Thursday, July 20, 2017

A funny thing happened ...

Hey, so remember when I wrote on Monday about that decent last long run and how the PF was holding off for the most part and I was mostly worried about the hills and that the SFO people had told me to stop by the expo for a wave re-assignment?
Well, I went out that afternoon (which turned out to be a nice day, btw - mid-70's but not terribly humid, so pretty comfortable for a run), intending to get one last tempo run before the race since I was finally feeling confident that the whole "climbing a 12,000 ft mountain is a great idea" episode was behind me.
Things started out OK. Lately the PF has been an small issue for the first mile or so, but this time the foot felt fine from the start. I planned to get up the hill a little cautiously, then open it up after that work. Wasn't going to push too much. Wasn't going to try running a half dozen 7:20's. Just run and see what happened.
First tempo mile was just over 8:00. Passed the Home Depot on the right and the LRS on the left, heading up the tree-lined Seven Mile to the Mental Hospital.
Not long after I left the sidewalk for the road shoulder there was the first twinge. Left heel. Outside, near the rear. This was a new spot. I figured it would go away in a few. That's what's been happening for the past several weeks.
Only this time it didn't. It stayed. I kept going of course because runner, because 6 days until race day, because this just can't be happening.
Turned at the top of the hill, ducked through the gate. Still hurt. Hurt worse.
Finished Mile 3. 7:47. Since two-thirds of that was uphill, I started to think that I'd have some 7:30's or better to finish this thing strong and get on with my taper.
But the pain in my heel was getting worse, not better. Had to navigate around another gate, and found myself with a severe limp to go along with my pain. Tried to run. Changed my foot strike. Walked/limped some more.
Bailed.
Went straight home, walking most of the way. Taper is over.
You know the drill. Ice. Stretching. Ibuprofen. Crossing fingers. Hanging horseshoes. Throwing salt. Pennies on the ground. Ladybugs. Butterflies. Crickets. Garlic. Rabbit's foot. Four-leaf clover. Obi-wan Kenobi.
Did a lot of limping Monday and Tuesday. Yesterday was better. Today is almost good. We fly out tomorrow morning.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Questions. The San Francisco Marathon Preview.

So much time. So many miles. So much sweat. So much nursing the PF (it's good today, btw, thanks for asking).
So much uncertainty coming into this weekend. I think course elevation. I think recovery from the climb. I think excess fatigue. I think missed times. I think shortened runs. I think humidity.
Friday I stayed with four miles, even though I was feeling OK. Turned to be 20 seconds faster per mile than Thursday. But of course I was still worried about trying ten on Saturday.
Taper miles don't matter, unless you do too many.
Ran the Northville Ten clockwise. Elevation is front loaded.

This run went reasonably well.
Figured with the big hill at three I'd wait until the top to try pushing anything, and then only if it felt right. It was OK, so I opened up a little. This is not the time for a hard effort. Just something solid, not feeling too drained at the end. Not sure it's 3:20 caliber, but that just goes along with all the other questions about San Francisco, so ... whatever. But I did feel OK after the first couple, and didn't feel all beat up afterwards, so mission accomplished.
Reviewing my confirmation and other info today, I don't see where my expected finish time or my wave assignment is listed anywhere. If I'm stuck in a 4 hour wave, I won't be able to run with the 3:20 pace group, which, btw, there isn't one anyway. They have 3:00, 3:05, 3:10, 3:15, 3:25, 3:30, 3:35, 3:40, 3:45, ...
I was thinking about going with 3:25, then breaking out after the climbing is done. But the wave starts are ten minutes apart, so wouldn't work. However, I just got an email response to my question about the wave assignment and they say they can switch me at the expo, so there's one question answered.
In the meantime, I'll still take things easier than normal the rest of this week.
And we'll see what happens. That's what you have to do with a marathon anyway.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Hay's in the barn, but was it too much?

