The first weekend in December has been the weekend to get together with Joe for a marathon for the previous fours years (Tecumseh in 2006, Rocket City (AL) in 2007, and Memphis in 2008). This year we got together a little earlier to run the Heart of America in Missouri on Labor Day. It was a little odd not having a marathon scheduled this time of year.
I spent most of the last week in Minnesota. This time of the years days are so short there. The sun rises nearly an hour after is does here on the West Coast and sets sooner too. With the seminar scheduled from 8:00 to 5:00 each day there was no daylight left to run in. I was able to share a run on Tuesday evening on a unusually mild evening for December in MN. Wednesday we had an official dinner after class taking up precious time. Thursday morning we awoke snow flurries and temperatures in the low 20's and a fairly decent breeze. Rather than brave the elements I took the SoCal wimp way out an ran 4 miles on the treadmill in the hotel fitness center. I had my ipod so it wasn't such a bad experience, considering the alternative.
Saturday, the Cruisers were planning a fun run sponsored by a new running store in the area along our tried and true route along the Santa Ana Bike Path. Terry and her friends were running Chino Hills State Park. I opted to go with them, then I found out the friends were Carol, Jeannie and Jamie. I almost backed out, but the chance to run a new route in CHSP won me over.
We met on the south side of the park entering from the back near the Green River Golf Course. Running with the four girls was interesting at times, especially when they, or I should say Terry, was talking about how she couldn't find the hat the matched the rest of her running outfit. The self described themselves as a princess, 2 ragamuffins and a girly girl.
We ran the Lower Aliso Trail to the Ranger Station and back. It is a gently rolling fire access road. For CHSP it is one of the easier routes. One of the highlights was getting to run with the cows, not the girls, real cows. For some reason there is a small herd of cows that roams this end of the park. We startled a couple of them as we approached. They crossed the trail in front of us several times and kept following along through the brush, picking up a couple more members of the herd as they went. The last time they came out onto the road they were joined by a couple of calves. We kept our distance as much as possible because their actions weren't very predictable.
The sunny days of a couple of weeks ago were gone. We ran the entire time under cloud cover with temps in the mid 40's with a fairly decent breeze at times. I wore a long sleeve over a short sleeve and was perfectly comfortable. Terry and I ran a little extra for 14 miles; making this the longest run since the Harrisburg Marathon.
Today I ended the week with my usual 5 miler in Bonelli, but I didn't get out until the afternoon. The weather was partly sunny and only about 58 degrees. Very nice for running. I ran the 5 miles today in 49:31, 3 to 4 minutes faster than the same loop the last couple of weekends. Running later in the day and the cooler temperatures are likely the reason.
I ended the week with 36.5 miles. November ended with 128.9 miles. I'm still using my Wingin' It Plan but realized today that I'd better put something to paper soon as my racing plans for 2010 are on the horizon and will be here sooner than later. We are expecting rain all this coming week so will see what effect that has on the mileage, plan or no plan.