Sunday, November 26, 2006

Ready or Not

Am I ready for the Tecumseh Trail Marathon, the race that Dean Karnazes describes as “hardcore”? Well I guess we’re about to find out. It will be 8 weeks since my last street marathon. I’ve done marathons two months apart before and would have gotten in at least one, if not two, 20 milers before the next big race day. Not this time. This time I concentrated on trail running and the hills that go with them. I ran:
Up to the Top of the World in Aliso/Wood Canyon for 14 miles
North Ridge to Four Corners in Chino Hills State Park for 13.5
The La Jolla Canyon Legend 18K around the Santa Monica Mountains for 11.2
Bagged Santiago Peak via the Holy Jim Trail in the Santa Ana Mountains for 16
and hit the beach for a 4 miles at Crystal Cove, part of an 11 mile run.
Not one 20 miler in the bunch. I followed Hal Higdon’s Multiple Marathon schedule for the midweek runs.

I’m confident that I will finish TTM (maybe I shouldn’t be). I have very little idea about predicting a finish time. This one is not about setting a PR. I think the biggest challenge for me is going to be the weather. The average high temperature in Indiana at the beginning of December is 40-ish. Although the forecast says rain early in the week, you never know. The current prediction is high 30’s and sunny. I’ve purchased a pair of tights just in case.

The fact that I am running TTM is pretty much serendipity. I have already completed the two marathons planned for this year. This one is just icing on the cake. Tecumseh has been on my list since I started this odyssey three years ago. Joe’s casual mention of a trail marathon in the fall was all it took to put TTM on my radar. I knew he lived in Indiana. I sent him an email and before you knew it we were signed up to run a marathon just two months after our last. Joe ran Portland, with a PR effort, the week before I ran St. George.

Joe has proven to be a most gracious host. He is picking me up at the airport, made our hotel reservations for the night before the race and even offered to pick up bananas and Gatorade for me. I really look forward to actually meeting him in person and sharing as many miles as possible out on the rolling hills of southern Indiana.

These last couple of weeks has been quite hectic at work. I planned trips to visit four orthodontic offices over the next three weeks. In fact I visit my first one on Tuesday next week on Long Island. I fly out tomorrow, returning Wednesday and then leave again on Friday for Indiana. Today may have been my last run depending on how I feel on Thursday. I may feel the need for at least a three miler that night.

The Thanksgiving holiday has led to some nice runs this week.
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 4 miles in Via Verde
Wednesday: unplanned day off
Thursday: I met up with 16 CA Cruisers and friends for Rochelle’s Run around the equestrian trails of Yorba Linda including a loop around Eastlake. I had intended on a nice easy run with Dr. John as taper run for the marathon. Little did I know I would end up in the lead pack with Julie, Gary, Suzanne, John, Yihfa and Cheryl. So much for good intentions, but it was a nice 9 mile run.

Later that day I enjoyed delicious turkey dinner guilt free. My wife’s cousin’s family was in attendance with their 7 month daughter. She is just the cutest thing. I tried to kidnap her but Mom and Dad weren’t having it. I promised to bring her back when she started talking back but they still weren’t persuaded.

Friday: 3.6 miles at 7:00 a.m. in Bonelli, much to the wonderment of my wife and mother-in-law. Apparently I had enjoyed my fill of fermented grape juice along with the turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes. They expected that I would not be feeling well, but there were no lingering ill effects.
Saturday: 9.5 miles with the Cruisers on the Two Park, Two Loops Run in Brea. I ran this time with Dr. John and Jay at a fairly easy pace. I was more than happy to let Michelle, James, Mike, Rochelle and Jesse take the lead.
Sunday: the same 3.6 miles in Bonelli as Friday at 3:00 in the afternoon under partly sunny skies. The weather in SoCal has finally turned fall-like. Up until this week we were still enjoying highs in the 80’s.

Miles for the week: 29.7


Sarah said...

I'm sure you'll do well at Tecumseh. And you'll no doubt enjoy meeting Joe.

You just might want to be prepared for some mud. : )

Jessica Deline said...

Well I've seen you run trails. Only once (so far) but I'm sure you'll finish well and enjoy the trails in the process!

Wes said...

Babies are wonderful now, especially cause you get to give them back when you are through with them. Taper on!!

backofpack said...

Oh, you are going to have a wonderful trip. Joe is great! A trail marathon sounds like fun, but also intimidating. I did a trail half last summer but I'm still not sure I'm ready for a trail full. Have fun!

brent d. said...

You are going to do great and have so much fun!!! I can't wait to hear all about it, take lots of pics!

Joe said...

You are in WAAAAAAY better shape than me, Darrell...I'm just going to hitch my wagon to you and drag along!! See you Friday afternoon at the airport!

angie's pink fuzzy said...

you are ready! good luck and most of all - have fun!

robtherunner said...

Enjoy the trails at Tecumseh and forget about the time. Run by comfort level and keep it similar to any other race effort. Easy on the hills and have fun. I wish I could join the both of you.