It only took a hundred yards or so to see that the tempo on Monday was not going to be a tempo. I backed off the pace a fair amount, but as I always do, I kept thinking/hoping/imagining/wishing that the hangover would somehow lift and I'd have a good run.
Never happened.
After running a 10-ish warm up (not so terrible unusual on a Monday after a hard Saturday run), I sucked and stumbled to an 8:15 second mile knowing all the way through that I was going to have to turn around at 2 and head back home. The next two weren't any faster or easier, despite being downhill with the wind at my back.
Took Tuesday off altogether with no shame.
And Wednesday. Mowed the lawn in between thunderstorms.
Yesterday I did 4 easy ones. In my head I kept open the option of going 6, maybe even 8 if I finally felt recovered.
Nope.
But, it was way better than Monday. Of course, the effort was low. But I'm pretty sure I could have gone faster if I'd had to. Since I didn't have to, I stayed slow.
The question is whether the mountain was the breaking point of a long, hard spring/summer where I trained too fast and am now overtrained and TSFM will be a bust or it was just a killer workout and I need a full week to recover, so by mid-taper I'll be good to go after that silly, pie-in-the-sky 3:20 I've been talking about.
Today I'll do another 4 with the possibility for more and see how the legs feel.
Pending the outcome of this uber-taper, I'm still in a quandary about how to pace at TSFM. The elevation is pretty crazy. I've researched a couple of pacing strategies to account for it. Hasn't helped. They make sense, but I don't know how to adjust for the way my training has gone.
Here's the trouble: In the first ten miles there are five significant climbs, and all five of them are pretty steep. 11-13 is another, but more gradual ascent. Then the final climb is a solid two miler from 14.5 to 16.5. If I'm not totally trashed at that point, I have ten miles of mostly downhill/flat to make up time. How much time can I make up?
I'm considering joining a pace group for the first time. They say they'll be running an even effort, as opposed to even splits. Something to do at the expo besides wander around looking for free samples and runner watching.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Dave's Great Intermountain West Adventure.

I should have known. Actually, I did. Several times during recent runs, I imagined how I'd break the news to The Loop that I really didn't think I had a 3:20 in me, at least for San Francisco. The dozen or so people who commented on last week's post about it, were pretty united. "You might surprise yourself," was the advice given by several.
Anyway, the taper has begun. We'll see what a couple of weeks of decreasing mileage does to my psyche and legs.
In the meantime, it's time to review the last week, which included a quiet Independence Day at Schultzhaus, and what everyone's been waiting to hear about: Dave's Great Intermountain West Adventure.
My Southwest flight was early on Wednesday, and Mrs. Dave chauffeured me to DTW at 5:00 AM. I was TSA pre-checked, so security was about 30 seconds, and my gate was the first one inside, giving me plenty of time to chill. I had an English muffin and hot chocolate since I'd skipped breakfast at home in favor of sleep.



And took a selfie with the restaurant's mascot.
I remember being a little annoyed with Southwest for having my route to SLC go through Phoenix, but like the rest of the world I don't pretend to understand how they determine routes and fares. There were some cool views from my window seat after I woke up from a nap that lasted from Chicago to the Continental Divide. Seriously, SW should pay me for this one.



This is when I discovered that my flight through Phoenix was also scheduled to stop in Las Vegas. Huh? Call me crazy, but it seems to me that Detroit-Pas-Vegas-Phoenix-Salt Lake isn't the most efficient route. But I got to see Lake Mead and some of the Grand Canyon and the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating Station, which looked pretty amazing.
In Phoenix, I made a phone call to Advantage Car Rental, because my flight was delayed and didn't want any issues with the car I needed. The guy told me they'd hold it until midnight. Then I had lunch and sat around for 3 more hours. Better inside than outside because it was already 100 degrees in Phoenix. But it was a dry heat.
Finally in Salt Lake, I waited a few minutes for the shuttle to the rental office, arrived there and was told that they were really really busy that day and since I was late they didn't have my car. Really. I could upgrade to a mid-sized SUV for only $10/day more. Really?
Instead, I Travelocitied a new reservation at a different company and rode back to the airport on their shuttle to get it. After that delay I was on my way north to the Gem State to spend time with my folks in Idaho Falls, see two of my brothers in Rexburg and help T-Rex get ready to move out of her apartment in two weeks. (Frankly, I thought she could do that herself, but Mrs. Dave is still having separation issues.)
With the entire day dedicated to travel, there was no run on Wednesday, and of course with my recent performance anxiety I wasn't sure I'd be doing the 12 x 800 I wanted to do. But, Idaho Falls is only 4,700 feet above sea level, so what did I have to lose from trying? Plus, it was less than 24 hours since I'd come up from L-town's 600 feet. Oxygen still in my blood from home. So, Thursday morning it was off to the local HS track.


