Taper time is maddening. I've been through this often enough I should be used to it, but I'm not. All the runs go well enough, it just seems that all those little aches and pains make themselves fully evident the last week or so preceding the next big marathon.
I was able to make it to Bonelli 2 out of 3 of the weekday runs. If I change at work, leave right on time and go straight there I've been able to get up to 5 miles done before darkness sets in. Next weeks runs will likely be the end.
Saturday there was a 5K in my hometown. Running a 5K in Covina has been on my wish list for a while now but I was never aware of a race. The $30 (late) registration fee and no hopes of a PR convinced me just to get down to the river trail and run with the Cruisers instead.
I set off with Julie and Gary. We maintained a really easy 10:00 pace. It didn't feel as easy as a 10:00 pace should feel for me. I worried that I would be too comfortable with that pace come race day. Chalk that up to more of the taper goofiness. Although Julie and I are both capable of sub 9:00, Saturday's pace felt right. My legs are still feeling the effects of the 14 miler in the mountains last weekend. About 5 miles into the run I had to make a pit stop and waved Julie and Gary on.
I finished the last 3 miles of the run on my own at 8:00 pace. It wasn't intentional, it was just the pace that I fell into and oddly it felt comfortable as well. That helped ease some of my taper anxiety.
This morning I headed over to Bonelli for an easy 3 miles. When I first woke up it was still a little dark. Since the run was going to be short I waited until 7:00 for the sun to be completely up. For anything less than 5 miles I simply head out the trail and turn around half way . I was just bopping along lost in my thoughts and ended up running past my turn around point. Fortunately just a little. I had to laugh at myself. I'm such a creature of habit I was on my way around for the full loop.
While I was waiting for the sun to come up I was checking my blogs and came upon this timely entry by Dean Karnazes. I think he's done a good job of describing the struggle of the marathon.
The weather here in SoCal is expected to reach the triple digits this week. It's the end of October folks, triple digits! So far the forecast in DC looks favorable. Even if things heat up I'm confident the Marines will be prepared.
My goals in DC are: 1) Give it my best shot at staying under 4:00 and 2) enjoy the pomp and cirmcumstance of our nation's capitol. Seems reasonable enough.
Several people have commented on the Holy Jim Trail. That is its real name. I can't make this stuff up. A cursory search of the web provided this:
TRAIL HISTORY: (From the Cleveland National Forest Website) If you expect that the Holy Jim Canyon is named for a pious, early preacher in the Santa Ana Mountains, you would be very wrong! Jim Smith was a beekeeper who settled in the north fork of Trabuco Canyon in the 1870s. It was said that: "Jim Smith was a talker...no ordinary talker... a man given to blasphemous eloquence. When he started cussing... he could peel paint off a stove pipe." When government surveyors first mapped the canyon, they chose to name it "Holy Jim" rather than "Cussin' Jim," since the word "cussing" was considered neither polite nor appropriate for a government publication.