrifices. Anyway, my course, my running partners and my pace were all over the map. Started at General Lee and made it to Enfield/LABlvd with one group at probably an 8:30 pace. Things got mixed up there and I went up Enfield and Exposition on my own. This portion was supremely pleasant as I felt strong, was taking it easy, and could run my own run. Over 35th and up Shoal Creek and my ankle/achilles started bothering me. I stopped to stretch and walk it out and then met up with the big crew doing 20 miles. Only ran with them for a few minutes when I saw Marc (new Gazelle, old college friend) running by himself. Ran with him all the way back 35th/Pecos/Scenic to LABlvd at probably a 9-9:30 pace. That pace is actually pretty hard with the pounding on the asphalt but it was nice to not be in a hurry and run with a friend (not that the rest aren’t friends). Finally though, at LABlvd I turned it up and made the last 3 miles home in around a 6:40 clip I guess. Total time out was 1h55m. Quite a bit more taxing then I intended.
Another Firecracker today and we notched it up 10 miles (seemed closer to 11), and my stupid ego (thanks Shannon!) got in the way. I should have just kept on keeping on, as I felt great the first 6 miles or so, but then I had to lope up with Fletch and Windham and they thoroughly dusted me while I limped home in 1h27m. Wasn’t keeping splits but I had one mile in there around 6:40. That’s a long, fast recovery run. But I did have one of those eerie runner’s moments where I’m skipping along with Steven and Jimmy and I’m just lost in a trance staring at my legs, like they were somebody else’s. Didn’t even feel like I was running, and it seemed we were all just floating along. Cool and strange.
Now with the family gone I’m hoping to run more the next couple of days. Doubles?! Especially since I’ll be out of town this weekend myself and it may be difficult to fit a run in. It’s the annual “Get Stupid with Nine College Friends” weekend so any distance running has to squeeze in between … well, you know. Last year I pulled a hamstring, lost a wedding ring, broke my sunglasses and got a flat tire. I hope to just come back in one piece this year.
Now, what to eat….?