This past week felt like a really relaxed week in terms of running. A few reasons for this are the “long” for the week was only 13, my legs had seemed to finally recover from the Ridge Run (2 weekends ago) and recovery from the 20 miler went smoothly. Although the running seemed less stressful and I was expecting a cut back week due to the shorter Saturday run, I still ended up with decent mileage because I ran all six days rather than five I had been getting in recently.
Tuesday night was my first after work run post-Daylight Savings Time. I was pretty happy about that. I ran my usual 6 mile loop around the neighborhood. I was surprised at the number of people outside. I saw 5 other runners. My thought was, where were these people last week, in fact the last few months. I ran this same loop last week in the dark and didn’t see another runner. I’ve run the loop lots of times over the last few months and have sometimes seen no other person on foot. Is it possible that I just missed them in the dark? I think not. We’ve also been blessed with summer-like weather, so the combination of warmth and light brought a lot people out of hibernation. The best part about this run for me is that I finally busted out an 8:00 pace run. It didn’t feel that hard. Did I mention that my legs finally felt better.
Wednesday right after work my wife and I went to visit a friend in hospice. He is at the end of his journey with brain cancer. He and his family have handled this whole ordeal with such grace. It is natural to be sad after leaving there, but at the same time we left with such a sense of peace. I just know that he is expecting a greater reward in heaven. Since it was later than normal, I still had the desire to run but not quite the need to get in the scheduled 6. I headed over to the equestrian trail in Via Verde and put in an easy 4 miles.
Thursday had been reserved for speed work. Call me easily influenced (OK, I know I am and it’s a flaw) I had decided to give Eric’s ladder session a try. When it comes to speed I need all the motivation I can get and trying something new seems to be the trick. The challenge for me was just where was I going to get this thing done. Earlier in the week I had driven by the track near my house. The out of hibernation effect was in full force there as well. People were apparently drawn to it like ants to a picnic. I just couldn’t see myself trying to get speed done while weaving in and out of all those people. I need a place with fairly wide open straight aways. Running one my loops on the streets seemed like it would be too daunting with traffic and street crossings to contend with. I headed over Bonelli and stayed on the roads and the asphalt trail around the picnic loop.
The Eric’s plan had called for 800 speed, 400 recovery, 400 speed, 200 recovery and 200 speed, lather, rinse, repeat shooting for 6 to 8 reps. I wouldn’t have mile marks so I modified the workout for time, fartlek style. I did 3 minutes speed, 3 minutes recovery, 2 minutes speed, 2 minutes recovery, 1 minute speed, 3 minutes recovery, repeat as necessary. I did a warm up mile first and then got started. The entire picnic loop is less than 2 miles so rather than just keep going, I double back and forth multiple times. I ended up doing 4 repeats. This gave me 24 minutes at roughly 10K pace interspersed with 32 minutes of recovery. I’m pretty sure this is the most speed I’ve ever done. Another side effect of the lack of mile markers (and my lack of a GPS) is that I ran by total time, 71 minutes. I later recreated the route as best I could on gmaps and came up with 8.3 miles including warm up, speed and cool down. Not knowing for sure how far I would go and the many changes in direction help keep my interest up and made speed work less of a chore.
Friday I put in 6 miles at the dam. At the end of my run I ran into Able. I hadn’t seen him in quite a while. He had the LA marathon a couple of weeks ago. His training hadn’t been adequate and his finishing time reflected that. He was getting ready to dive into the next round of training for Rock-n-Roll San Diego in June.
Saturday, there was a possibility of a run in Chino Hills State Park with Jeff and Matt, but for various reasons that didn’t work out. I had considered joining Jessica’s OCTR. After reading on her blog that some of them ended up doing 21.5 instead of the planned 14, I’m thinking I’m glad I didn’t. The lure of a run in Chino Hills was too great so I headed over there and put in 13 on my own. It was a very foggy morning. I didn’t get started until 8:00 a.m. and the fog was still pretty thick. I parked at the back end of the park near Carbon Canyon Regional Park. I pretty much ran the same loop I had run back in October (alone) and in June with Jeff, Jesse, Jim, Michelle and the Cruisers/642. I ran for about 3 miles in the fog. Visibility was about 100 feet or so. Around 3 miles I finally climbed above the fog and saw the sun. It was cool to look down on the canyons and valleys full of fog. My route was a simple loop UP Northridge, a quick drop down McDermott and then out Telegraph in the valley between Northridge and Southridge. It was cool down there but the fog had lifted and hung somewhere up the side of the canyon. On Telegraph I really tried to take advantage of the continuous slow down hill, keeping the turnover high and the pace up. I know that I still felt really good at the finish.
Sunday, the schedule called for 6, so I ran Robert’s Loop. It is a 6.5 mile loop that starts and ends at my front door. I’m not ready to kick Bonelli to the curb, but since I had gotten my trail fix yesterday and I hadn’t run this loop in quite a while it seemed like a good choice. The weather today is very overcast and cool so it was a really nice run. I actually really like this weather. I’m hoping to get Bryan out later today for a bike ride. We haven’t ridden since the bike tour 2 weeks ago. This may also have something to do with my legs feeling better, now that I think of it.
Miles for the week: 43.8
T: 6 miles, 48:03 (8:00 pace)
W: 4 miles, 35:25 (8:51 pace)
H: 8.3 miles, 1:11 (8:33 pace) including 24 minutes of speed work
F: 6 miles, 50:50 (8:28 pace)
S: 13 miles, 2:06:43 (9:45 pace)
S: 6.5 miles, 1:01 (9:24 pace)