Not gonna lie - this wasn't my best Yasso session ever. Altitude? 16 weeks of Hansons training? Age? I think the dry air (40%) helped me a little. Still. There was a guy doing laps with stairs when I got there. A few times I'd pass him when he was on the track, but he never bothered me.
What I like to do is add two 800s to the classic Yasso workout of 10 x 800, and push the pace on the 4th, 8th and 12th ones. I call it the Marshall Twist.
Warmed up with a mile and a half in lane 4, then got busy. After the first few, I started to get worried. 3:23, 3:25, 3:25. Just a few seconds off the goal of 3:20, but harder than I'd hoped. Maybe I'd only do 10. That's still a good, hard workout, right? No shame if I stop at 10. Then there was a 3:32 with Code Abby rumblings on the second lap. Uh-oh.
Stairman had left by this time, and I guess that was good if there was an accident - at least there'd be no witnesses. But I had to shut down the run while I searched for an open bathroom or port-o or maybe an unlocked door to the school. No luck. But there was no chance I could do anymore 800s until I dropped some weight, so I hopped in the car and drove a mile down the road to a gas station.
Emergency avoided, I pushed the insistent thoughts of abandoning the rest of the run and went back to the track for more 800s. I hoped for six more to get the ten required, then I'd decide about 12.
There were three women at the stadium when I got back, running the stairs. I suppose I should have warmed back up before tackling that next 800 after my break, but I'm a dope. 3:50. Ick. And I felt like garbage. I'd have to take the edge off the effort if I was even going to finish, forget about pushing for 3:20s. Things got slightly better after that. 3:40, 3:40, 3:40, 3:41. At least I was consistent. I also started to feel like I could do the full 12 x. Two more and then the last one.
Another guy showed up. He looked like a football player, doing straightaway springs and lunges. One of the women came down and did some laps on the track. I did another couple of 800s. 3:39, 3:38, 3:32.
Done. 12 x 800 in an average time of 3:35. Not what I'd planned or wanted, but all things considered I supposed it's not too bad.
Had to cut the cool down after one lap because Abby was back and was very insistent that we find another place to sit.
But, once again, I find myself in a quandary. How much of the shortfall is from the conditions and how much is my condition? I know I've been working hard every workout. There's been no slacking or skipping important runs. Yasso's aren't a proven predictor, but :15 seconds is a good sized gap.
Bottom line: the jury is still out. Argh.
T-Rex still had class that morning so my dad and I had time for nine holes at a 3-par golf course before I needed to meet her. I haven't picked up a club in 7-8 years and it showed. Actually, if I'm being honest, it was about the same as it was the last time I played. Maybe that's why (besides the cost) I gave it up. Didn't even bother keeping score, but I'm pretty sure the 84 year old beat me. I did birdie one hole, so that was nice. And my putting game was decent.
I found my DD2 in the food court on campus going through some history homework. We met my brother at Dairy Queen for lunch, then went back to her apartment for inventory. We were able to throw a few things away, and more importantly get five 18-gallon tubs of the things she was not bringing home into storage. Mission accomplished.
Then I took her and her roommate out to dinner. This is called the Idaho Russet Pizza. Not a combo I'd expected to ever see, but it's Idaho after all, so why not? And surprisingly tasty.
 On the way out of town I stopped at my other brother's house and spent a little time with him. He was in a motorcycle accident a year ago (broke his nose and 4 places in his elbow). He's almost 100% recovered and back on the bike. This is another reason Mrs. Dave forbids me to buy one, not that I'm terribly anxious to put my life into the hands of the people who drive around here.
Run #2 of the trip was an easy six the next morning (Friday), east through the fields toward the mountains and back. Not much traffic and 90% of it pickups. Didn't feel too terrible after the 800s and another day at altitude. Kept the pace around 9-ish.
Took a quick shower and loaded up the rental for points south. No trip to Utah (home of all those Mormons) is complete without a Loopmeet with three of my favorite not-Mormons. Not many of you have been here long enough to know hairgrrl, HomebrewRunner or kevhash3. Trust me, it's your loss. 

