Last Wednesday I made a comment to a coworker about how good I felt after having run marathons on back to back weekends. I really did feel worse after the first than I did after the second.
That all changed when I went for an easy 3 miler on Thursday. My right hamstring was tight, and I mean tight. This was an unfamiliar pain for me. I guess the two marathons had more of an effect on my body than I initially realized.
Earlier in the week I emailed Anne of run-dmz for route suggestions for Tyler and I on Saturday. She sent me a link to a great site on San Diego running routes and gave me her own personal recommendations. Thanks, Anne! I talked them over with Tyler and he ended up choosing Los Penasquitos Canyon. He also chose the starting time of 10:00, a "little" later than I normally get going but it allowed me plenty of time for the 2 hour drive to San Diego. This being November and with San Diego's normally moderate weather I figured I couldn't go too wrong.
I did make the decision to start the run at the west end of the trail so that we ran uphill on the out portion and downhill on the back. Turns out the trail is pretty much flat except for a couple of decent rollers in the first mile or two on the west end. I did hear a couple of "I so hate you" on the couple of little hills since I had pretty much sold him on the route being flat.
The main route down the center of the fairly wide canyon is basically a dirt service road. At the west end after the couple of hills the trail goes through some sycamore groves, then through some meadows and finally through a couple of groves of live oak before reaching the parking lot a the opposite end, 6 miles away. There are many little side trails that could be added on for a fun little day of running exploration.
At one point a guy blew by us in the opposite direction and then passed us a little later like we were standing still. He had to have been doing sub 7:00 miles, maybe even less. It was a beautiful thing to see. We also found and picked up a car alarm clicker that we were able to give back to the owner who had doubled back on the trail in search of it. Call it our good deed for the day.
Tyler's plan called for 10 miles in preparation for his first half marathon. We made it to the 5 mile mark pretty much without incident. There were several other runners, some hikers and quite a few bikers out enjoying the day as well. The plan was to run out the the 5 mile mark and then head on back.
When we hit the 5 mile mark Tyler questioned whether the planned 10 was adequate as his last long run before the half. I tried to assure him that it would be fine but left the decision up to him. He decided to go the full 6 partially for the sake of preparation, partially for the hopes of the port-a-john that would surely be at the parking lot on that end of the trail.
Thankfully it was there and after a brief stop Tyler was ready to head back to down the canyon. Up to this point my legs were feeling tired but OK. Somewhere along the way back my legs started feeling really fatigued and the right hamstring was causing me some pain. Tyler was getting pretty beat himself. There were a couple of walk breaks in the last 3 or 4 miles, especially on those rollers, but we finished the 12 in 2:06:19, a leisurely 11:22 pace for Tyler's longest run to date.
My legs were thrashed and he commented on being way more tired than after his 9 miler last weekend. Some of that may be due to sprints he did on the treadmill on Thursday and Friday. I told him no sprints the week of the half. By the way I finally signed us both up for the half earlier in the week. We'll be running the City of Angels Half Marathon. This is the second running. I wanted to run the inaugural last year but instead I was in Kentucky running the Otter Creek Trail Marathon.
After the run we went back to his place and showered then when downtown to Little Italy for lunch at Zia's Bistro. I had a one of the best bowls of minestrone ever and the Tre Gusti pizza. Tyler had penne with sausage, garlic and broccoli. We should have stopped there but instead we headed over to Extraordinary Desserts for coffee and a little something sweet. I had a wonderful pumpkin cheesecake with dark cherry sauce. That one piece of cheesecake took care of all the calories burned out there on the trail but it was delicious.
I took Sunday off in favor of the hamstring. I'm probably going to baby the leg a little this next week although I'd really like to ramp back up. I've got another state to conquer here with an ever growing list of bloggers going to be there. Besides me, Joe and Wes; I now know about Lana, Michele and David (all from TN). The excitement builds. Let's hope the hamstring loosens up.