Sunday, January 07, 2007

To OC or not To OC

Friday evening I was able to take a good look at my plan for Eugene. I am giving the NYRR plan a try again; the plan that calls for running 6 days a week. It is an 18 week program, but starting on January 1st gives me 17 weeks. I cut Week 1 out in 2006 and adjusted Week 2 with the trip to PA.

The plan called for 13 miles on Saturday. I already knew that I wouldn’t be running with the Cruisers as they had only an easy 3 planned since several Cruisers were running the OC Marathon on Sunday. I realized that there was a half marathon option at OC. I fell asleep Friday night pondering my options.

The adventurous side said, “Go run the OC Half. If you are going to run 13 miles anyway you might as well get a t-shirt and a medal.” The rational boring side said, “Save the $60 bucks and go run somewhere else. Besides do you really need another t-shirt?”

Apparently the rational side won out because I went over to the Santa Fe Dam and ran the bike trail. The skies were clear after yesterday’s wind storms and luckily the winds had died down. The temperature was 45°F at 8:30. Anything below 50 always has me second guessing; long sleeves or short, one layer or two. The forecast called for 60° by 10:00 so I opted for short sleeves. I had decided that I was going to keep the pace easy as I eased back into serious marathon training. As I ran along at 9:00 pace I felt comfortable, but in the back of my mind I knew that eventually I was going to have to step up the effort to get to my BQ. I’ve been in slow and easy mode since October. I’m afraid that it may take an act of Congress to get me moving faster again. I guess recognition is the first step. I finished up the 13 miles in 1:56 (8:58 pace).

As I headed north along the bike path I had great clear views of the San Gabriel Mountains and it reminded me of my mid-year resolution to explore the trails up there. This is the perfect time of the year to do so.

Sunday morning I stuck to my intention to run the mountains instead of Bonelli. The plan only called for 3 miles but I was a little light already. Also if I was driving potentially 20-30 minutes to a trail putting in only 3 miles seemed a waste of the effort. I opted for 5. I considered trying Monrovia Canyon. This was recommended by a coworker and it is close to my office. My second thought and final choice was Claremont Hills Wilderness Park. It is about 20 minutes east of my house. It is a straight forward loop, up Cobal Canyon on one side to the summit and back down the other side on Burbank. The “trail” is a wide fire road and a 5 mile round trip. Claremont Hills is way more popular than Bonelli. Even at 3:30 in the afternoon I shared the trail with between 20-30 people. In Bonelli I may see 1 or 2, but more often zero. This was a nice nostalgic run for me though. The last, and only, time I ran this loop was with my first running bud, Brian, before he went off to dental school in August 2004.

It was a fun run but I guess I really didn’t fulfill my resolution to explore “new” trails in the mountains. The Monrovia Canyon trail is about 3 miles and if I stick to the schedule as written it will fit nicely on next Sunday.

I finished up the week with 30.2 miles, just shy of the 33 planned. I only ran 4 days rather than planned 6. The next two weeks will be 6 day weeks with 36 and 38 miles. The mid week runs are at 4 and 5 miles for now. The two weeks after that cut back to 5 days. I’m hoping that the piriformis will respond well to the increased mileage.
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To answer Juls: Yes, Bryan “with a y” is our 16 year old son who loved PA. Brian “with an i” as mentioned above and on My Maps was my first running partner.

7 comments:

Wes said...

If all you wanted was the miles, then I agree with you, you made a better choice.

Jessica Deline said...

sounds like a good week and good 13 miler! Missed seeing you at the OC Half (I was "cheering" along the course) but it sounds like you had good fun anyway!

matt said...

isn't it interesting...you can see the popularity of trail running growing if you are seeing more out there than at bonelli.

sounds like you had a strong week to start off the year. where are you going to put that 60 bucks to work now?

OCRunnerGirl said...

I think you made the right choice too. Save 60 buck - heck yes! I had signed up for oc 8 months ago or I may have skipped it being sick and all. Sounds like you had a great week with some really good runs!

Anne said...

I'm glad to find someone else with a strong rationale and fondness for new trails. Thanks for the links...I might try one or two of them at some point.

Joe said...

OK, back to work! Good plan for Eugene and good grasp of the plan. You know the times...you can move towards them. Nice 13...you'll keep moving.

robtherunner said...

It's tough to get out there and explore new trails. The familiar always seems a little more comfortable and reliable. Nice call on saving the $60. I mean unless you were going to fork out the dough to run the whole thing.