Then I back tracked a few miles to see another brother (I have six of them) - the only who lives in Utah. I've mentioned him before, since he's the fastest of our clan. The 1:47 800m he ran in 1975 is still #5 all-time in the BYU record books. His youngest son just got married and I was able to meet the new DIL, who is adorable.
Next up was dropping off the rental at the airport and having my friend Brent pick me up for the next couple of days' activities. We've been friends since he and his family lived near us when we moved to Michigan. He was in law school at the time. Later they moved to Utah where's he's now the property ombudsman for the state of Utah. Love this guy. They put me up at their house for the next two days and saved me a hundred bucks in car rental by loaning me one of their vehicles.
This all worked out just in time for me to make it to the 40th reunion of the Provo High School Class of 1977. They're building a new school on the west side of town and our old one has been bought by BYU. Word is it's being torn down for new university facilities. But we were able to schedule it for our night. About a hundred of the 600 '77 alumni were there. We kept it low key, just dinner and room to talk, laugh and remember the good old days.
I passed on my last 16 miler of training for a climb up to the top of Mount Timpanogos. It's a 13 mile round trip and almost a full mile of elevation gain from the trail head. I spent most of the morning wondering if it was enough to be a good substitute for the run and the rest of the day wondering if I hadn't done more damage to my body than I could recover from before San Francisco. It was a few weeks early in the season for the best climbing conditions but another trip this summer isn't happening, so I went. Fortunately, one of my classmates who'd been to the top a couple of dozen times since high school came along with his wife. The two of them are pretty accomplished climbers and I needed them for some equipment to cross the snow fields as well as general directions. I wouldn't have made it past the first snowfield without them.
Here's a dump of some of the climb and the views.
This is from the front porch of my friend's house. The summit is on the left.

The trail head is here on the back (east) side. This is not the summit, but another peak. The trail goes between the slope on the left and this one.

This time of the year there is still a fair amount of water from the melting snow fields. In a few weeks, there won't be much coming down.


The snow fields are pretty hard packed. It's very dangerous to cross them without foot gear (crampons or similar - we used Yaktraks) and poles. Fortunately, my friend had extra.


Still a few miles from the summit. We filtered some of this melt water to refill our water bottles. I'd brought 3 liters of Powerade, refilled one of them here and wished I'd had one more.

Looking east from below the summit.


Looking north from near the summit. You can see the trail near the top of the ridge angling to the left. The highest point of snow in the center is the saddle where you cross from the back side to the "valley" side of the mountain.

Mountaintop selfie. Note the scuff mark of a rockslide over my shoulder. Those clouds are the leading edge of a thunderstorm that came over a few minutes after we reached the top, chasing us down after only ten minutes at 11,753 feet.


My friend, Tim and his wife. Yes, he's run Boston (more than once), and has a over-40 PR of 3:01. He still runs in the 3:15-20 range.

This is not technically a glacier, but the snow in this valley stays year round and feeds the lake in the foreground. The summit is to the right, a little ways out of this picture. We slid down the glacier for about 600 yards (you can see the track is a little bit whiter than the rest of the snow), then hiked another mile to the lake in the thunderstorm, which was dumping dime-sized hail on us at the time. We're both completely soaked.


