I ran the Ragnar Relay last year with some really great folks that I really didn't know. This year the CA Cruisers have united and put together two teams. We've got the competitive over-50 co-ed team and the lets run this thing and see how much fun we can have. I'm part of the second team. This years southern California route is completely different than last years, so it'll be a whole new adventure.
Just for fun the Cruisers decided to run the eighth leg of the Ragnar route today. This put us in completely new territory than we've ever run before. The eighth leg starts at the point on the Santa Ana River Trail were we usually turn around and head back. This was listed as a 5.4 mile Moderate leg that included 945 feet of elevation gain. We ran it out and back. I needed to get to 15 so I did a few extra miles back onto the River Trail on familiar ground. I ran about a third of the route with Jim, the ring leader of the competitive over-50 co-ed team. He slowed down considerably to run with me. I ran the rest alone, meeting up with the others before and after. My overall time for the 15 was 2:35 for a pace of 10:22. This is still off the planned pace but I felt good the entire way. I was glad to get some hill training in too.
Thursday's tempo run went well. The plan called for 8 miles at planned marathon pace (PMP). I hoped to stay as close to 9:09 as possible. The last few I've done have all been on the fast side and I really wanted to get a better feel for the 9:09 I am supposed to run in Austin. My first mile was 8:38, so I decided to start the next mile by walking the difference to get me to 9:00 pace and walked for about 20 seconds. I ended up doing this at every mile, walking as much as 40 seconds at the beginning and as little as 15 seconds on the latter miles. My overall pace even with 7 walk breaks was 8:34. So I guess I have no 9:09 gear in my legs. I'm either too fast on the tempo runs or too slow on the long runs. What a quandary!
4 weeks to Austin. One more 20 miler next weekend where I hope to work on hydration and nutrition to see if I can get past the wall. The following week is a 13 miler at PMP so I signed up for the Rose Bowl Half Marathon on Super Bowl Sunday. I'm going to do my best to stick to the 9:09 PMP.