Sunday, November 30, 2008

Swim To The Beach

With two weeks to go before Memphis the plan called for a pretty easy week of 19 miles. Since I was on vacation and it was a holiday week I mixed things up a bit.

Monday I ran 4 miles in Bonelli in the morning. I didn’t realize until later that I had overshot the planned 3 miles. Tuesday morning in anticipation of rain forecasted for later in the week, I ran 3 more miles in Bonelli. I took a trail, Lakeview, which I hadn’t run before. It was short but sweet. Thursday morning before the turkey feast, I headed over to Bonelli once again. Tyler joined me for 3 miles on my Sunday loop. We did the 1.5 mile out & back. This was Tyler’s first time on this trail. He “complained” that the trail was one continuous hill, one way or the other. I’ve done it so many times it doesn’t seem that bad to me.

When it comes to Turkey Trots, I’m a purist. To me the only true Turkey Trot is actually run on Thanksgiving morning. In SoCal we have no less than 11 options for a Turkey Trot from the Sunday before to the Sunday after, with 8 of the choices actually on Thanksgiving Day. In the past I’ve run the Dana Point 5K, the grand daddy of them all and the Run for the Hungry twice, once with the younger son and once with the older. This year I broke my Turkey Trot Purity Vow.

Saturday morning, Lisa and I headed down to Temecula to combine two of our favorite past times into one (well at least two of mine and one of hers). The Turkey Trot was a fund raising event for a school in Arusha, Tanzania. The race was unique for me because I was running a Trot on a day other than Thanksgiving and it was a 10K. With over 5 years of running on the logs, I’ve never raced a 10K before.

The race started at the Cougar Winery and headed out onto the back roads of Temecula. It was an out and back course on gently rolling, mostly dirt roads. It wasn’t a huge race and we fell into our paces and places within the first half a mile. I maintained my position pretty well. The first three miles ticked off in 8:33, 8:42, and 8:32. After the first mile I only remember being passed by one person, a lady running with her two dogs. After the turn around I was slowly able to pick off three or four people in front of me. Mile 4 was done in 8:32. For the next 2.2 miles I didn’t lose or gain any ground. I was surprised to see Mile 5 come in at 9:40. The finish was up hill back to the tasting room. I covered the last 1.2 in 11:55 (9:56 pace). I was very happy with the 8:30 early miles and a little perplexed about the drastic slow down in the end. I didn’t feel like I was slowing and based on those around me I wasn’t losing any ground. My official time was 55:45, my new 10K PR.

on the way up the hill to the finish line, me in orange with my usual head lean to the left

After the race we spent the rest of the day in Temecula. We visited a couple of new wineries, Cougar and Frangipani, and a couple of our favorites, Robert Renzoni and Keyways. In between we enjoyed a wonderful lunch at the Smokehouse Restaurant on the grounds of the Ponte Winery.

A nice view of the rolling countryside in Temecula

We are cute, aren't we? (see the Happy Place post)

The next day offered an opportunity to run yet another Turkey Trot. This one a 10K as well in none other than my favorite park; Bonelli. Tyler had planned to run this one with me. When we checked the details of the race we realized that the run was on the roads and parking lots of Bonelli. The race description had mentioned trails and roads, but in reality the trails were only about a half mile of the 6.2. Tyler was none too thrilled with the 7:30 race start and truthfully I wasn’t overjoyed about paying to run where I run for free all the time. I was enamored with the idea of back to back 10K’s though. Before we called it a night we decided to skip the race and just run our own 10K later in the morning.

We got to Bonelli around 8:30. The 10K race was pretty much done, but the Turkey Tri was still going on. We put in a lot more time on the dirt, got to see the bikes go by and the last of the people finishing up the swim. We even wound our way through the finishing area. Tyler hadn’t run this far in a while and because I am technically tapering we used the run:walk method starting with 7:1 and moving to 5:1 as Tyler lost momentum. We had a great run together and saved about $80.00. I’d call that a win-win.

The week that was supposed to be 3-3-10-3, ended up being 4-3-3-6.2-6.2 for a total of 22.4 miles. Next week’s plan is a whopping 5 miles before race day. It will be a short week at work and then off to Tennessee.

(The post title was just to see if you were paying attention)


Pat said...

It's always nice to get a long swim in on Thanksgiving day. Oh wait, you didn't. LOL

I do agree that at least one race should be on thanksgiving day. But, the next best thing is a race close to the same day.

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Joe said...

I DID get the title...your trifecta of blog titles. Glad your "swim" kept you out of the concrete culverts called rivers in SoCal.

My guess is the mile markers may have been off on the race, Darrell. If it is a small race, well, it could have been off. Perhaps over-estimating the speed of the early miles and under on the latter ones?? Your experience would give me a lot of confidence in you knowing your pace didn't slack that much.

But, what a hoot, you've never run a 10K!! Not too many of them around it the 80s, that was the standard distance.

Having not mentioned it, I'm assuming the shin held up well...good.

Hey, I just called the hotel in Memphis...they do not have microwaves. So, forget the hot breakfast on Saturday.

Enjoy the week. And Papa Pia's on Friday night!!

Anne said...

Now that's the way to build up for that big turkey dinner, especially touring wineries in between runs (can't say races because the second technically wasn't, right?)

Legs and Wings said...

Sweet. Hey, it's great that you turned the 10K trot into a date with your wife. You're blessed man. Sounds ideal - and, congrats on the speedy 10K.

Don't hurt yourself this week ;D

Enjoy! Looking forward to following your journey to Tennessee.

Wes said...

Nice PR :-) About damn time :-D I am entirely jealous of the Turkey Tri!! Wish we had one here!

Jean said...

Darrell, way to go on the 10k PR! And to get a PR on a course with hills is even more impressive. Nicely done, and congratulation!

I hope your Thanksgiving was sure sounds like it was! :)

robtherunner said...

Nice job on the 10k. It's pretty amazing that you have been running for 5 years and this was your first 10k. I'll have to admit that I have been running now for 7 years and I have not run a 5k in that time.

David said...

Every distance has its own dynamics so I am not surprised by your 10K virgin race experience.
All in all I'd say you had a great week before the Memphis taper enjoying family, the holidays and plenty of racin'.

Backofpack said...

Nice Darrell! I'm excited for you for Memphis - hope it goes really well. I like your idea in the previous post of running with Joe - I'm telling you, running with friends every step of the way is the best! Have fun, good luck and tell Joe "Hi" from us!

Nick said...

Glad you had a great two days of running.
I try to combine races with stuff my wife can do. -It never works.

It appears you are enjoying yourself leading up to Tennesee.
So relax and take it all in. You'll do great.

Rae said...

Good luck in Memphis! Have a safe trip to TN and enjoy the race. They seriously have the BEST post race food!!!

DREW said...

Sounds familiar. I have never run a 5k. That might change in the next few months, but there's something kind of cool about knowing that I can, at any time, run a PR, regardless of my level of fitness!

Ryan said...

Sounds like everything is going well, getting in some good speed workouts with the 10K's which will make marathon pace feel a little easier. You've gone through a lot to get here, lay low and best wishes for the up-coming event.

Neese said...

just checking in for the Memphis Marathon report! :)