Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 In Retrospect

I arose this morning and headed out the door for my last run of the year. It might be fun to say that I let my imagination run wild with the route, but no, I headed out for my 5 mile Bonelli Loop. I did do it counter clockwise this morning, just for something different.

I ended the year with a nice round 1500 miles. I couldn't have planned it better. It is sad that this is the first year in my 4.5 year career that I haven't increased my annual mileage over the previous year.

Miles for 2007 = 1500
Average monthly miles = 125
Lowest monthly miles (May) = 44.6
Highest monthly miles (March) = 197.7
Number of days run = 213
Average weekly miles = 28.8
Lowest weekly miles = 0
Highest weekly miles = 50

I ran 16 races in 2007. I only set a single PR at the 8K distance. It was a tough year.

Besides the 8K, I ran six 5K's. Three of those were run side by side with Tyler, one I ran alone, and the other two Tyler and I both ran but ran our own races. At those races Tyler set PR's, makes me wonder who was slowing who down.

There were 4 half marathons, 2 of which were run within 6 days of one another and after recovering from tendonitis in my foot and a month of almost no running. The last one was the City of Angels Half with Tyler. I also ran one 14 miler on the trails.

There were four marathons in 2007 that took me from 9 Down to 12 Down.

Eugene Marathon - Oregon
Marine Corps Marathon - Washington DC
Marshall Marathon - West Virginia
Rocket City Marathon - Alabama

Each was memorable for different reasons. Eugene was the only trip that my wife joined me and I got to meet up with all the great bloggers from the PNW. MCM was run with a whole bunch of the Cruisers and it just a superbly run event in the nation's capitol - very inspiring. Marshall was fun because I ran it with no expectations one week after MCM. It was a beautiful day and my family drove down from Ohio to support me. Rocket City was a birthday present from my wife and allowed me to hang out with Joe and Wes. My favorite for 2007 has to be Marine Corps, though.
Map compliments of

Happy New Year!
Be great in 2008! – Dane Johnson

The miracle of running is that with each workout, each step, you are becoming a different person – stronger, certainly, but also more invested in life and the possibilities it holds. – Marty Jerome

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Monrovia Canyon Falls

Day two of the long weekend and my only goal was to run a few miles outside and off road. I decided it was finally time to go explore the local mountains. I'd promised myself to do that early this year and didn't make it there often except for Glendora Ridge Road a couple of times.

I finally headed over to Monrovia Canyon Falls. I took the website suggestion of parking outside the park and running in. I was a bit worried about the population density of the trail based on the number of cars encountered by the website author. I hoped that a long holiday weekend and a Sunday afternoon in December might thin the crowds down a little. I was one of only half a dozen cars parked outside.

Parking outside the park added about a mile round trip to the run. Once in the park, I jumped on the Bill Cull Trail and followed it. On the lower part of the trail I passed to women hiking in. As I got closer and closer to the waterfall at the end of the trail, the trail got more and more crowded. I came across several large groups of people going in both directions. There are two other options for jumping on the trail and I think most people take the shortest route.

At the waterfall I took a five minute break to sit and enjoy the view. I should have carried my camera but there is a pretty good photo of the falls on the weblink. On the way back I took the trail to the Nature Center and then took the road rather than the trail back to the car.

It was a fun little run for a Sunday afternoon. I'm not sure that I will do it again. It's only about a 4 mile run. Because it is easy to get to, it is a very popular, i.e crowded. There is another trail that heads off from the park that looks interesting, up Sawpit Canyon Fire Road, on up Overturff trail to Deer Park Junction and even on to White Saddle and beyond. It looks very runnable from these photos (just keep clicking for a nice photo tour of the trail).

Two more days means two more runs. The last run of 2007 and the first of 2008. Up next the annual recap.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Long Weekends

I love holiday weeks. Doesn't everybody? I don't love them just for the obvious reasons of long weekends and short work weeks, but more for the opportunity to get my runs down during the week under daylight conditions. Also thanks to the holidays things at work are very laid back. Nearly half the office is on vacation as are many of our customers, so it is a great time to catch up on the things that I just never seem to have time for the rest of the year. I've been able to walk out the door at 5:00 sharp this week for the first time in months. I was very happy to see that at 5:00 it wasn't pitch black. Only a few days into the official season of winter and the days are starting to get longer. You have no idea the smile those last few rays of sunshine put on my face. It's the little things!