We saw several mountain goats, including this shedding momma and her little one.
Sometimes it seemed wiser to skirt the edge of a snowfield than traverse it. This wasn't any easier, but probably safer. Other times we crossed and a few times we slid down them. That can be a tricky choice, though. I tweaked an ankle, a wrist and cut myself on the sharp rocks at the edge of one when I lost control of my slide a little bit.
However, I was lucky, compared to the guy who ended up at the foot of a waterfall after sliding out of control for 60 feet on a field, then 30 feet over a cliff. Broke both legs and had to be medivac-ed out in this.



I've decided I'm done with mountains. I've been a flatlander too long, I guess. Those last few miles would not end, and the heights are seeming more like death fall opportunities than the beautiful views they used to be for me.
Took Brent and his family out to repay them for their hospitality, then crashed hard because I had an early flight home (through Denver, which makes so much more sense, amiright?). With Mrs. Dave last trip, we've been away from each other three weeks and that's far too long.
And Hey! I'm tapering. Supposed to have one more long (10 miles) tempo today, but I'll have to see how sore my quads still are from Saturday. This may turn out to be an easy slow one.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Officially crossing off the 3:20.

I am so, so discouraged today.
Last Wednesday. Intervals. Decided to stay with the plan and do the 5 x 2400 workout. Ran a modified Power Road Footbridge route. First one (11:14 - 7:29 pace) climbed  a little. Was OK. Number two climbed more (114 feet per Hal)(11:16 - 7:31 pace). That was also not terrible. I hoped the other ones would be easier since they didn't have the climbing. 10:33 (7:02), 11:04 (7:22), and 11:08 (7:25). So, average for the five was 7:20 pace. Total of 12 miles and a good workout.
Eight on Thursday out and back to the Diamond Forest Apartments. Not one mile under nine minutes. Tired. Very tired.
Friday was another eight miles. Target Path up to Nine Mile and back. Had to stop at Target for an emergency evacuation. On the way back it started raining, first a little and then a lot. That felt pretty OSOM. The last few miles were sub-9, so feeling a little more rested.
Saturday was supposed to be a strong but shorter pace run of only ten miles. Went on the Bike Path again, extending the out another mile. This one sucked. I went at 8:30 am, which should have been OK, since it was still only 70 degrees, but the humidity kicked my butt. By the time I reached the turnaround, I was spent. Heart rate and breathing were all out of control. I stopped to let it all settle, figuring to make a stronger effort on the way back. Then the sun came out and that was the end. I'd run 7:38-7:47 on the way out, but the best I could do heading back was 8:00, then 8:24 and then I was done. Gallowayed home.
The tempo yesterday was sort of OK. Went out through Northville, then back on Seven Mile, which meant that mile 7 was up the biggest hill. I figured that one to be a killer, but then it would be followed with the last two miles of downhill, so hoped I'd be alive for a decent finish. The first four miles were up and I was holding 8-ish. Then a couple of even miles at 7:50 and 7:42. The hill (climbs 100 feet) was 8:28 - not bad since I was focused on not dying instead of pushing it. Then 7:52 and 7:25 to the end. 7:57 average for the 8 tempo miles. Legs felt like Jell-O all day.
This morning I was up early for 6 easy. Ran to Meijer and back. Felt tired but no Jell-O tired, so there's that. Slow again. One mile just under 9:00, the rest slower. Spent the whole time thinking about how to readjust my goals for San Francisco.
I need to look at the numbers again, but I'm just not seeing anything in my workouts that says I can run 3:20, especially not in humidity - it's been in the 90-95% range every day this week in SFO - and especially not on hills - San Francisco.
I'm thinking I should plan for 3:35 and see what happens when I get to the top of the hills at 18. If I'm not dead, I can make up a few minutes coming down. If I am (dead), I might be able to salvage a BQ still with the elevation drop in the last eight miles.
Anyway, I hope everyone has a safe and fun 4th. Be careful with those fireworks.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Tempo Review. Dave's Next Great Western Adventure.


