Sunday, April 17, 2011

17, 13, 15, whatever

My training schedule called for a 17-miler today, but after I decided to run a 5K yesterday, I decided I probably didn't need to go that far. Indeed, counting my warmup and cooldown, I ran about 9 miles yesterday, so 17 did seem a little excessive as I headed into week two of tapering. I settled on a plan to run 13.

What I forgot is that I don't have a car this weekend. My wife took one car to the airport, and my daughter needs the other car for yoga class. That meant I needed to run into town to meet up with the DART group. After joining up with Chad, Todd, and Jeremy, we established that Chad and I were the only ones going longer than 6 miles.

That was fine -- Chad and I would do a long loop out to River Run, and Todd and Jeremy would turn back after three miles. For the first three miles I mostly ran with Todd, who'll be joining me at Big Sur in two weeks. Todd had run a marathon last week and a half marathon yesterday, so he was feeling quite sore today. I told Todd and Chad that I was planning on running 13 miles next week, and they were quite shocked that I was planning that many miles so close to a marathon. I pointed out that I've been running 60+ miles a week, and a 13-miler on Sunday feels very short to me. They didn't buy it, but I'm going to stick the the program that has gotten me this far.

After four miles at an 8-minute pace, Jeremy and Todd headed home and Chad and I continued on. Chad wanted to take a look at the new greenway in River Run. We eased off the 8-minute pace, but still maintained a fairly aggressive pace: Miles 5-10 were 8:32, 8:13, 8:08, 8:22, 8:30, 8:21. Miles 8 and 9 were on the new greenway in River Run, roughly a mile through a beautiful forest. It's a gorgeous stretch of trail, but it made me a bit sad that none of the bits and pieces of greenway in Davidson actually connect up with each other. We have a mile stretch near Davidson Elementary, another mile and a half by Davidson Woods, a mile away, and a mile or so ready to open in River Run, perhaps four miles away. Fisher Farm has some great trails and greenways, but again, they are more than three miles from any other trail or greenway. The plan is to eventually have them connect together; hopefully I'll be able to ride, run, or walk on a single interconnected system before I have grandkids.

After Mile 10 I was finally beginning to feel the effects of yesterday's race. We took one last break and then headed home at a slower pace: Miles 11-14 were 8:18, 8:37, 8:44, 8:39. When you add in my 1.3 mile run into town, I had done exactly 15 miles, at an average pace of 8:20, even including those 9-minute miles I ran into town. I think if I can do that on the day after a hard trail race, I should be able to run Big Sur at an 8-minute pace on fresh legs and a carbo-loaded body. Let's hope so!

Week in review:

6 runs
Distance: 51.84 mi
Average pace: 8:43
Elevation gain: 2,239 ft
Avg Elevation Gain: 320 ft

Nearly 52 miles would be a long week for a lot of people, but for me, it seemed very minimal. The weekend was a little tougher, but still a reduction in miles compared to what I've done in recent weeks. This coming week my taper will be even more dramatic, with only about 41 miles total and four days of 6 miles or less.

Details of today's run are below:

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