Planned runs with Tyler didn't happen. He is suffering from a pain on the upper part of his shin. It hurts to run and is tender to the touch. It has flared up since the half marathon. I fear a stress fracture. Getting him to ice it and take Ibuprofen is near impossible.

Christmas Eve and Christmas day I was able to put in 5 miles each day on the trails. Both runs were very peaceful. On each of my runs there lately I've scared up a hawk. I stop and watch him fly away to a perch that makes him more comfortable. He cuts through the air so gracefully.

Thursday and Friday evenings after work I headed off to the gym with the boys. A gym membership is something I've been toying with for a couple of years now. I wasn't sure when I'd find the time to go. I'm considering a training plan with three days of running. This plan worked well for Danny, David and Charlie (if my memory serves me right). Danny has rocked a PR in every distance in 2007. My hip continued to bother me throughout the year. A gym membership will force me to run less. Bryan, son #2, has been asking for a gym membership for some time now. So the time seemed right to sign up. My upper body is SORE right now. We'll see how it goes.

I enjoyed a 10 mile run this morning with the Cruisers. We met in Brea to run the "Two Loops-Two Parks" route. I ran most of the first loop with some of the mid pack runners. I let James, Jesse and Anet go on ahead. Julie caught up with me on the way back. She had been hanging back with the back of the pack, but picked up the pace. I took the challenge to finish up the first loop at at a faster pace. I made the second loop on my own as many others opted for the "One Loop - Two Parks" option. Mary and Cathe on the other hand took the "Three Loops" option as training for the Surf City Marathon. Coffee and conversation followed.

Three more days off work means three more opportunities for a run.

Monday, December 24, 2007

By Definition

Thankfully we are approaching the end of the eating season that began back in October with pilfering from the Halloween candy bought for the neighborhood kids. It has just continued on through the food frenzy of Thanksgiving and has continued soon with the holiday potlucks and will culminate with the champagne toast next week.

My diet has been out of kilter for a while now. By diet; I mean: "the foods eaten, as by a particular person or group: The native diet consists of fish and fruit." Because I'm a runner I can get away with eating pretty much as I wish. For the last 5 years or so I've eating fairly intelligently. I took the Food IQ test in the January 2008 Runners World and scored 74 points earning me the rating of "Impressive. You must have strong knowledge - and good habits. With a couple of changes you can be a nutrition superstar." Yeah, me! I lost points for not taking a daily multi-vitamin and I missed the mark on the amount of protein and water I should be getting.

But knowing what to do and putting it into action are not the same. Usually my running makes up for any sloppiness in the diet, but lately the scale has been tipping the other way. Its time to start thinking about diet in these terms: "such a selection or a limitation on the amount a person eats for reducing weight: No pie for me, I'm on a diet."

One way I like to do this is to cut out the sweets and eat more raw whole foods. My idea of whole foods currently is along the lines of: "comprising the full quantity, amount, extent, number, etc., without diminution or exception; entire, full, or total: He ate the whole pie." I'm not usually into News Years Resolutions but committing to whole foods " a natural food especially when grown organically" might be a good idea.

On the running front things are still in easy mode: "free from pain, discomfort, worry, or care: He led an easy life."

M: Zilch

T: planned on picking up the Christmas tree. It rained. No tree, no running.

W: No rain, picked up the Christmas tree. Nada running

H: still nothing (I can't even remember why)

F: we got out of work a little early so I headed out to Bonelli for a relaxed 3.5 miles.

S: Jesse invited the Cruisers out for a run on the equestrian trails in Fullerton. This is the first time we've run here. We've been running together for 4 years. I feel like he's been holding out on us. The 10.5 mile run took us through some nice neighborhoods, around a lake, along the railroad tracks, by the golf course, up and down some hills and through the mud. After the run we met back up at Jesse's house and enjoyed coffee, hot chocolate, OJ and pancakes. Jesse spoiled us for sure.

S: back to my favorite little park for another easy 4 miler. I took a couple of spur trails I hadn't taken before.

I haven't used my watch since Rocket City. Until Friday when Tyler wore it for his run, it still read 4:07.

It’s a beautiful, sunny, 70 degree day today. I trimmed bushes and mowed the front lawn this morning. Tyler wants to go over to Bonelli to try some of the tougher trails later this afternoon.

Merry Christmas to all.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Takin' It Easy

Well here I am, 9 days since Rocket City and I've run just once.