Here's a shocker: I had a tempo run on Monday. Crazy, I know. It was the first of three 10-milers w/ 8 @ tempo pace that will end this whole training cycle. Here's how my tempos progress over the 18 weeks:
  • Weeks 1-5: 6 miles w/ 4 @  tempo.
  • Weeks 6-8: 7 miles w/ 5 @ tempo.
  • Weeks 9-11: 8 miles w/ 6 @ tempo.
  • Weeks 12-14: 9 miles w/ 7 @ tempo.
  • Weeks 15-17: 10 miles w/ 8 @ tempo.
  • Week 18: 8 miles w/ 6 @ tempo.
How do I tempo? I like to keep it simple. 1 mile to warm up, straight tempo miles, 1 mile to cool down. I love the tempo run. It's so much fun to blast out some miles instead of plodding along, even when their hard.
How did it go? I'll get to that in a minute. First, how did these all go this spring so far, and - more importantly (wait for it!) - how did they compare to the summer of Marshall?
Glad you asked.
WeekTotalTempoMarshall PaceSFO Pace
164unk8:06
2648:147:50
3648:017:39
4647:47sick
5647:527:45
6757:367:36
7757:587:28
8758:007:26
9868:047:45
10868:177:34
11867:54unk
12977:497:32
13977:418:05
14977:377:53
151087:477:48
161087:28 
171087:44 
18868:13 
Most of this spring I've been faster than 2014. I don't believe it's because I've been working harder, but who's to say? While I'm discouraged that I'm moving in the wrong direction lately, I do know that it's easy to tell when it got warm in June and there's a predictable slowdown with the rise in temps. As hard as it is to accept, I have to keep that in mind or I'll believe I'm dying of some exotic tropical disease.
Anyway, Monday was 72 and mostly cloudy, which was much better than lately, but there was a pretty strong wind, so that was bad. I needed a good run to give my mojo a little boost. Ran the Power Road Footbridge clockwise. That stretches out the gradual ascent over the first 6-1/2 miles, getting slightly steeper as it goes, with a steep bump from 6-1/2-7. That would suck. Plus, 5 and 6 were into the teeth of the wind. That would suck worse - climbing and into the wind. The last two miles would be fun at least. I actually find that helpful, and fix in my mind that it's really only 6 tempo miles - somehow the last two don't count.
7:35, 7:40, 7:43, (here comes the wind) 8:05, 8:05, 8:08, (DONE!) 7:41, 7:26.
7:48 average, so I guess that's OK.
Had 10 miles in my head for yesterday. Many times I have a number in my head and it turns out not to be what's actually on the training schedule. I always take a final look before I go out now to make sure. What a cool surprise that there was only 7. There used to not be sidewalk next to Gill Road between Colfax and Nine Mile, so I've avoided it for years. For the past few months I noticed some construction and wondered. Decided to investigate and found that there has indeed been sidewalk added. Gives me another option to get to a couple of hills up that way.
A slow, comfortable run.
Mowed the lawn after, then spent an hour and a half clearing out weeds from the flower bed and landscaping. Short of concrete, there must be a way to keep them from coming back every year. I'm always tardy getting this done for the summer, but now we're ready for some impatiens or whatever annuals are left at the nursery.
Looking ahead, I'm not happy about next week. Supposed to be the last long., hard one. 60 miles. But it's also travel week for the reunion. Flight early Wednesday to SLC via Phoenix, then an immediate drive to ID. Probably no run that day, which is supposed to be my last set of Yassos. Thursday in Rexburg helping T-Rex pack for the end of the semester. Should be able to run there, so I could push the 800s to that morning at the local HS. Friday is the drive down to Provo for the reunion. Can run early.
Saturday there's a hike penciled in which will probably take all day. 14 miles round trip from the trail head to the summit. At 13,752 ft. it's also over a mile of climbing. This will substitute for my final long run, 16 miles w/ 12 @ GMP. It's supposed to be almost 100* in the valley that day, so maybe this is better.

