Sunday, January 28, 2007

two weeks away

Yep . . . two weeks until Mercedes marathon. Or half-marathong for Susan and me.

The weekend is over and I am about to head to bed. It's been a somewhat busy weekend and I am ready to crash.

I didn't get in the miles that I wanted to this weekend but I did get in a little bit. Saturday morning I got in 4 miles. I had wanted to do 5 but I sort of slept in and was running behind schedule. I know that 8 1/2 or 9 minutes shouldn't make that big a difference but I really did cut it that close. I ran sans watch . . . a practice that I am starting to find liberating. I have so many old timers tell me to run just to run. I think that I may be starting to understand. I still want to quantify and measure stuff but I am slowly learning to loosen my grip up a little bit.

After the morning run, I went to MA's soccer game and then on to E's basketball game. Afterwards, I came home for a little bit to do some chores and then headed back over to Susan's to try to get in a 10 miler. We were meeting some friends for dinner and canasta so we were working against the clock. We got a later start than we wanted and weather was moving in so we decided to do a hard, hilly 6 miler instead. We ran an old loop that I used to run years ago and it is always a good test of stamina since it is very hilly. We started off the first mile on a nice flat wooded trail. After the first mile, we had a gradually continuous climb of about a mile. The third mile are some nice rollers that took us into one of the local villages. Mile 3 was sort of bizarre . . . Susan was sort of chatty. Nothing wrong with it and I enjoy talking with her but she was wound up. I could tell that she was concentrating more on talking than running and our pace was bouncing all over the place. I mentioned it to her and told her that she would have to focus when we were running the half in a couple of weeks. At the end of 3 miles, there is a Shell station that always keeps the restrooms very clean and keeps out several coolers of fresh water and cups for runners. If you're ever in Birmingham and need gas, go to the Shell station in Cresline Village and support the owner. He has done this for the running community for years and we try to support him when we can. After a brief water stop, we started on the backside of the loop back to the car. I had started a very light sprinkling . . . not enough to get wet but enough to let us know that it was coming. Susan again was very chatty on mile 4. Mile 4 is sort of tough . . . it is rollers but a net climb overall. I was holding a steady pace and she would fall back and catch up and then move in front and then fall back again . . . you know . . . . just not focusing on the running, which is okay. I mentioned her attention to detail (hoping not to hurt her feelings) and that she could not do this during the race. She seemed to settle down and focus after that. Mile 5 has one BIG hill and then is all down hill into the next village. Susan did very well with the hill. The last time we ran this loop she walked THE HILL. This time around, we had a nice slow climbing pace and never broke our running stride. Yeah, Susan! Either I peed her off or she really got focused because on the down hill side, she took off. I told her that we still had over a mile to go but she was already 30 feet in front of me. I let her set the pace and tried to stay off her shoulder and behind to let her do her thing. My guess is we turned a half mile in under 4:30. Very fast for Susan. Once in the village, it is about a mile back to the car. By this time it was a little heavier rain and we were starting to feel the urgency to get back to the car before the bottom fell out. The great thing about this last mile is that the majority of it is on a trail and is close to level. The footing isn't great since it runs right along a creek bank and the slippery dirt and rocks didn't help. Fortunately, neither of us fell as Susan felt the need to try to race me back to the car. My guess is that we turned about 8:30 in the last mile. The girl has been holding out on me! I'd speed up and just get beside her and she'd pull ahead a little bit more. We did this four or five times and ended the mile with a nice hard push! We made it back to the car with the rain just starting to really set in. Perfect run, perfect weather, perfect company! Thanks, Susan!

1 comment:

DawnB said...

that's wonderful that you and Susan will be running the race together!!!