I went into Rocket City not feeling that great. My body was tired; my left hip was bugging me again and my heels were complaining a lot too. I definitely wasn't where I needed to be mentally to "attack" Huntsville. Thankfully my mood improved considerably being surrounded by so much runner pheromone. Besides its pretty hard to be a downer when you get to hang out with Wes and Joe. How the race went has been well documented.

Before I'd even gotten to Huntsville I had already given myself permission to take at least the next week off. Taking the week off was going to be made easier because I had a business trip to PA and NJ the week after the marathon. I returned to So Cal from Alabama on Sunday and headed back out on Tuesday, not returning home again until Saturday. After my first few marathons I always took a week off. I decided that I deserved, even needed, a week off this time around.

My trip would offer an opportunity to run on Friday or Saturday. I packed my gear but left it packed in the suitcase.

Sunday I woke up at home in my own bed and was ready for a run. Guess where I went? Can you all say - B-O-N-E--L-L-I! I headed over there at 7:00 a.m. and was off on my Sunday morning 5 mile loop. I had my watch on my wrist but didn't use it. I just ran for the fun of it. It was very enjoyable.

Later that day we drove #2 son to San Diego so that he and #1 son could attend the Chargers vs. Lions game. While they were at the game, the wife and I finished up our Christmas shopping and enjoyed a treat at Extraordinary Desserts (a very dangerous place).

I didn't run again today. It is still early in the week and now that Dancing with the Stars and Survivor are both over I've got my week nights completely free. I may yet get a run in this week or I may decide to enjoy another easy week, maybe even two, before I begin to crank things back up for 2008.

My first race of the year (my first ultra), the Twin Peaks 50/50, has been postponed. The postponement is a blessing in disguise for this tired soul. My plans for 2008 will require me to ramp up eventually but for now - I'm takin' it easy.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Rocket City Marathon

A couple of things are certain about this race. You are guaranteed absolutely flawless execution and support from the race staff and the weather in Huntsville, Alabama is pretty darn unpredictable.

This marathon trip was a birthday gift from my wife way back in July. Thanks to her I am able to chase this crazy little dream. Alabama wasn't on her 10 must see places so she sent me off to hang out with Joe, Wes (and DeeDee). A great time was had by all. I met a lot of other great people as well.

Joe and I decided to take full advantage of the complete array of marathon related events. We started things off with the Historic Runs on Friday afternoon. It was a casual run that afforded us views of some of the oldest areas of Huntsville.

Next up was the pasta dinner where Joe and I met Jeff Galloway personally and had our pictures taken. Wes and DeeDee checked in just in time for the dinner. We took seats at a table with a couple, Charlie and Cheryl, who turned out to be from the same town as Wes and DeeDee, as well as runners/triathletes and oddly enough their hotel rooms were right next door. We were joined by a couple of guys from CO, Jerry and Don, and a guy from TX, Claude, who had run nearly 40 marathons this year alone. There was no lack of stories to be swapped.

Later that evening fellow blogger David, part of the TN contingent I'd been following lately, stopped over to our hotel for a chat. He shared his experience from last year's race with us.

As the three of us discussed the race strategies for the following morning I wasn't sure exactly where I'd place myself. My expectations weren't high based on recent results and decidedly sub-par training. This was Joe's target race, Wes's first and the TN folks were all gunning for sub 4:00. Joe and Wes were focused on 4:15 and gave off the impression that they didn't intend on socializing. I wasn't sure I could hang with TN so I decided to just see what the day had in store.

The starting line was within 100 yards of the hotel lobby, as was the finish line. Joe and I positioned ourselves at the 4:00-4:15 placard and immediately found David and Michele, the second third of TN. Lana was no where to be found. Wes joined us soon thereafter.

Wes, Joe and I took off together. We were joined during that first mile by Greg from Oklahoma. He started up a conversation based on my Marathon Maniac singlet. Nine minutes into the race, Joe and Wes took their walk break and I continued on with Greg. David and Michele were somewhere up ahead.

Greg and I ran together for about 7 miles when he peeled off for a biology break. Greg gave me a lot of tips on marathon recommendations in OK, Nebraska and Kansas. We had passed, much to my surprise, David, Michele and Lana (they'd connected somewhere along the way). They wished me well as I went by. I assured them that they were likely to catch me in the end. After Greg dropped off I was on my own for the rest of the race. Greg eventually caught me around mile 11 and motored right on past.

