Ok...time to confess. I've missed a few workouts after the Pleasant Prairie Triathlon. Work, school, and real life have gotten in the way of my escape into the toy box. Time to come clean.
This weekend, beginning with Friday, I started to get back to where I need to be. I ran an hour on Friday the the Polar RS 400 reminding me what easy really feels like. Saturday was a very hilly effort (Matt's Insane Loop) ~8 miles where I'd go easy on the flats and very hard on the uphills for about 1 hr and 15 mins - the RS 400 was protesting loudly each time at the tops of each hill. Just for perspective...in 8 miles it is about 2500 vertical feet of climbing...yeah...that hilly. Just Signal Hill alone is 854 feet. I ran with an iPod for the first time and WOW is it nice especially when you are suffering. (BTW- my powersong right now is New Year's Day from U2; Success!
Sunday...the long run. I don't run any pansy long run. I run the "Home Economist" run course normally or the Cary 1/2 Marathon course. The "Home Eco" run (now actually a Fisher Nut store) is a nasty, no frills (bathroom or water) run thru some very rolling hills with some decent bite to them and some enormous houses. This is the #3 run in the book Chicago's Running Guide. This is a BYOM (bring your own Motor Tabs) run. Trying to be a better training partner in this "off season" I arrived at 6:45 for the 7 am depart time. Said 'hello' to some familiar faces and stretched waiting for John Wolski. John has been hurt all year and really hasn't been working out much of 2007 so the plan was slow for today and since I hadn't run longer than 6.2 miles since July 22nd...a welcome thought since I have run just about daily but often not longer than 4-5 miles. I figured I'd run 8 with John and call it a day and try to run again in the evening for an hour. (My training plan read...3 hr run. Sorry Nate, I've been a slacker.)
7AM Depart time: Some 15 people leave the parking lot together. No sign of John yet.
7:05 AM: The 'courtesy' time period is over and it is up to me if I run. Another group leaves the parking lot as their later runners arrived at 7 or even 7:04. John has waited for me several times beyond the courtesy five minutes so the least I could do was give him another five.
7:10 AM: John isn't coming...no phone call either and I won't call anyone's house before 10 AM on a Sunday - unless we KNOW FOR SURE that they are up. I start my run solo. My heart rate is a smooth and easy at 73% and rolling with the hills between 72 and 75% on the monitor.
7:20 AM: A guy in a maroon Grand Prix tries to run me down on Hillside Ave in Barrington. Only my cat-like quickness saved me from being hit. Since I was wearing EVERYTHING Polar (hat, shorts, shirt, socks, watch, footpod)... I not only held my tongue...but all digits on my fingers and still kept running as if nothing happened (the RS 400 begged to differ and the heart was at about 85% right now however briefly.) This really fat guy gets out of the car with a Dunkin Donuts large coffee in his hand and yells, "Hey! Get back here!" Dude...I'm not interested in talking because it sounds like you aren't interested in apologizing and I have bigger fish to fry; (I think to myself in an amazing amount of composure.) "Hey! Stop running!" (Again to myself...Sure...in about 11 miles.) He gets back into his car and rides away. As I crossed Route 59 I thought about the scene from The Breakfast Club where Jud Nelson says to Emilio Estivez that his reason for his not fighting is, "I'd kick your ass - probably kill you. Your parents would get all pissed...sue my parents...and I just don't care enough about you to go through all that." It made me smile and calmed my heart rate back down to 75%.
7:30 AM: Catching the second group to leave the parking lot. I'm running easy and resist the urge to run them down hard and drop them. I even ran with them for a 1/4 mile and chatted.
7:50 AM: Catch the first group. They are running a lot faster and we yo-yo a bit as they are not wearing heart rate monitors (!); why you wouldn't wear one on a long run is beyond me because You have to go slow in order to go fast. Copyright ...me. This is an old consulting saying we use to get clients to understand we portfolio and program managers first need to understand the problems our client faces for us to really rock out the solutions at a later point in time. Anyway...I'd pass them on an uphill and then they'd pass me on the down. I was running steady according to the RS 400 and footpod.
8:34 AM: Total running time 1:24 (!). Holy cats!! I just did the Home Eco 10.89 miles (plus a little extra to = 11.2 miles) in 1:24 and I ran E-A-S-Y. Maybe this marathon thing in October won't be as bad as I originally thought it would be? Next week, I'll extend the run a bit longer and in two weeks make an effort toward 22 miles. If I do that alright...I will be good for the marathon.
8:44 AM: The first group returns to the lot and we walk a bit. I'm sharing Motor Tabs with the group as most of them are strong runners and ultra runners and they had never heard of Motor Tabs - Greg Sellers will be so pleased.
8:49 AM: The second group returns to the lot and I am headed to the Einstein Bros. in Barrington - a local hang out for Barrington area endorphin addicts.
8:54 AM: Sitting outside the shop sipping coffee are my friends Kelly Yore, another gal (already forgot her name) and Laurie McFadden. We catch up a bit. Those gals are so cool. It was really great to see them.
So in all...I'm back working to put on a good show for the Chicago Marathon in 33 days. Will I "qualify" for Boston? Don't rule it out just yet, but if you're going to Las Vegas...don't bet anything you aren't willing to loose either. If I'm at 150 to 1...take me on a flier to at least break 3:45.
Workout tonight 5pm sharp - MidTown...see you on the running trails and then in the weight room (legs).