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!