Almost there and as usual I can't believe it is here already. Although I haven't run the race yet I've begun to contemplate what state to tackle next. The Cruisers are sending a delegation off to "The People's Marathon", Marine Corps Marathon. Since it isn't until October I feel like I could slip something in between then. As badly as I want to find that next one, I just won't have the time to begin looking until after Eugene or maybe even later depending on how things go at work. My department when fully staffed is four people, as of a week ago I am going solo. Hopefully that will change in the next month or so.
I stuck to my original thought of running in Chino Hills State Park and was looking forward to the company of the Cruisers. We met at Tagge's and ran into the park via the trails from the neighborhood passed the Redwood Grove and into the back end of CHSP. This adds about 2 miles each way onto the loop in CHSP. I was at happy to see that Jesse showed up, but then disappointed when I found out he did not intend on running up Northridge. Jesse would have been an evenly matched partner for the run.
We were joined by two women, Erin and Rozanne, who are semi-elites in our area. They win their age groups consistently. Erin called Northridge "The 4-Mile Hill". This is a very apt description for this trail and says a lot more about it than Northridge. I ended up falling in with Dr. John, and a trio of Kathleen, Renee and Mary. I would run with them for awhile and then move ahead and wait for them to catch up. The last time Kathleen and Renee had run Northridge with us they had taken a very overgrown shortcut down to Telegraph. They had no desire to repeat that, so I stayed with them in part to make sure they found Sycamore and for the company. I ran considerably slower than I would have on my own, but that probably isn't such a bad thing two weeks out.
After we all made it down Sycamore the three ladies were ahead of Dr. John and I by 1/4 of a mile. Dr. John had stopped to take documentary photos of the run. He had arthroscopic knee surgery in March so took the downhill very easy. Dr. John and I met up with 6 girls from Canyon High cross country. Dr. John had quite the time chatting with them. I took is camera and ran ahead to get a great shot of he and the girls. I hope he sends it along so I can post it.
We picked up the pace and caught the ladies. We were between 4 and 5 miles from finishing up our run. I knew that they couldn't get lost at this point so I picked up the pace. I finished nearly 15 minutes ahead of them. Because of this stop-start pattern on the uphill I messed up my watch (I figured I wasn't going to count the waiting time against myself) I ended up messing up the button pushes and have no real cumulative running time. I was on the trail for 2:50 but I know my pace wasn't the 12:08 the time suggests. In reality it probably really doesn't matter. What matters is that I had a really enjoyable run in a great location with some super nice people.
I awoke Sunday to rain damped streets with moisture still dripping from the eaves, yet the skies were nearly clear and the sun was shining brightly. I needn't even mention where I headed. I just couldn't help but think about how lucky I was to be able to run around in the dirt on a beautiful weekend. I could feel the effects of the "The 4-Mile Hill" from the day before. Although I felt pretty good, the 10:16 pace reflects the state of my body or just the fact that I was enjoying the run rather than tackling it.
The new flash this week is the conditions for tomorrow's Boston Marathon. Boston had record heat a few years back and now this. Cathe from the Cruiser's will be there. I know of several bloggers as well, including world famous bloggers Jeff and Dianna, along with Mike, GB, and Ryan. I came upon GB recently through Bob's site. I've been reading (but not commenting) on Ryan's site for a while but can't recall how I ever found him in the first place. Although the weather conditions are not likely what they had hoped for, I'm sure that running Boston will be worth all the work they put into getting there. Good luck to all of them. I look forward to reading each of their stories next week.
Miles for the week: 40
M: 5 miles, 40:00 (8:00 pace)
T: 5 miles, 38:31 (7:42 pace)
W: ~5 miles, 52:00
H: 6 miles, 56:46 (9:27 pace)
S: 14 miles
S: 5 miles, 51:19 (10:16 pace)