On Wednesday I titled my post "Winter Returns" and just like that Summer Came Back, well at least very warm spring. I thought I left the Midwest fickle weather behind 20 some years ago.
With my friend John's memorial service on Saturday and the fact the I've been blessed with a sizable vacation balance at work, I took Friday off to put in my 22 miler. After I dropped my son off at school I headed down to Huntington Beach. HB seems to have become my long run destination of choice lately. I hopped on the freeway expecting Friday light conditions. The trip to HB takes 3 freeways. On the first I listened to the traffic report and all was clear. Once I made the transition to the second freeway, things began to slow down a little. Then they got even slower. The next traffic report told of an accident several exits ahead. I was already committed so I just chugged along at 10 mph. After I got passed the accident it was smooth sailing the rest of the way. Because it was a weekday and not yet spring break finding free parking was not a problem.
I parked at the north end of the route again like two weeks ago. This turned out to be a pretty good choice this day as I ran into the breeze on the way out and had it at my back on the return. Although there were far less people out on a Friday than on the weekend, there were still more than I expected. I saw some interesting sights on this run. I saw a Mom running with a triple wide running stroller with 3 kids in it. I saw another running Mom, pregnant with a full double stroller. I saw a lady walking her cat on a leash and a man sitting on a park bench with two very large dogs, one an either side of him. He had his arms around their necks and a third smaller dog nestled at his feet. They were all just seemed to be enjoying watching the ocean waves breaking on the beach. In Newport Beach, just as I got to my turnaround point, I saw a fishing boat that had run aground. Crazy stuff.
Overall the run went fairly well. On the way out the sun was mostly hidden under cloud cover. By the time I turned around to retrace my steps the sun was mostly out. I hadn't gotten started with this run until about 9:30 so the return trip from about 11 to 12:30 was borderline high sun times. I hadn't thought to use sunscreen, as usual, so my neck got a little burned as did my left arm. I stuck to my hydration and gel schedule from the 20 miler, using all 28 ounces of fluid and 3 Clif Shots. The double espresso was particularly tasty. Last year I would have only taken 2 gels during a 2o-22 miler. I think the extra one is helping.
Unlike the last two 20 milers I did experience a slow down at the end especially after the 20 mile "wall". I started out mile 1 at 8:57 and hovered around there for the first 16 miles. I was pleased that mile 17 came in at 9:07, at exactly the same time as the same mile (6) on the way out. By mile 18 I was at 9:04 then then proceeded the slow down with 9:10, 9:14, 9:38 (yikes) and 9:08. Again I was pleased that at could at least kick it back up a little bit for the last mile. My final time was 3:18 for a dead on 9:00 pace overall.
As far as long run paces go I should really be happy with that one. For my goal marathon, McMillan suggests 8:31 to 9:31 long runs. I would be happier with that if I could manage a few more of the weekday runs near or below actual marathon pace, 8:01. I'm going to finish out this training schedule for Eugene and then adjust as necessary depending on the outcome there.
Saturday afternoon, around 4:00, I was able to get over to Bonelli for an easy recovery run of 4 miles. I chose the north-south trail on the west end of the park. I wore my brand new Brooks Cascadia trail shoes. I've never had dedicated trail shoes before and really was looking forward to this inaugural run. Although I had admired the red/orange color scheme of the previous model, this years is dark gray and blue. This Cascadia is one nice looking shoe. During the run I immediately noticed more room in the toe box and felt the extra traction on the toe off and a little extra cush in the heel area during a short asphalt section.
Sunday, I took Bryan down to HB again. This weekend was the annual NPPL paintball tournament. This was our third annual trek for him to watch some paintball matches and check out some vendors. I only had four miles in the plan, so I decided to give it a go and was rewarded with a 32:17 or 8:04 pace, not bad two days after a 22 miler. True to form I soaked my legs in ocean post run. The water temperature is about 60 degrees, so not really ice bath quality but it does feel pretty good to get the cool water on the legs. I spent the rest of the morning catching up on my crossword puzzle back log and Bryan talked me into lunch at Ruby's Diner on the HB Pier.
With all that I finally reached a goal I've been pushing for since I started this training cycle, a 50 mile week. I was supposed to have hit it two times previously but those weeks ended up being 5 day rather than 6 day weeks. This week was my second 6 day week in a row. The longest I've made it so far with 6 days is 5 consecutive weeks. Next week calls for 6 and the following week cuts back to 5 so I think I'll be alright. After that the miles drop during the taper. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Next week will be somewhat of a challenge to get in all 6 days because I'm traveling to Calgary for 2 days. I may need to use some creativity to get it all done.
Today my thoughts were with my friends running the ING Georgia Marathon. I had four friends from the CA Cruisers running; Ena, Kitty, Margaret and Arcy. We also had Wes, David, and Rae and Brent of the RBF. Congrats to all for finishing what sounds like a hot and hilly race. The bloggers have already posted reports. Whew!
At one point I had considered joining this little group. The lure of another state and an inaugural marathon are hard to resist. Kitty and Margaret fueled the desire on this end and Wes had even volunteered to host me for the weekend. (I wonder what he'd have thought if I had actually taken him up on it?) When I mentioned weeks ago that I really wanted to run Georgia my wife asked me "Won't that mess up your chances for a BQ at Eugene?" Smart woman, my wife. My son then chimed in with "Couldn't you just run it as a training run?" Smart kid, my son. They've both been infected with the marathon mentality. What more can I ask for? In the end I probably made the wisest choice and skipped Georgia, but reading about it today really makes we wish I had been there.
Miles for the week: 50 (and the crowd went wild - at least in my head)
M - 6 miles, 50:54 (8:29 pace)
T - 6 miles, 50:13 (8:22 pace)
W- 8 miles, 1:07:36 (8:27 pace)
H - Rest
F- 22 miles, 3:19 (9:00 pace)
S - 4 miles, 41:56 (10:29 pace)
S - 4 miles, 32:18 (8:05 pace)