Sunday, October 21, 2007

Next Stop, Washington DC

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.
(http://www.mountainbikebill.com/HolyJim.htm)

24 comments:

robtherunner said...

Triple digits in October just sounds wrong. Embrace the taper, Darrell! You will be ready on race day.

Anne said...

As I read your post that includes the weather, I'm inhaling brush fire smoke and waiting for the air to clear enough to make out the next neighborhood. Be glad you are tapering during this time, Darrell!

Bob Gentile said...

well ummm I have ONE taper experience prior to GTR -LOL ahhh such a newbie I am :-(

I could not believe though the little aches and pains that came out during that taper...I was like WTF is going on and everyone said it's normal---pretty funny that TAPER peep is huh :-)

Enjoy it Darrell, rest those legs for race day!!! ur going to do great!

Rae said...

Triple digits, ugh!!

I can't believe the 'thon is almost here already!! I'm looking forward to hearing all about it!

yumke said...

The weather in DC is looking good but I won't hold my breath. Best to wait until Thursday before really trusting forecasts. Have a good rest of your taper!

angie's pink fuzzy said...

have fun in dc!

Tyler said...

Have fun in Washington DC.
You're leaving me alone to run 8 miles at home. Boreeeeing.
I'll just make Bryan ride with me or something.
Trails on Saturday and Possibly Friday :D. Woot.

Tyler said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tyler said...

I think this should go smack dab on the front of your page too.

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m281/ pb4life110/October202007019.jpg

Wes said...

Nothing like burning off a little taper madness at an 8:00 pace :-)

Journey to a Centum said...

The biggest problem with MCM is that there is so much to see that you end up with too much time on your feet. I could spend a month in the Smithsonian alone. It's a great course and I'm sure you will enjoy it. They have a nice little surprise for you at mile 26. When you turn into Arlington Cemetary heading up to the Iwo Jima Memorial you run up a fairly steep hill. You can smell the finsh at that point which gives you incentive to keep running. That and about 300 people crowded on the sides of the road cheering you up the hill.

It's a much bigger race now than when I ran it. I think they have 30,000 runners now vs 20,000 just three years ago.

Like Rob said, enjoy the taper!

Eric

Joe said...

madness indeed, Darrell!!! Isn't it nuts??

Boy, I'm excited for your MCM experience...go get the sub 4!!!

Hope the fires are far enough from you to keep everyone safe.

scott keeps running said...

have a great taper. my sister has a friend running the mcm so she's going out there with my dad to watch the race. wave to them when you run by. :)

Sarah said...

You're on the home stretch now. Just believe and I think you'll surprise yourself. : )

Robb said...

I say have a great trip! It will all come together for you. DC is a big and busy place but you're used to that stuff...

Soak it up buddy. Enjoy!!

PLANET3RRY said...

The taper is your friend... the taper is your friend.

Remember, the taper is temporary and glory is forever.

David said...

I am glad to not be reading about you running away from smoke and flames.

The heat is maddening. I agree.

Washington is awesome. You'll do well for all the hills and canyons you've run.

I have decided to train through the taper at a little higher velocity than prescribed. It just feels right.

Donald said...

Go after it, Darrell! Enjoy the course, race hard, and have a great time in DC!

Annette said...

Isn't weird how the taper plays with your mind? I always start thinking I'm injured right before a race. It's like your mind magnifies every little ache.

Thanks for sharing the Holy Jim story. That's good stuff! :) You're right, you can't make that up.

Good luck in DC!

Backofpack said...

Have a great trip Darrell! Can't wait to hear all about it. I'm looking forward to running there next October. Good luck and have fun.

Randy said...

Work the taper so it fits your body's requirements....I think in this months Runners World mag there is an article on tapering..that many are now saying that a big cut in mileage isn't necessarily the way to go....you might check that out....Good luck with the MCM....can't wait for the race report...I hope to do it someday..

Ryan said...

Best wishes for an outstanding race in DC, Darrell. I'll be pulling for you. Go get it and enjoy!

scott keeps running said...

have a great race!!!!

runliarun said...

They say well-behaved people don't make history. Holy Jim proves the point.