I went back to the chiropractor on Friday for another massage and adjustment. I got a different massage therapist this time. After we talked about why I was there, she gave me a great massage in my glutes and piriformis muscles on the left side as well as my back and neck. She also asked me about how sore my back was after the last one. I must have made it sound like I was pretty sore; she seemed to take it a little easier on me. But she did a much better job of dealing with my hip than the other one. So now I have to decide which one I like better. I’m not going back until the 25th and will see the second one again. I understand the first one is recommended for really good deep tissue so I may switch back and forth. I expect that once my hip is better I won’t continue the massage but will likely keep up the chiropractor on some routine basis. I have a question about tipping the massage therapist. Since the massage is part of a medical procedure and covered by insurance I’ve been told that tipping is not necessary, but I don’t want to appear to be some kind of cheap skate if a tip is expected. Any thoughts?
Onto the run:
Saturday morning was my anticipated 22 miler. Since most of the CA Cruisers were going to be enjoying the Disneyland Half Marathon on Sunday, there was no officially planned run for Saturday. I headed down to Huntington Beach to get the job done. I parked in Sunset Beach between mile marker 10 and 11 and got started around 6:40 a.m. I headed NW toward the 11 mile mark and then turned around and ran SW to the Newport Beach Jetty roughly 9 miles through Bolsa Chica and Huntington Beach. At that point I headed up the Santa Ana River Bike Path. For the first nine miles my split times were in the 8:40 range.
3:40, 8:44, 8:33, 8:31, 8:38, 8:21, 8:40, 8:13, 8:56, 8:14.
The mile markers don’t continue at this point so I ran based on time to get to the 11 mile turnaround. The first time I check my watch I was only at 14 and change, too soon to turn around. The next time I was at 17:59. I felt pretty confident that I had covered the required 2 miles. 18:08 took me back to the 2 mile mark and the countdown home began. 8:31, 9:01 (the first mile over 9 so far, this is the same mile that was 8:56 on the way out so I think it must be a little long). The next one came in at 8:36. At this point I’m beginning to get tired. Once I hoped back onto the beach trail from the river I saw a couple of guys about half mile ahead of me. I wasn’t able to reel them in for nearly 3 miles until they took a facilities break. I overtook them, not to hard to do when they are standing still, huh. So far during the run, I had overtaken quite a few people and was only passed by people on bikes. I was taking a certain degree in satisfaction in that. A few minutes into mile 18 those guys caught up to me and asked me how far I was going. I kept pace with them for about a mile until they turned around and headed back.
That particular mile went by the fastest as far as perceived time, actually 8:30. One of the guys was training for St. George as well. They each had run it 6 to 8 times before, so they gave me some pointers on the course and a carbo load recommendation to boot. I was on my own again for the next 4 and change. The slow down began in earnest at this point. I think it would have started sooner if it wasn’t for keeping up with the two guys. The muscles in my left hip, butt and groin were getting really tired. They were likely sore from the massage the day before. I kept going, never walking but definitely slowing down. Somewhere along here I saw Tom, a guy I met in HB awhile back. He was heading back so we only got to wave and shout How’s it going?
During mile 21, I got passed for the first time. I got passed by a girl. I thought, Dude you just got Chicked! Actually it wasn’t that big of a deal, I know there are plenty of ladies out there that put my feeble attempts at running to shame. It really doesn’t bother me in the least but I thought it was a funny thought to have, especially since I was so aware of the fact that no one had overtaken me for 20 some miles before that. And before you think there was no one else out there, don’t. HB is always a huge draw for runners. I had plenty of company. She ended up stopping less than a mile after passing me so I didn’t feel bad for long.
Then during mile 22, I could hear the footfalls of someone coming up behind me. Louder and louder, dang I’m really slowing down now. It ended up being a 60+year old man. So now I’d gotten passed by a girl and an old man, talk about a blow to the ego. Actually, it was just my brain trying to add a little drama to an otherwise uneventful long run. Those last 4 miles were done in 9:04, 9:18, 9:13 and 9:44 plus the last 5:39 to get me back to the car.
I made it through the 22 without any major glitches, all kidding aside about getting passed. My final time was 3:14 for an average pace of 8:49. This is just slightly better than my SEAFAIR marathon pace. So I think this bodes well for St. George, especially since now I have the inside scoop on the course. I took the rest of the day pretty easy. The hip is sore, muscle sore, not the kind of achy joint pain I was having before.
Sunday I headed back over to Bonelli in the afternoon for the third time this week on my favorite 5 mile loop. The temps were warmer today than during Thursday’s PR, but at 48:18, I was happy with the effort.
All told, I ended the week with 37 miles on 4 days of running and the hip is well on its way to recovered. Not where I’d hoped to be, but not such a bad place three weeks out from a marathon. The next two weeks call for less daily mileage but continue the 6 day schedule. I will definitely scale back to 5 and may consider 4 depending on how the hip feels. I’m not ready to give up on a PR effort in St. George but I do want to guarantee that it won’t be my first DNF.
At the Disneyland Half, my buddy Jesse came in at 1:29:36, 8th place in his division, my division. I’ve got some work to do. Terry from work came in at 2:02:39. The bib I might have worn came in at 2:02:28. This was good enough for 4th place in the M65-69 age group. That’s kind of scary because if I had run my plan was to run along with Terry and she was hoping to go 2:00 or less. A 1:58 would have gotten 3rd place. I’m capable of that on a good day and I would have stolen someone’s thunder. I’m sure I made the right decision.