Thursday, April 12, 2007

On the Road Again

Here I am sitting at the Hampton Inn in Calgary, Canada for the third time since December, the second time in two weeks. I am beginning to learn my way around, at least around the northwestern side of town.

Before I got too far into this post, I wanted to reply to the comments on my last post.
Wes: Eugene will be a test for sure. If I am to qualify for Boston I need a 3:30 marathon. I'm very afraid that I won't make it and if I am going to make it it's gonna hurt. I'm going to give it my best shot but ...
Michelle: lets all keep our fingers crossed. I also want to clear up my time. When I'm stopped during training runs, so is my watch. The 3:23 is actual run time. Fortunately I won't be stopping to chat during the marathon and I can usually skip the facility stops during a race.
Jessica and Anne: thanks for the vote of confidence and I really liked that picture myself.
Joe: You crack me up. You're like a kid on Christmas Eve. I've had a hard time keeping up with the present; I hadn't given much thought to the next couple of weeks. Fire when ready!

Now for this weeks runs. I've said earlier that since the mileage totals and weekly runs were shortening up a bit I was going to try to increase the pace a little. Monday I ran the Bonnie Cove 5 at a pretty decent clip. I don't have mile markers along these routes in the neighborhood, so its just go at it as hard as possible and see what the watch says when I hit the finish line. Those 5 miles came in right at 40:00; 8 minute miles. My first thought was - how will I ever keep that up for 21.2 more?

Tuesday I stopped off at the dam on the way home. The dam is sporting some new signage these days. There is a new painted markers with a wavy line and the words San Gabriel River Bikeway. But of course these new marks don't coincide with the old mile markers. I decided to charge up the hill this time. I hit the mile mark in 8:08, about a minute faster than usual. I kept right on chugging away and thought man this is tough. I hit mile 2 in 7:08. No wonder it felt tough. I slowed things down a bit after that but still ended up with 38:30ish for 5 miles. Two pretty hard runs back to back.

My next two runs brought me to Calgary. It took me nearly the whole day to get here on Wednesday. I spent 2 extra hours in San Francisco waiting to get to Calgary. Everything was delayed by heavy fog. I made it to Calgary a little after 5:00 p.m., almost 12 hours after pulling out of my garage at home. I headed straight over to Nose Hill Park. I had worn my running shorts under my jeans. All I had to do was make a quick change of shirt and shoes and off I went. I ran comfortably in shorts and a long sleeve technical shirt with temps in the low 40's. Nose Hill is definitely a hill. From up top you can get a great view of the city skyline to the south and the endless plains to the north. There aren't many landmarks to use as guides. I made it to the opposite side of the park and back but not via the same route I took out. The park isn't really big enough to get lost in but you can get disoriented. I ran strictly by time, putting in 52 minutes which I guess is somewhere a little more than 5 miles. I had to stop or at least hesitate frequently to determine which criss-crossing path I wanted to take and then to try to trace my steps. I had brought by regular street shoes, but the trail shoes would have been a good choice this time due to the sloppiness of the trails in places.

I got up this morning and headed back over the the Bow River Bikeway for an easy 10k in 56:46. I still have about an hour before I have to be at the orthodontists office. I'm not sure exactly what I will do the rest of the afternoon and evening since my flight doesn't leave till 7:00. My other choice was 3:00 but I was afraid that would rush my visit at the docs office.

I've got 15 scheduled for Saturday and the Cruisers are planning on running into Chino Hills State Park which is exactly what I was already thinking. I look forward to that one. Next week I leave again for a whole week between Indianapolis and Chicago. That's were Joe comes in. I'm looking forward to the weekend in West Lafayette, IN which just so happens to fall between my two stops. We've made plans to share our last long run, 8 miles, before his back to back 1/2 marathons and Eugene. Joe has some other plans as well that include a home cooked meal (always a welcome treat and respite from a week's worth of restaurant food) and a personal guided tour of the sights in his neck of the woods; it should be a lot of fun.

9 comments:

Wes said...

Thanks for the feedback! I thought BQ was 3:45 or 3:40. I guess over the course of a marathon, that's not a big difference. Easy for me to say :-) Well, I'm impressed with those fast miles. Fast, fast for sure... Have a safe trip home.

Backofpack said...

Darrell, I hope you hit the time mark - I don't know if there are any out and backs but if so, I'll be watching for the flash as you fly by!

Your plans with Joe made me think that we'd better cook up some Eugene plans. I can't remember who else will be there besides you, Sarah and the gang from our corner of the world.

Lisa said...

You really wore your running shorts under your pants??? Oh man, you are crazier than even I would have thought!! You die hard, you! :) Glad you got to check out the other park in Calgary.

Hope your trip home is uneventful.

Sarah said...

Oh...so you are one of those types who turns off the watch when you stop, huh? ; ) : ) I'm impressed how well you get in your runs even when traveling. And that's cool you're getting to meet up with Joe again.

I hope to see you at Eugene, but I doubt it will be during the race! : )

PLANET3RRY said...

Don't forget that your qualifying time is for the age that you will be on RACE day, not the day you run the qualifying marathon...

"The qualifying window for the 2008 Boston Marathon will begin on September 23, 2006.

Qualifying times are based upon your age on the date of the Boston Marathon in which you will be participating."

maybe that helps for some...

Joe said...

Glad I can entertain!!!

What a hoot and what a good planner...all day in your running shorts to make a quick changeroo in Calgary!!! Hey, you're no SoCal wimp, either, if you ran in the low 40s in just a LS tech shirt. I have two layers on at that temp, plus gloves and a hat.

Lydiard would commend you for your speedwork right now...you have your base set, have done (and keep doing) your hill work, now you fine tune it for speed. A great formula. I know you'll leave nothing on the road in Eugene...focus on hitting the marks!

Can't wait to talk more, in person, next weekend!!! You'll love Gretchen's cooking!!

David said...

Oh yeah. You're pushing those back to backs pretty hard. Under the right conditions you could be very pleased with yourself in Eugene. Let's hope all the travel takes no toll. Sleep hard too.

robtherunner said...

One mile at a time, Darrell! The adrenaline is going to make the 8 minute miles feel a bit easier then all you have to do is carry it to the finish. I have faith in you. I hope there are some out and back sections as well. I will be the guy with a rope tied around Michelle as she drags me to the finish.

Robb said...

I have plenty of faith in you too. I like how consistent you are Darrell. You always manage to squeeze in the run with a smile. Good job buddy.

I know Calgary, the parks and trail system. It's pretty good there...but they only have two seasons - winter and spring.

Carry on dude. You're lookin' good.