Monday, March 26, 2007

The Cold is Gone and Now, a Bloom

Spring has sprung! I spotted crocuses (croci?) all abloom across the street on Saturday. And we have new birds feasting on our birdseed—finches arrived last week and brown-headed cowbirds this week. The cats are pretty excited about all the activity and so am I.

Yesterday was a perfect day. Mrp and I woke up about 5:15 to get ready to head down for a group long run near the towpath. My schedule had me doing 16 with 12 at goal marathon pace. The group run had options of 13 or 19. I was going to be good and do the 13 and add on a couple of miles to get the 16. But, peer pressure being what it is, I decided, “what the hey? I can just do 15 at goal pace instead and shuffle in to get back to the parking lot!” So, that’s what I did. Luckily our friend *F* came along. He is about my ability do he ran with me. The first mile was a bit of a warm-up in 8:00 and then the second we dropped it down into the 7:20’s. After that we maintained a consistent 7:15 effort I’d say. There were a couple of REALLY slow miles in there due to some REALLY long and absurdly steep hills. But, I focused on maintaining my effort level and recovering from the hills quickly. I was able to drop the pace back down to goal pace after the tougher miles just fine, so I’m happy.

Around the 7th mile, after the first water stop, *F* and I hooked up with a girl, *S*. She ran with us for the remainder of the paced portion. Normally, I don’t like to talk on hard runs because I sometimes get side-stitches, but this time the pace seemed easy enough that the three of us chatted the whole entire run. This makes me happy that this pace was easy enough for me to carry on conversations! That’s a good sign! Anyway, it was great to find yet another female running buddy in the area. It was great running with her, and *F* of course too! I had a blast. After 15 miles *S* continued on at a harder pace and *F* and I eased up and trotted in the remaining 4 miles at a comfortable 8:00 pace. I felt great!

After the run mrp and I headed over to our man, Bob’s for breakfast. Our favorite waitress, Norma, wasn’t there so that was a bit disappointing, but Bob’s is so great we can get over that. We can even get over mrp getting the ham he asked to leave out of his western omelet and I can get over having to wait FOREVER to delivered the much needed protein of my turkey and spinach omelet to my starving and microtorn muscles. Cause Bob’s is good!

We headed back home and then mrp hurried off to his parents’ house to help his dad do some work around the house and I hurriedly got some chores done and then headed off to my parents’ for a short visit. I still have tons of my crap in their house and they’re always very happy for me to take a box or two of it home with me. It was so beautiful outside and it was nice to sit outside and chit chat for a while. My mom seemed really good and healthy and it was fun to talk to her and my stepdad about stupid stuff. I miss them when I don’t see them regularly, but sometimes I don’t miss them too if you know what I mean. Heh.

After the visit, I came home and got in a quick shake-out run. My calves were really tight and the shake-out was needed to get the blood flowing and start the recovery process. Otherwise, I would have woken up with log legs this morning. I started off going about 90 minute hobbled miles, but I managed to loosen up and trot home quite comfortably. A little stretching and application of the stick and I’m feeling pretty darn good this morning!

Last week was 67 miles, preceded by 65, 63, and 63! I can’t believe how strong I feel after all that work! That being said, I’m looking very forward to starting my taper this week! It is well deserved—I’ve worked hard and now I’m ready to count down the last three weeks to Boston! Woo!


Joe said...

You chatted while maintaining a 7:15 pace? It's no wonder you're going to Boston. BTW, have you ever seen the movie Saint Ralph? You should watch it before Boston.

Joe said...

> As for muscle soreness, I find the
> best thing is to keep moving

WTF? Doesn't that conflict with the R in RICE? Well, it's worth a try, seeing as the advice is coming from a Boston Qualifier!

Actually, I did keep moving. I went to Costco to do some shopping with my wife and son. But I made sure not to put too many heavy groceries in the cart!

Ya, I highly recommend Saint Ralph. It's starts off silly but get increasingly more serious and gripping as the movie rolls on.

GP said...

Thanks for your help. I swear I'm not that hyper-active kid Mike Myers played on SNL 15 years ago who had to be leashed to the playground set with Nicole Kidman. I just tend to mix up my running shape with my swimming shape and don't know where I'm going...

I do appreciate the time you take to give me advice and point me in the right direction. It's also nice to have an objective, knowledgeable voice telling me to slow it down to override the overly eager voice in my head, which keeps telling me to kick up a few. It’s not like that voice has to do the running!

I did, however, feel great after running the 10 miles (surprisingly!). Maybe it was just the accomplishment? And while that whole biking the next day thing wasn’t my brightest moment, I did enjoy getting outside on such a swell day.

And your taper is very well deserved! Tapering was my favorite part of swimming season and the results were always satisfying. I can’t wait to hear about Boston next month!

Papa Louie said...

60+ miles? I never made it that high. You must be in great shape. Enjoy your taper. Maybe we'll see you in Boston.