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Phoenix Lake Pikermi RR/Time Trial.

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I'm adding that "Time Trial" to the title for a few reasons. First, there was no race. Next weekend my tune-up Pikermi was on the schedule for SFO training. Then I was told the company has our annual meetings at the same time, and I'll be in Houston this coming Thursday - Saturday. Without much thinking, I just switched the weekends on my training plan. I looked into an actual race on May 27, but everything was too far away except for a trail race. I'm scared of trail races. Someday, when I'm not in marathon training and don't care if I turn an ankle I'll probably try one. But I wasn't set to travel, with Big Mac coming home just a couple of days before. There was a low key affair in Kalamazoo - $30 for a Pikermi on the Kal Haven rails-to-trail, two hours from here. That would still take up the whole morning. Nope. This would be just me and the local roads. It's only one week ahead of where I usually like it, but a week early is a week early.…

It's not an up and down ride to a marathon.

Will you look at that? I'm half way through training for San Francisco. Nine weeks down, nine to go, and of course the last three are taper weeks, so just six hard ones. It's going to get warm again before I'm done. That'll be bad. But it should set me up to feel amazing on a cool Sunday morning in SFO. That'll be good. Monday - Eight miles with six tempo. Ran the Cartwright Snake. It's a hundred feet of climb on the out, half of that in the last mile. Windy, but cloudy so not too hot. 74, if I remember right. Hal wouldn't transmit after the run. I recorded the splits in my log, but don't have them here. What I do remember is that the average was 7:34. First three were closer to 8:00, the last one was 7:08. I guess I'd say it was comfortably hard, but just barely so. And that's the right way to do it if you're trying to get faster. I am. Ended up doing a full reset of the Prince, hoping that would take care of the sync issue. Since I also lo…

Note to Self: Heat Sucks.

Yeah, so it was just last Thursday that I was all "woe is me!" about my plans on attacking 3:20 in San Francisco. Went out too fast and flamed out spectacularly in Monday's tempo. Could barely make mile repeat pace in a set of 1200s on Wednesday. Struggled to finish a slow run that felt like a death march. And that was the good day. Thursday I hoped for a decent run but it was a fool's hope. It was hot - 87 according to Siri. 88 at weather.com, and 93 at the bank down the street. Sustained winds were 30 mph, gusting to 50. The winds helped in the first half and there were a couple of decent miles. The last three just as well might have been up the stairs of the Empire State Building. My slowest pace still required a monumental effort. Mrs. Dave happened to pass by on the road on her way to some errand and the honk and wave was a pleasant interlude, but it was about a quarter mile farther on that the gale, the heat and the humidity finally forced me to a walk for 10-…

Look - Here's a Wall.

Monday - Tempo. Bumped from 7 miles to 8 this week, with 6 @ tempo pace. Of course I'm dealing with cumulative fatigue - a state I'm going to be in for the next 7-8 weeks, so I'm just sucking it up. It does give me a little tickle of anxiety when I think about going that extra mile. But, whatever. I feel like I'm not doing very well at getting the pace locked in. Probably because I'm trying to go faster than I have before. It was a pretty nice day, although still not used to the warmer temps. What happened was that the first tempo mile was about right (7:33), the second was perfect (7:19), but felt too hard. The second half of this was going to get ugly. Thought I was slowing down a bunch in the third, but it was 7:11. Gah! Good for speed, not so much for stamina. So I punted. This day would be a 2 x 3 mile tempo. Took a few minutes to gather myself and headed back. That lasted about a hundred yards before I had to ease up. Recovered over that mile and did a couple…

2017 Detroit Race for the Cure 5K RR.

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It's funny, after so many years (decades) of racing 5Ks, with only an occasional thought about that marathon I was going to do someday, that I only do a couple of them each year. The ParkRun is practically across the street every Saturday, and those are free. Never done one. Probably won't. The two that I do are sort of a tradition now. In November the HS where the boys raced has one as an athletic department fundraiser. I like to go there and say, "Hi," to the coach and get some hardware. Most of the time it's just after my fall marathon, so I'm in decent shape and can run a good time. The other is the Detroit Race for the Cure. Everyone knows what a pain big races are, and the shorter the race, the bigger the pain. 25,000 people for a 5K? You must be joking. In fairness, only a small percentage of the 25,000 are running and even fewer are racing. 449 show up in the results -263 men, 186 women this year. There are walkers at the front. It's pretty conge…

Things are heating up.

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Tuesday was a good day. Felt a little wonky, though, like I was landing extra hard on my left leg. Played around a little with my arm swing, and that seemed to help. By the end it had worked itself out.

This was the recovery run I was worried about after Monday's tempo. Six miles. Weather was near perfect (60*) for running. Just an out and back down to Madonna U. Shook it out slowly in the first mile, then stayed 8:30-40 the rest of the way. Good news was that it felt relatively easy, but not easy enough to be tempted into going faster.

On the way back I saw what looked like a large bolt of some kind in the middle of a busy intersection. That's a flat tire or a chipped windshield waiting to happen, so I dipped over and scooped it up as I went by. It turned out to be a professional grade 1-1/2" drill bit. I'd planned to toss it in a can at the gas station on the other corner, but carried it home instead. Something like that might come in handy someday. I don't nee…

OK. So. I May Have Cheated.

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Turns out last week was a cutback week. About the same through the week, but Saturday's run was only 8 miles. It's so weird when "only" and "8 miles" go together. I don't think I'll ever get over that feeling. Since I've been missing one day about every week since I started my training plan, this was actually my highest mileage week so far. 42-1/2 miles. I wasn't quite up to snuff in the beginning, so I think the artificial cap on the miles was probably a good thing. I know that most of last week I was feeling at the edge of fitness. Tired, tired, tired. I went to help a park clean up in the morning. It turned out to be a pretty clean park, so this was an easy job. I worked with one guy for awhile, spreading out some new wood chips in a play area, then walked through the woods with a garbage bag, looking for litter. Didn't find much more than a handful - two beer bottles, a few pieces of paper/cardboard and the ubiquitous condom rapper.…