Sunday, August 10, 2008

Of Canyons and Pines

After last week's easy - cut back week, it was time to ramp things up just a little bit more on the way to marathon #13. The plan called for 3-3 milers and a long run of 12. With some lucky placement of distances in the race schedule I pushed the planned 21 to nearly 24.

Thursday I went back to the OC to run the third installment of the Peters Canyon Summer Trail Race Series. The CA Cruiser contingent was thinned out considerably, being down to 5 of us. So much for all my big talk after the last one about gunning for Dr. John. He handily beat me (after having run the San Fran marathon just 4 days prior). This time the loop was run clockwise, leaving the rolling hills until the 2nd half. Some of the down hills are pretty steep, by no means my strong suit. I'd much rather go up than down. The weather was warmer but didn't seem to be a huge factor. In the end I was a few seconds slower than a month ago with a 49:46 for the 5 miles. This accounted for 2 of the extra miles for the week.

Saturday, I was back at the starting line for the Run Through the Pines Half Marathon. The half fell on the weekend of my 12 miler. The race is held in Crestline and is run as laps around Lake Gregory. Crestline is the closest and maybe smallest of the mountain getaways in the San Bernardino Mountains about an hour from home. Lake Gregory is a small lake at 86 surface acres at an elevation of 4520 feet. Lisa and I drove up Friday afternoon and spent the weekend there. It was a great excuse to get out of town and spend some quality time together. I was joined by 6 other Cruisers, 4 of which were staying at the same hotel by coincidence.

I wasn't going to "race" this one. I just wanted to get the miles in. I stuck to a 7 minute run/1 minute walk interval for the entire race. I started my watch at the beginning and used it only to track the intervals. The half marathon was 4 loops around the lake plus some extra to get the 13.1 distance in. The lake is encircled by a 6 foot fitness path about 3 miles in distance. I did have to check my watch once to determine if I'd made three loops or four. Although I didn't mind doing four loops, it was somewhat difficult to keep a mental count on just how many I had completed. Running the loops had the benefit of crossing the three on course aid stations for times each and you knew exactly when to expect the little up and downs of the mountain road. The course was about 50% shaded. The loop course also afforded multiple chances to see Lisa. She was the unofficial race photographer and caught nearly all of us each lap around.

I was the third Cruiser to finish, behind Randy and Cathe. I came in at 2:10 for a 9:55 pace, a satisfying pace for this point in the return/training. I had nearly caught Cyndee as she completed her third lap. Lisa and I waited and cheered for Denis, Dr. John, Dorothy and Cyndee to finish. It was a fun little event with only 75 finishers. The finisher award was a hand crafted cutout of a pine tree with a small nameplate affixed to the base.

We spent the afternoon reading and just generally being lazy. I read "Endurance, Shackleton's Incredible Voyage". It is pretty amazing what he and his crew accomplished in the Antarctic in 1915-16. We did take a pedal boat out on the lake which probably wasn't the best idea after having run 13.1 miles. We did enjoy some good grub while we were there. The shrimp penne at The Stockade was tasty and a great carbo load the night before the race. The fish tacos at La Cocina de Tony #2 were some of best I've had and went down really well with the celebratory Dos X's Amber. The homemade pasta cannelloni and manicotti at The Cottage for dinner were also very satisfying.

I got up Sunday morning and ran another lap around the lake to bring my weekly mileage total to 23.8. We couldn't leave the mountain without one good breakfast and Billy Bears fit the bill. We lingered over our coffee for a while not really wanting to come back down the hill to reality, teenagers and work.

Next week, things ratchet back a little with the long run being "only" 7 miles. The 7 miles reminds me of a shoe slogan I saw recently that said "Our short runs used to be our long runs". I'm getting back to that point and feeling good about it. My shin held up really well. The stress fracture and any lingering pain has subsided for now. Earlier in the week the physical therapist released me. Good news, yet a bit scary to be going it alone.

One little piece of trivia about Crestline I read in a brochure by the Crestline Business Council - "In 1921 Los Angeles real estate developer, Charles Mann, purchased a major interest in this area and began promoting Crestline Village as a year-round resort destination." Imagine that!

14 comments:

Legs and Wings said...

That was a great way to spend the weekend. You have a certain knack for describing good food Darrell. I've never heard of a seafood taco.

It is so good to hear that you're ramping up. I sense the thrill and I'm glad for you to be getting back after the shin trouble.

Keep at it buddy. I hope to start back this fall.

Anne said...

The race and your run around that lake sound ideal. Maybe I should add it to my "must do" races for 2009. Where did you stay? The whole weekend sounds perfect.

Very funny too that Shore Turtle has the same name as that developer. Of course if they are one in the same, our Charlie has definitely found the fountain of youth!

Wes said...

By all means, pedal your heart out in the lake, after the race :-) LOL!! Nicely done, Darrell!! Keep treating the shin with TLC. Memphis is waiting...

Backofpack said...

You are on the comeback trail for sure! Sounds like a fabulous weekend away. I know what you mean about coming back to reality...I'm back to work this morning (in about 45 min) after two weeks off!

FLYERS26 said...

Well, now we know how old Turtle really is.

hmmm.. seafood tacos!!
Glad to hear the injuries are behind you.

robtherunner said...

Good to hear that the injury seems to be gone and you can ramp things up again. Nice way to spend a weekend.

Joe said...

That's a great book you read...Gretchen read it while we were on vacation last year and described it so well to me, I felt like I got to read it too! Amazing feat of endurance to not lose a single man through all of that. Makes you thankful you didn't eat a blubber taco....

Two races in one week...wow! You disciplined yourself well to do the 2:10. 7/1 is even a bit agressive but you know well what you're up to.

Keep hanging in there with "reality"...good for the two of you to get away.

Enjoy the week!!

ShoreTurtle said...

hmm. I should look into that. Maybe I have more money than I thought!

Sarah said...

That's great you're already able to run a 1/2 marathon! Sounds like that stress fracture is now a thing of the past. : )

Rae said...

Great job!!! It sounds like your recovery is going really well! And it sounds like a very nice weekend away!

Annette said...

Nice work! You are definitely back in the running. Now it's my turn to catch up!

Homemade Italian food sounds delicious! :)

Ryan said...

Way to go, Darrell. Glad to know your race was "satisfying". That feeling can oft be elusive. Looking forward to tracking your progress.

Neese said...

hehe that slouch pic of me was actually me trying to push out my stomach and it just made my body do that instead lol. Congrats on the half, that finish time sounds great! And considering what you've been through, just finishing, is wonderful! I think it's safe to say you are BACK!

Ryan said...

I little behind here, what a great weekend and to hear ur getting in the miles plus a half marathon, ur the comeback kid!