The weather was a huge factor in this race. The course itself was 80% residential. The aid stations were well stocked and staffed. At the start the temperature was already in the 60's and the humidity level was high, high, high. The cloud cover was heavy so the moisture just clung in the air. I don't think I've seen so many soaked runners before. Because of the humidity the walking wounded began around mile 10 and continued on.

I was able to tick off miles from 8:55 (mile 9) to 9:55 (mile 1). The only mile that was over 10:00 was mile 25 at 10:01. I thought to myself at one point that this race felt like many of my training runs along the Pacific Ocean in Huntington Beach on those socked in humid days. Maybe that was to my advantage, I don't really know.

I crossed the finish line in 4:07: 49 by the clock (4:07:06 by the chip). I felt pretty good. I immediately ran into Charlie, Jerry and Claude from the night before. I went back out to the finish chute to wait for Joe and Wes. I got to see David crossing the line and missed Michele. She found me as she was waiting for Lana. Greg saw me standing there as he was pulling away in his car and hollered a good bye. Lana made it around 4:45. It was great to get to see her running across the finish lines with her kids by her sides, a very special moment.

I was beginning to get cold and was definitely hungry. If you know me, you know I can EAT after a marathon. So based on David, Michele and Lana being 30 to 45 minutes off their pace I gambled and ran into the hotel to get some food. Among other things the warm vegetable soup did the trick.

I headed back out and somehow Joe had snuck across the finish line, but I didn't know it yet. I did see Don, the 76 year from Colorado, finish in 5:02 for 1st place in the 75-79 AG. Not long after that I heard them call out Wes's name and looked up to see him coming. I won't soon forget his quote "It is what it is", obviously hurting and disappointed about the outcome. I went to meet him past the finish line and found out then that Joe had finished and was feeling nauseous. I went looking for him. He wasn't in the room which worried me, so I went back down to the lobby and ran into him at the food line. He had ducked into a meeting room until he'd felt well enough to move around.

In the spirit of soaking in the entire experience we went to the awards ceremonies, enticed there as much as anything by the lure of two random $500 gifts to a runner that was present when they called their name. Sadly no one I knew or met that day, won the money. It was awe inspiring to hear the times of the AG winners.

I can't really explain my finish time considering how the race turned out for the others, especially considering their training, etc. I was a little sheepish realizing that I'd finished ahead of them. But as Wes said "It is what it is" and I couldn't be happier with my result.

I'd say Rocket City was a success. I got to hang with Joe again, meet Wes, the man behind the upbeat supportive blog. Now when I read his blogs I hear his voice. A huge shout of thanks to DeeDee for being a great race photographer and putting up with us three guys. It was also great to meet recent blog reads David, Michele and Lana. I'm sure we'll all keep in touch at least through the blogs (until of course some of you start talking that strange triathlon language I don't understand ;-)). I met a whole bunch of other runners that convince me even more that runners are the nicest people around. I may never see them again but it was fun to spend a few hours in their company.

The next state hasn't been determined yet. Joe and I tentatively have the Memphis marathon on the books for December 2008. That will be our 3rd annual early December reunion. I'd love to see the rest of you there as well. The rest of 2008, at least the first half of the year, will be dedicated to doing some of the California races I've neglected for the state chase. I'll post more on that later.

Thanks for reading and recover well!

Monday, December 03, 2007

City of Angels Half - The Results Show

Tyler reports sore legs but has neglected to take any Tylenol.

It looks like we might have a decent finish line photo after all. 2:07:25 for the both of us, exactly the time I had on my watch. I think its pretty cool that his overall pace was faster than his 10K pace. He stayed strong to the end. I forgot to mention yesterday that we caught and passed the 10:00 pace group at mile 4 and never saw them again.

To Danny's lament I did not carry my camera along on this run. I left my Fuelbelt at home; it has the nifty little pockets for carrying such things. I insisted that we wait in the long line to get our photo taken with the medals. I sure hope Brightroom comes through for us.

I skipped today's planned 2-miler in favor of tofu and eggplant Lisa had picked up from Panda Express on her way home from work. I spent another hour at the ER earlier this evening while she got 3 stitches in the heel of her left hand compliments of picture frame glass.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The First Half

The City of Angels Half Marathon Race Report

We woke up at 4:30 to be ready to leave the house by 5:00. We were driving into downtown LA to park at the Music Hall. The race was point to point which required catching buses near the finish line to the start at the Los Angeles Zoo in Griffith Park. The buses were running from 5:00 to 6:30. We were parked before 5:30 and waited until closer to 6:00 to catch our bus ride.

