Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Week 11 and doing fine!

Well week 11 turned out to be a good one. I got in 6 runs and managed to feel fine the whole week. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday were all 4 mile runs around town that were at a little faster pace. I tend to push the shorter runs a little harder to make them more interesting and challenging.

On Friday I treated myself to a nice trail run of 5 ½ miles at Mill Creek. The trails were almost clear of ice and I had no trouble navigating without wearing screwed shoes. It was great to get back on the trails and my legs needed a nice easy run on a soft surface. It was a little colder than I had thought but I still was running in shorts and it wasn’t too bad.

Saturday morning I ran around town again for 4 ½ miles. I chose to run early as we were traveling to Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh for Kyrsti’s first outdoor meet and I knew I wouldn’t feel like running when I got home. Kyrsti competed in her first ever Steeple Chase and she also ran in the 800 meters. She enjoyed the Steeple a lot but found out very quickly that one wrong step can land you in deep water. She fell in the water pit the first time around and had to run the next 2500 meters or so completely soaked. She kept a smile on her face and finished the race. We are very proud of her!

Sunday was the day for my long run. I had used Google Earth to map out a course that was exactly 18 miles. Starting at Lanterman’s Mill in Mill Creek Park to 224 and back on the roads was exactly 9 miles. By parking at the Mill, my car was at the half way point. I started out at a comfortable pace and it was cooler in the morning but the temperature was perfect for me. I wore shorts with a cool-max short sleeve shirt covered with my lightweight Under-Armor jacket. I was in a sweat about 15 minutes into the run so I was plenty warm.

My plan was to run counter-clockwise the first time around and then clockwise the second loop. Despite my best laid plans, as I was running the first loop my obsessive compulsiveness coupled with my perseveration dictated that I run the two loops in the same direction so I could more accurately measure my pace and how I felt at certain spots in the run. I broke the run down in my mind into 8 sections. From the Mill to Shields Rd. was the first section, Shields to the top of the Hike/Bike Trail on 224 was the second, from the bike trail to Shields Rd. was the third and from Shields back to the Mill was section four. By far the worst section was the second section which travels along the length of the Mill Creek golf course. Do all of this twice and you have 8 sections.

The first loop I covered in 1 hour 15 minutes for an 8:20 pace. I was pretty satisfied with this as I felt I was running pretty conservatively. I refilled my bottle and took in some fuel at the car and continued on my second loop. I was having a little tightness in my right upper leg but nothing that was too bad. I continued on my way and noticed about the time I reached Shields Rd. that the temperature was starting to warm up. I unzipped my jacket and contemplated taking it off. I thought better and kept it on as there were sections that the wind seemed colder than other sections. I made my way by the golf course and walked a bit to try and stretch out my stiffness.

When I reached the top of the Hike/Bike trail I felt that I had this run in the bag. I ran along smoothly and wasn’t feeling too bad. I said “hello” to a lot of the runners/walkers on the trail but noticed that not too many of the people would respond. So in the best Tronk way, I would say real loud as I would run towards them “GOOD MORNING!!!” Now they responded! I once told Brian Musick that no one refuses to say “hi” to Tronk in the park. I laughed as I ran down the yellow line looking for my next victim.

I got back to the car in 1 hour and 21 minutes for a 9:00 pace for the second 9 miles. I actually thought I had maintained a better pace than that but obviously I fell off somewhere. I was quite tired after 2 hours and 36 minutes of running and walked to my car to stretch out a bit before driving home. It was now close to noon and the sun was shining and blue skies were bright above my head. What a great day for a run.

I climbed into Elle and plugged in the iPod for the ride home. I cranked some Dave Mathews Band and it gave me a feeling that spring was here as I rolled down the windows so everyone could enjoy the tunes. As I looked in the rear-view mirror, I noticed my face was completely caked in salt, dried around my ears, my ears, my nose and cheeks. Those people on the bike trail must have thought I was crazy or something.

Oh well, I had a great week anyway. Here are the numbers:
Total miles = 39
Total minutes running = 360
Long Run = 18 miles (2:36.00)
Fuel consumption on the long run = 2 Power Bar gels, 1 pack Shot Blocks, 2 bottles of Clip 2, and a bottle of water and pack of peanut butter crackers on the way home.

Next week longer (short runs) if that makes sense and a meager 12 miler for distance run.

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