Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Week 13 - You Know What I Mean!

Week 13 was good, but not as good as I had hoped. The week consisted of running in McDonald on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Each run was of about 4-5 miles and was run at about a 7:45 pace.

The “funny” of the week was on Saturday morning before leaving for Kyrsti’s track meet at Slippery Rock University. I told my wife Pam I was running to the bank and when I came back 35 minutes later she asked where I had been. I said that I “ran” to the bank in Girard. Anyway, it was a beautifully clear morning and I enjoyed running across the viaduct to the neighboring city.

At Slippery Rock Kyrsti ran in the 3000m Steeple Chase again and also the 1500m. She is not running the times she would like, but she smiles after each race and is happy to still be competing. Accompanying us on the trip to the “Rock” were my son Taylor and his friend Sophia and Kyrsti’s friend Paul. After the meet we all ate at Hoss’s in Grove City.

On Sunday the plan was to run 20 miles in Mill Creek. I decided I would run the section around Cohasset and Glacier and include the trip up Bear’s Den to add on a few extra miles. Once I reached the Mill I planned on going to 224 and back and that would be right around 20 miles.

Word to the wise……. Sometimes plans change.

I got out of the car to a steady cold drizzle and about 36 degrees. The Weather Channel showed no rain before I left the house, but here I stood in a weather vacuum of some sort as it steadily drizzled. No big deal I thought as I put the hat on along with the Under Armor jacket. I optimistically figured that it would quit and that it would clear up.

I made my way towards Glacier and my legs felt dead. I wanted to run the hillier section of the park while I was fresh and then enjoy the flats for the second half. I have done it the other way around before but it really sucks. I pressed on and after a while did not feel too bad. My legs were loosening some and I was feeling okay. The rain continued.

I was to Lake Glacier in no time and decided to visit Fellowship Gardens. They are getting prepared for the season but I was happy to find the bathroom open. Sometimes the littlest things bring joy in life. I made my way along and soon I was heading up Bear’s Den counting each step. I enjoy this part of the park but it is a difficult climb. In fact, it may be the hardest climb on the roads in the park. When I got to the top I detoured around the loop by the Bear’s Den Cabin and climbed out of the hole and back onto the main road. It rained on.

I ran along Cohasset and up Big Bear and made my way back to the car. I changed water bottles and took in a GU. I had in a little over 10 miles and was set for the run to 224. I started running and noticed that since I had stopped the discomfort in my right upper inner leg had come back. I had this pain about week or so ago but had not noticed it lately. I don’t know how to describe it other than something like “hip fatigue”. It doesn’t feel like a cramp or muscle pull, but just discomfort. I decided the flats at an easy pace may do it some good so I backed off the speed and focused on making my leg feel better.

I ran along the straight side of Lake Newport first and was watching the ducks and geese land and take-off on the water. It was great except for the fact that now the steady drizzle had turned into a mild downpour. Water was dripping off the brim of my hat and my leg wasn’t feeling any better. When I got to Shields Road, I had a decision to make. Go around to 224 or cut back and head towards the car. If I headed back I would have about 15 miles in. If I went to 224, I would get my 20. I opted for the conservative side as I don’t want to get sick or injured this close to the marathon.

I ran back to the car in the steady rain and finished the 15 miles in 2:09.00. I was happy with the time but more concerned about the way my leg was feeling. I decided stretching was in order when I got home. I will definitely be more vigilant about this for the next several weeks leading up to the race. Hopefully next week I will get in my 20, as I plan on at least 2 -20 mile runs before the marathon.

Here are the numbers:

32 miles for the week
349 minutes of running
Long run = 15 miles
Weight = 198 and feeling great!

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