First stop at the Zoo was the Portopot. Second stop was finding a spot close to the propane heaters. I think the temps were about 45, not terribly cold but the sweats we'd worn were appreciated. We left the warmth of the heaters for a second visit to the john and then back to the heat. At 7:15 we left the heat for the last time and stripped off the sweats at the gear check. We did a quick jog through the lot to stay warm. Tyler threw in some jumping jacks and push ups for good measure. Soon everyone headed over to the start. The crunch of people warded off most of the chill.

Tyler's goal for the race was 10:00 miles, for a predicted 2:10 finish (he'd need 9:55 to really make it but 10:00 was easier to deal with. He was very pleased to see a 10:00 pace team identified with three white balloons. His plan was to stick with the pace group. During the National Anthem the balloons escaped. Tyler just threw up his hands - "What were they thinking?" I reassured him we'd be fine without the pace team balloons, I still had my watch.

Another funny thing, Tyler originally told me he didn't want to see the mile markers or know the time. He thought it would just freak him out. But as soon as we hit the first mile mark, he asked the time and continued to ask every mile thereafter. We had a laugh about that later.

The first four miles were an out and back along Crystal Springs Road in Griffith Park. The road separates two municipal golf courses. Griffith Park does a huge drive through Christmas light display. We ran by several displays. Tyler commented that it would be fun to run through here at night when the lights were on. I agreed. During those first four miles Tyler was desperately seeking a third stop at a john. Of course there were lines and he was hesitant to stop and lose time. He finally found an empty near the 4 mile mark about 100 yards off the course that no one else was willing to run to.

At 4 miles our time was 37:54. We had a 2 minute cushion. Tyler was pleased. Mile 5 was along a wide dirt path. This was very nice section of the run. At mile 5 we still had a 2 minute cushion.

After Mile 5 we went through a tunnel under Interstate 5 and ran a mile or so along the LA River Bike Trail. During this mile Tyler removed the make shift arm warmers (old knee high basketball socks) and I pulled off the long sleeve tech top. Short sleeves were ample at this point. I should say that the day ended up being a typically beautiful southern Cal late fall day.

Between mile 6 and 7 we left the bike path and hit the streets again where we would stay for most of the rest of the race. Mile 7 was our first significant hill up Hyperion Ave into Silver Lake. Hills are not a problem for Tyler. He just chugged right on up. I don't think he slowed down at all. I missed the mile 7 marker.

Mile 8 took us down Rowena Ave. It seems like this street was home to some unique and funky shops. One thing I remember is an upscale doggie daycare. We turned onto Silver Lake Blvd and ran next to the Silver Lake Reservoir and a pretty cool neighborhood. The houses were built on a hill so the garages were at street level then the houses went up two to three stories from there with some nice 30's-40's architecture. Silver Lake Blvd was concrete but there was a really nice dirt path between the street and the reservoir. We both took advantage of the softer surface. We hit mile 8 in 1:18, still clinging onto to that 2:00 cushion.

Mile 9 was predominately down hill and increased our cushion to nearly 3:00 at 1:27:19. If I had any complaint about this race it happened here. Up to this point we had been drinking water at every other water stop or so. Here I suggested to Tyler that we should get some Gatorade. This stop had some but they had run out and needed to mix up some more. Really this was a minor issue for us but worth mentioning.

On to mile 10 on Sunset Blvd was the next significant hill. Tyler slowed a little but not much. He hit mile 10 in 1:37:18. Still looking good. It was at this point that he began showing the slightest signs of fatigue. Up to here at water stops we slowed, grabbed the water, walked a couple of steps to gulp it down and then we were off. At the 10 mile water stop he was a little slower on the return to running.

Mile 11 took us into Echo Park and Tyler was hit by a pretty significant side stitch and pain that hit him in the neck and ran across his chest. We took a walk break for at least a minute before he was able to get moving again. I missed the marker so we weren't sure how much of the cushion we'd lost. This mile also included the last hill of note. Tyler slowed some, thought about walking, but kept plugging away instead.

From here on in it was pretty much a down hill finish. Mile 12 was spent on Temple Ave. Up ahead I pointed out Our Lady of The Angels Cathedral within striking distance of the finish. It was less than a half mile away but we still had about 1.5 to go. Mile 12 was 1:58, still looking good for that 2:10 finish. It was about here that Tyler began questioning his sanity and definitely questioning whether he ever wanted to tackle the full 26.2 distance.

