Friday, August 21, 2009

3:45:00 For A 2:23:22 Run

At 7:30am, I head outside to start my run. I hope to extend my distance over previous long runs (perhaps as long as 18), but the absence of any marine layer is definitely a concern. That said, it is only 60 degrees right now and my plan to run near the coast should help me stay relatively cool.

Trying to improve upon similar runs I did last year, I now incorporate my elementary school and dad's house into the early stages of my route and, rather than head straight to the coast, I now stay at least one street in. This turns keeps my course more of a loop than an out-and-back.

When I reach Herondo (the border between Redondo Beach and Hermosa Beach) I decide to hit the dirt trail that parallels Valley Drive. I have run upon this before, but always heading in the opposite direction...which actually makes less sense on two counts: 1) The dirt is much cooler earlier in the morning. 2) The trail actually seems to trend downhill through to Pier Avenue.

When I reach Pier Avenue, I debate continuing on to Manhattan Beach or heading down to the Hermosa Beach Pier. If I recall correctly, my runs to Manhattan were around 19 miles long. I definitely am not ready to run that far...especially without the marine layer keeping things cool. I have already traveled over 7.5, so I figure the end of Hermosa's pier will give me more than 8.

As I reach the end of the pier, I am a little disappointed to see that I have only traveled 8.3 miles. Turning back now means I will finish shy of 17 miles...still an improvement over the previous week, but far short of the 18 I had initially hoped to do. The sea breeze is keeping the air cool out here, but I am growing concerned that the temperature has already risen on the peninsula. I decide to start back, sticking to the coast to stay cool.

My pace remains strong (averaging roughly 8:14/mile) until I reach the start of my ascent towards home. The hill begins with less than a mile to my half marathon split...and I am on pace to go sub-1:50 (which is surprising given how little I have pushed my pace today). If I really wanted to go for it, I probably could get a 1:48...which would be among my top 3 fastest half marathon times, but I must remind myself that home will still be more than 3 uphill miles away once I reach that split.

I reach 13.11 miles at around 1:48:50...still a very strong time for a training run (albeit not as fast as one in May).

I struggle up what could be my final hill. When I reach 25km, I decide to take a short break. Tomorrow is the Bulldog 25km, a race I had originally intended to register for. My watch reads 2:12:16...which would be an awesome race result for Bulldog. Maybe next year?

As I near the top, I see I am still short of 16 miles, I decide to turn down another street to add some more distance. By doing so, I get one last descent to offset the slow uphill pace I have averaged over the 16th mile, but at a cost. The last little bit is followed by a really steep ascent to my house. I am hot. I am out of water. My legs are spent. I push with what energy I have left to reach home.

I am quite pleased with my run, but am shocked how late it is. My watch reads 11:15am. Could I have really been out here for three hours and forty-five minutes? Where did the time go? The thermometer outside now reads 80 degrees, 20 degrees hotter than when I left. My recorded time of 2:23:22 shows that I am continuing to improve both distance and pace despite not making a concerted effort to increase my speed...but I really need to shrink the discrepancy between running time and total time if I want these numbers to translate into race results.

Friday, August 14, 2009

16.12 Mile Return to Terranea

Damn...hit my lap button around mile 3.5!

Friday, August 7, 2009

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