Tuesday, April 29, 2008

15 Will Get You 20!

A Couple of Runner Dudes!

I was thinking big this week for running. But underlying it all, I was thinking of a 20 mile run or bust. It was something that I had to do or my confidence going into the marathon would not be too good.

I had several short runs around town during the week that amounted to about 12 miles. What I was focused on the whole week was doing a solid 20 miles in Mill Creek Park on Saturday. Taylor and I got up early on Saturday and made it to the park by about 8:15. It was somewhat cool but I knew it was going to warm up fast.

The run would consist of two loops from Lanterman’s Mill to 224 and back. Each loop is 9 miles and then I would add the hills for the last 2 miles. In my mind, this would add a little challenge and a little fun to my legs at the end of the run.

Taylor started out going the opposite direction again and would run around to me. I was planning on running conservatively after last weekends “bonk”. I did not want to go too fast and feel like crap at the end. The weather was perfect. It was sunny, cool, breezy, and occasionally the sun would go behind the clouds and things would cool off. I couldn’t have asked for a better day.

I traveled along without much trouble and enjoyed seeing countless runners, cyclists, dog walkers and everyone else out using the park. I thought about how many times I had made this run in the dead of winter with absolutely no one else around. Now that it is spring, people have once again discovered the beauty of the park.

Before I knew it Taylor was coming the other way towards me and soon he turned around to join me going in my direction. We ran together to the edge of the golf course and soon he was gone as fast as he came. I plodded along. As I ran along with other people on the hike/bike trail, I came upon Tom Gratonic and his daughters out running. Tom is the Branch Manager at the Davis YMCA and I have known him for years. He is also a very good local runner. I was stopped eating some GU and he asked me what I was up to. I told him I was about 5 miles into it and had about 15 more to go. He wished me well and I was on my way.

I ran easily back along Lake Newport and made my way back to the car in about 1 hr. 21 minutes or about 9 minute miles. Just perfect I thought for pace. I fueled at the car, talked to Taylor a bit and then headed back out in the opposite direction. Taylor chose to run towards Lake Cohasset and run some hills and maybe catch up to the McDonald high school boys. I ran along Newport and again enjoyed the weather. It had warmed up some but was still nice overall.

Once I got to the hike/bike trail I was amazed at how many people were now on this thing. It was almost hard to run without saying excuse me while squeezing between people. It was really great to see this many people out exercising!

Soon I was back over by the golf course and caught myself watching a foursome tee off. I jogged along watching where the ball landed and thinking it was a pretty good drive. I reached Shields Road and crossed over and immediately got onto an old trail I ran on years ago. I followed it and came out by the Newport boat docks. Back onto the road I ran into another guy who asked me if I was going all the way around the lake. I said, “no, just to the Mill”. He smirked and ran with me for a bit before picking it up and leaving me behind.

Just as I approached the Mill for the last time, Taylor was again coming back around toward me and asked how I was feeling. My left leg had started to cramp and I was starting to feel the 18 miles. I was not going to let a little stiffness stop me so we crossed Canfield Road and made our way down towards Chestnut Hill.

We talked and ran easily as Taylor had probably covered about 23 miles already. Just prior to reaching Chestnut Hill, a trail cuts off to the right and we took it. We got on the trail and ran along the river until we reached the Silver Bridge. After crossing over the bridge we ran along the road and got back on the trail at the bottom of the Monkey Trail. We ran along the other side of the river again all the way up to the decking. Once we reached the deck, we decided to walk up to the car and use this last bit as a cool down.

I was tired but not exhausted. I had covered 20 miles in about 2 hrs. 54 minutes so I was pretty happy with this. My goal is to be under 4 hours for the marathon so I think that is very attainable.
20 Mile Foot "OUCH!!!!!"

On Sunday the stiffness in my right leg had gotten worse so I elected to walk with my wife. We strolled around town for about 2 miles and my leg felt somewhat better. We also traveled to Seton Hill on Sunday to watch Kyrsti be inducted into the Honor Society. After the ceremony, we went to the Texas Roadhouse and indulged with a huge lunch/dinner. I was still full Monday morning! Kyrsti with her Honors Award

Here are the numbers:
34 miles for the week
290 minutes of running
Long Run 20 miles
Weight before long run = 198
Weight after long run = 194

This week I hope to get my left leg loosened up and do a 15 mile run with hills to give a little extra effort! Nice and slow.

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