So, if I were operating in strict accordance with schedule for the Mystic Places race, Saturday would have been a 20 miler. However, given recent foot problems, sickness, long runs missed due to travel, and a genetic disposition to cramming, I scaled back my goal for Saturday to 15 miles or so. I’d rescheduled a drill day from last weekend, and Saturday had dawned grey and gnasty, so I decided to roll the dice that the remains of Hurricane Ophelia would miss SE Connecticut, and the sun would come out in the afternoon.
Gamble paid off, and I finished up work about 2:30 or so. Headed down to Copp Family Park with the intentions of running to Bluff Point and back, and adding what I needed to hit 15. I was feeling a little sore from my first completely made week of running in about a month, but the pain quickly left, replaced with the endorphin-covered fuzz that proceeds the Runner’s High.
First three were fine, neighborhood roads and sidewalks down to the entrance to Bluff Point. Towards the water, so it’s all downhill, right? Even the two miles from the entrance to the park out to the point were fine – mostly flat, wide, well worn doubletrack. But I ended up walking about a quarter mile near the top of the hill on the point. Distance, I told myself, channeling the Penguin, and remembering Galloway’s fondness for walk/runs.
Once I got over the top, the run down the backside of the hill, on the singletrack part, was wonderful. I haven’t been running trails nearly as often as I should, so my rhythm had been off on the initial part of the Point. I’d fallen into the lazy road runner habit of heel-strike and roll instead of concentrating on “pedaling circles” and being surprised when my foot touches earth. The first part of the trail didn’t have the uneven terrain needed to really get me back into “flow”. The second part did.
Plus, it was all downhill, which helps a ton…
I made it back to the car. Whatever it is at Bluff Point that kills my Forerunner hadn’t disappeared over the summer – On the backside of the hill, I went to check – dead. I restarted, but not until I’d missed about 3 miles of trail. Restarted as I left the park, and started to loop back to the car, hoping the route I’d planned (but not checked with the Gmaps Pedometer) would be close to 15. Got back to the parking lot right about mile 14. Thought seriously about heading down the road another half, but wussed out in favor of skedaddling home to see the wife, boys, and supper.
Sunday, I had 3 miles on the schedule. Ended up blowing it off due to some tenderness in the left foot again (pretty much gone by evening) and a day spent painting the kitchen to match the new cabinets and counter. It was kind of nice – the new floor isn’t in yet, so I didn’t have to worry too much about slopping paint on the floor. The cabinets and counter were another story – I had to ask Melissa to step outside with the boys while I painted near them. She’s kind of attached to the new renovation…
– I think I’m close to being back on track. This week’s profile is pretty much the same as last week (Mon-rest, Tue-6M, Wed-6M, Thu-6M, Fri-rest, Sat-13M, Sun-4M), and with an added day of rest from yesterday, I think my injury should be worked out.
– There’s a 20 miler in two weeks, about which I’m kind of freaked. I really need to run it, as it’s pretty much my last chance for a really long run prior to Mystic Places. But I might go ahead and double up this Saturday if I feel good in the evening, and do another 5 or so to go with the 13 in the morning.
– Mystic Places is going to be all about survival at this point. I think I can do it once I get started, but I’m not going to be going in as strong as I feel I ought.
Other things to think about:
– I wanted to bash Runner’s World this month for finally getting around to doing an article about running blogs, but focusing only on elite runners without acknowledging that they’re a great way for regular runners to stick with it, but they came through with two great articles:
– The first was a profile of Deena Kastor, the fastest woman in American distance running. April-Anne dropped me a comment the other day about how blogs were a great way of running vicariously; the article featured a paragraph describing Kastor’s experience at running camps telling stories to the campers. The magazine this month is worth cover price for this article alone.
– As if on cue, they offer a guide to getting through the tough 4 weeks prior to a marathon. Wow. Nothing particularly insightful, but it was very nice of the editors to send me a pep talk right when I needed it.