Monday, July 27, 2009

Just another manic Monday...

I had an interesting run at the park tonight. It was supposed to be a recovery day after a couple of long workouts over the weekend (allow me to digress).
Saturday morning I went out for my typical "long run" with the usual crew. We had one member of the group who has been running with us for a few runs, but who hasn't been around long enough to know all of our routes like the back of his hand. We also had a couple of slower runners who were good to hang with our average pace, but who were unlikely to hang if we pushed the pace. The plan for the run was a 15 miler, with a 2-3 mile pickup starting around mile 9. The first part of the run was fairly moderately paced, and the group held together nicely. Since the pickup was scheduled to take place in the River Oaks neighborhood (where it's pretty easy to get disoriented and turned around), I told the slower runners that we'd wait for them at any turns. So four of us picked up the pace a good bit, eventually dropping the new guy by a couple of hundred yards. At the first real turn, I doubled back to make sure the slower folks caught the turn, and, as I passed the new guy, told him to take the turn that was coming up. I went back about a mile, and never found the slower folks (they apparently had found a porta-potty on a construction site), so turned back around to catch up with the group. I continued on the agreed-upon route, and then fortuitously ran into the slower folks running in the opposite (wrong) direction (they had managed to miss a turn and get turned around). We ran to the next water stop where the rest of the crew was waiting... except the new guy. Apparently the guys in front had neglected to wait for him at the next turn, and he was somewhere off in the neighborhood. What to do? We were on foot. We eventually designated one guy to run around the neighborhood for an hour (we had about an hour left to run) while the rest of us ran back to the cars. When we got back, the new guy's car was gone. Apparently he had cleverly realized that he didn't know where he was going and had retraced the route. So I drove back to call off the search party. Overall a fun day (minus the drama and confusion), and I ended up with 17 miles at around an 8:30 average. My feet were killing me afterwards, and for most of the rest of the day.
On Sunday I did a 55 mile bike ride. I stopped to help one guy fix a flat (a good thing, too- his inflator didn't work), and ended up pushing pretty hard for the rest of the ride to catch up with my group. It was a beautiful day, a beautiful route, and I finished happy to have had the opportunity to push myself a bit (since the IM I've been long-riding a lot more socially rather than trying to see how close I can come to destroying myself. Both are fun; just in different ways). Afterwards I felt a nice burn in the quads when ascending or descending stairs, which is a sign of a good workout.
So, back to tonight... :)

Usually after the long workouts of the weekend, Monday is a recovery day. Somtime between the ride on Sunday and Monday morning my feet ended up feeling much better. I went to the park to run 6 miles, not really intending to run easy (I've been having too much fun lately running hard), but not really intending to kill it, either. I finished the first loop of the park in 20:35 (not too terrible, but a full 30 seconds slower than in my run last week), and then, noticeably disgusted at myself for my laxity (although, to be fair, I fully intended to run at least the first loop easier than last week), proceeded to run the second loop in 19:32, which is ~6:40 pace. The latter time may well be a PR for me for that loop (it helped that it was cooling down a bit from the 94 degree heat in which I started). I don't know whether to be impressed with myself (for the speed) or disappointed (in the lack of self-discipline). Either way, it was fun! So my total time for two loops ended up very nearly matching my total time from last week. It's time to set some goals for these hard runs. How about...
Before the Chicago Marathon (Oct 9), I will run one loop in sub 19 minutes (sub 6:30 pace), and I will keep my average for all of these two-loop runs to sub 7 min pace. Since I'm aiming for a marathon at 7:15 pace in October, I need to do something to get my speed where it needs to be...


  1. who are these "slow folks" you are talking about? ;)

  2. Sounds like Saturday was an adventure .... I'm planning to run this Saturday; I'll bring a map!