Monday, June 26, 2017

You Think You Remember. You Probably Don't.

In all the crime novels I've read, movies I've seen and podcasts Mrs. Dave makes me listen to, something that's always mentioned is that witnesses are almost always unreliable. At worst, they lie to protect themselves, or someone they're close to. At best, they just remember events differently than what actually happened. Interview three witnesses, get three different accounts. IT was a red car. No, it was a black SUV. Or a green pickup. National Geographic had an article this month about lying. We all lie, often to make ourselves seem better - less guilty, more heroic - than we really are. But even if we are the most honest, our brain has so many filters to help us make sense of the world that what happens around us is often far removed from reality.
Seems like all I've done is whine the last several weeks about how terrible my training is going. So warm. Failed tempos. Failed pace runs. Shortened intervals. Sun. Sweat. Crashing and burning. Death and destruction.
After last Friday's particularly pessimistic bloop, I decided to actually go back through the annals of the Loop and look at what I recorded for the summer of 2014. My Road to Marshall.
It was fascinating.
So warm. Failed tempos. Failed pace runs. Shortened intervals. Sun. Sweat. Crashing and burning. Death and destruction.
Funny how the warmth of success flowed backwards in time to color the memory of how I got there. 
7/14 - By the time I was ready to run again, my legs weren't so interested anymore. So I slogged through another couple of miles to get to the homestead.
7/24 -  I feel like stopping in the first mile of some of these workouts.
8/13 - I got 3 in at 8:00 pace, but that was all there was in me. Too bad it was supposed to be 6 miles.
8/18 - I must have run out of gas, because I could barely keep going.
8/22 - I felt pretty decent for about 4 miles, slightly lousy for the next 2 and like I wanted to die for the last 4. My loop was about a quarter mile long, but when Hal told me we were at ten miles I just walked up the street to the house. Blech.
9/5 - Supposed to be 10 easy over the Power Road footbridge. What actually happened was 3 easy, 2 hard, 5 excruciatingly painful. Worst run in a long time, maybe ever.
They got better after that, because the weather broke in mid-September and the ten weeks of suffering finally paid off. There's a lot of boring stuff in there about being fast and changing my A goal from 3:40 to 3:30. Stoopid things.
Saturday was the second of three 16 milers on the plan. Two weeks ago, if anyone remembers, it was a disaster of a run that ended at mile 7 with a jog/walk of shame straight home. 7:49, 8:04, 8:18, 8:09, 10:11, (gave up after that)
I was eager about the conditions for this one until I looked back and saw that while it was going to be nicer than it's been the last two weeks, it was also going to be just about the same as it was two weeks ago.
In an uncharacteristic move, I decided to slow down. Getting through this with a decent effort was more important than time. So, I took the edge off the effort and let the run come to me. 8:21, 8:19, 8:36, 8:33, 8:44, 9:15, 8:34, 9:20, 8:34, 8:18, 8:00, 7:41.
8:31 average, which is only so-so, but a strong finish and solid pacing. You can see where the worst of the hills were in 5-9. But I was able to recover and cruise home in high spirits. Certainly tough, and the 2 mile cool down was not a piece of cake.
Marathons are long and difficult. Marathon training is longer and more difficult. It doesn't always go smoothly. It rarely goes how you expect. You gotta hang in there if you want the rewards.
A little easier week this week, then one more 60 miler that I have to work around 5 days in UT and ID, then taper. Not sure how the third 16-miler is going to happen. I may be substituting a 15 mile hike to the top of a 13,000 ft. mountain on the 8th. Maybe I could move it ahead and do it this weekend.
Have a great week, everyone.

A funny thing happened ...

Hey, so remember when I wrote on Monday about that decent last long run and how the PF was holding off for the most part and I was mostly w...