Since the middle of the week we’ve been hearing about this big summer storm that was about to hit So Cal, with the worst of it planned for Saturday. We did wake up to wet streets on Thursday and Friday but the remainder of Friday was the sunniest and warmest day we’d had all week. We had received one email planning a Peter’s Canyon run, followed a day later by a reschedule to the Santa Ana River Trail to avoid the possible mudfest on the trail. I liked this option better since I had up to 20 miles scheduled; Peter’s Canyon in a 7.5 mile loop.
I awoke Saturday morning to cloudy skies and damp streets but no falling rain. Since the storm hadn’t live up to its potential yet, I wasn’t sure what would happen as the day progressed. I planned for the worst and brought my hat and even brought some Band-Aids for those areas prone to damage from a wet shirt. I drove through a couple of spots of light sprinkles on the way to Yorba Linda but arrived to an overcast but dry trail.
Julie was there this morning and glad to see that I was back. She was glad to have a running partner. She is capable of running much faster than me, but has been taking a more laid back approach after several years of training hard and racing to AG honors. She and her husband Gary part of the Cruisers group heading of to DC for the Marine Corps Marathon. Julie was planning a 20 miler. I explained my dilemma so we decided to run together as far as we felt comfortable and go from there.
We settled into an easy pace, somewhere in the middle nines, following James and Michelle. The rest of the group faded further and further behind as the miles progressed. The conditions were ideal with overcast skies and temperatures in the low 60’s. Just as we finished up the south leg, at 10 miles, the skies opened up. Within minutes we were soaked to the skin. It continued to rain pretty heavily for the next mile or two and then it began to let up. My hat had been fastened onto my Fuelbelt and I was very glad I had brought it along.
Around mile 13 Julie admitted that if she had been running alone she would have bagged the run. We had discussed at a couple of points just how far we were going to run that day. We had settled at one point to at least run to the wooden bridge where the trail moves to the opposite side of the river. That would have given us 16 miles. My max (based on the majority of votes from last post) was 18. When we got to the point of turn around Julie was determined to get the full 20 done so I hung in there with her.
The last 5 miles got increasingly harder for me. Julie still seemed to be running strong although she said she was tired. While we had run side by side for 17 miles I now starting lagging behind a little. At mile 18 everything below the waist was hurting, especially the weak points of right foot and left hip. My left knee was expressing a degree of unhappiness as well. All my normal signs of fatigue were present: head dropped to the left and my left foot dragging along Lurch-like.
Even with the wet shirt I suffered to tissue damage. The Band-Aids and a little Body Glide did the job. Gary on the other hand wasn't as fortunate.
In keeping with my current training method of not stressing over pace I barely glanced at my watch and only hit the split four times during the run. It wasn’t until I got home that I determined the pace. We hadn’t started right at a mile marker as usual so the first split was 32:26 for something more than 3 but less than 4. The next 2 miles were at 17:44. This was the turn around point for the south leg. The next time I hit the split button was at mile 15. 10 miles in 1:30; right at 9:00 pace. Running with Julie had me going a little faster than I might have gone alone. The next 3 miles were at 29:47 and had incorporated a couple of walk breaks. The next full mile was 9:28 and the whole run was completed in 3:05:54 for 9:18 pace.
To stay under 4:00 at MCM I will need to maintain a 9:09 pace throughout. After struggling today I’m more than worried. I do admit that I haven’t tackled this round of training with my normal zeal. The nagging injuries have really put a damper on me mentally. I want to run, but feel like I can’t perform to my expectations.
Thanks to all who voted on the long mile schedule. I guess by running 20 on Saturday, I’ve made some kind of choice. Even now though I think I will attempt another 20 miler next Saturday and then enjoy a long taper into MCM.
This is getting long winded but I wanted to tell you about my run today. Tyler is home for a one week break before the fall semester begins. It is hard to believe that he’s already completed his first year at culinary school. Tyler has kept up his running since this spring when we ran the 5k’s together. He has worked his way up and had 8 miles on his schedule. Right after church we headed over to the San Gabriel River Bikeway. Bryan came along too and road the bike. Tyler knocked out the 8 miles, without a walk break, in 1:27. Pretty cool, huh? 8 miles was more than I really needed but I had a blast running along side my son for 8 miles. I’m hoping to get him over to Bonelli some time this week before he goes back to school.