After about a half mile on Figueroa St., the route took us onto 2nd St. which is in a tunnel under nearly 3.5 city blocks. It was a pretty cool place to run. Soon after exiting the tunnel we turned left and the finish line was in sight. Just 0.1 miles to go and Tyler kicked in the after burners. I had difficulty keeping up with him. I almost just let him go then decided to try to catch him in hopes of a decent finish line photo of the two of us together. I'm not sure if I made it.

Tyler's finish time by my watch was 2:07:25. He rocked the last 1.1 miles in 9:21:53. That boy has a pretty decent kick. As of this writing at 8:30 PST the official results have yet to be posted. Tyler felt great after the race. This evening his legs are sore and his knees ache, but it doesn't seem to be anything a Tylenol and ice won't help.

It was a perfect day of running. Getting to share a half marathon with my son is as they say "priceless". He ran pretty much the whole thing and never really needed any prodding from me to keep going, unlike the first couple of 5K's. I'm also impressed that he was able to beat his target pace by 2:35. We made it through on just the water at the water stops and no gels or other nutrition. He never uses these things in training and today wasn't the day to start. I kind of like his low tech, old school approach.

I asked him if he ever imagined himself running a half marathon. He said he knew he would once he started the Couch to 5K program back in February. High five! Today was the day!

The course was a really nice mix of urban parks, trails, residential, business and downtown theatre district. The course is way better than the LA Marathon course. The half course wouldn't accommodate the volume of people in the full. Spectators were non existent (no big deal for us really). The water stops were plentiful and well staffed although we did only see Gatorade at the one. The finish line festival was simple but plentiful. I'll never complain about getting chocolate chip cookies at a race. There was a live band, too.

It was a perfect day.

Saturday, December 01, 2007


That pretty much describes my midweek training this week, just plain s-a-d.

I ended the long weekend last week with a 15 miler in Chino Hills State Park. For something different I headed in up Telegraph and came back out via Southrigde. I'd never been on Southridge before. It is more rolling than Northridge but also closer to the neighborhoods of Yorba Linda to the south. It was a challenging run, but I think I prefer Northridge. Sunday I joined Tyler over in Bonelli for 7. My plan called for 5. We did the Cottontail loop and added the picnic loop. I was having difficulty keeping up with him. I cut my run short at 6.2 while Tyler knocked out the full seven. My days of considering my runs with him to be "easy" may be over.

Back to this week. The time change has hit me hard this year. I've always hemmed and hawed a lot more when I have to go out for the run after work, in the dark and cooler temps. For four winters its been this way but I've always made it out the door. This week that wasn't the case. My plan called for 4, 6 and 4 on Mon, Tues and Thursday. Monday I was in a foul mood as soon as I walked out the door at work to be greeted by the darkness. Couple that with my hip acting up, yet again, and I'd had enough. Tuesday wasn't any better. Wednesday's I have a conflict but I was determined to get out there Thursday night. All day at work on Thursday I was planning on the run, but upon getting home, I'd made up my mind to scrap that one as well. I had plans for Friday night so there was a big fat nothing in the log book and nothing for me but a funk of negativity. Call me weak sauce (#6,7, or 8), call it a goofy case of SAD, maybe it's just a bad week. What ever it is; this too shall pass. No matter what - I'm really looking forward to next weekend at Rocket City with Wes and Joe.

This morning I finally got out the door before 8:00 and ran my Robert's Loop run, 6.5 miles. The sky was mostly cloudy but at least it was light outside. About half way through the run I could feel my mood lifting. It was just the run I needed. I only have a couple of runs planned next week before I take off for Alabama on Thursday. I hope to eek them out, darkness and foul moods, be damned.

Later in the afternoon the boys and I went to the mini expo to pick up Tyler and my bibs, chips and goodie bags for the big day tomorrow, Tyler's first half marathon. The weather looks to be about perfect if not a little cool, in the 50's, for us weak southern Californians. This was supposed to be an easy effort for me, but I'm not so sure of that anymore. But, tomorrow is not about me its about Tyler. So I'll keep my mouth shut and my mood in check and enjoy watching Tyler cross that finish line.

Note: I need to give my younger son due credit for the race photos in the previous post. Thanks, bud!