AM: Back at it again. 6 on Landfill loop. Starting to get my strength back. This run sure cleaned out some junk.
PM: Rick's Canyon to Steel Canyon Loop with Jon. I started out VERY sluggish and tired, but felt better as the run went on. We didn't slack on the uphill and REALLY blasted the downhill. Overall, a very solid workout for still recovering from the cold. I would also go out on a limb to say that today was a great day for a trail run. Super hot in the valley but very nice on the shady trails. This is why I run. I was really enjoying the downhill until it felt like I was shot (imagining as I have not had the privilege) in the quad. I looked down and saw a little wasp. That is it? No blood? Why does it kill so bad? Even now, my leg is throbbing. I am not being overly dramatic, I am not!
Running has gotten in the way of life. Time to take some time off and adjust accordingly. I will still get out running once in a while, but all future races will be postponed until next year. I am bummed to lose such great fitness, but it is necessary.
So after 3 days of reflecting, I am not ready to give up on my goal of a PR at TOU (both the Half and the Full) this year. There is no doubt that my family has enjoyed my extra time that I have spent with them, but for the most part my running doesn't interfere with most family activities. I get up and do a run before work and before they wake up. Its only those pesky doubles and big workouts in the evening that take up too much time. So if I can eliminate those, I would feel better about everything. Its really my own conscience that bugs me anyway, not my family.
My short hiatus gave my body a chance to finally recover from my illness I got last week and to finally catch up on some well-deserved sleep. I did realize how much I do enjoy the occasional run. The daily grind necessary for marathon training gets to me though. Anyway, enough of this rant for today.
Sadly, Bethany and the kids left this morning and traveled up to Colestrip Montana with her parents to see her sister, husband, and 2 kids for the weekend. That freed up a lot of time so I took a jaunt on the Planet Walk 5 mile loop. Everything felt ok and the foot twinges that I have felt lately weren't present.
Met Paul in the light drizzle and headed out for a loop into Millville. Once we were out there t the drizzle turned into real rain and we were soaked rather quickly. Enjoyable run nonetheless and it was great to get out with Paul again. He kept the pace rather brisk at times with many of the miles in the 6:40 range.
PM: The family is still off in Montana so I headed out to the trails. I ran on the River trail taking the right fork up to the Bridger Lookout. I returned via the regular trail by third dam. Slow pace as I was tired from the morning workout. Lots of miles today, tomorrow will be easier.
I officially signed up yesterday for both TOU and TOU half. I just can't say no. What is my problem? Since I am now committed, I decided go for it over the next month and see what I can pull out. That meant that today was an early awaking to go visit BSF canyon in the dark. I drove to the east end of hollow road and started up the canyon. I was greeted by the usual 30mph canyon wind for the first ~2 miles. I went up the canyon 6.5 miles to the park at a slow pace (7:20ish ave) then did 7 miles of tempo down the canyon. The goal was 6 min pace. I nailed it, but was very fortunate with the monster tailwind towards the end.
5:57 (last .25 was up the big hill on Freedom run 15K course)
We went camping last night just past Leatham Hollow in BSF Canyon. The weather was perfect friday night and we enjoyed the company of Paul and Stacey for a while around the campfire. It was a quiet night until about 1am when the rains began. They were light at first but by 5am they were quite heavy. I am going to have to give on this camping thing if it is going to rain EVERY time I go. Sure makes the tent soggy. I was drenched by the time we got the gear loaded up and we split. I was meant to meet Paul in the canyon halfway into his run, but due to the rain, I figured he wouldn't show. I figured I would wait until it stopped raining for my run too. As we cruised down the canyon, we saw a drenched rat running up at 6 min pace. That HAS to be Paul. Crap. He quickly guilted me out of the car and back into the rain. He was nice enough to let me ease into my run with a nice warmup mile of 6:20. Uphill. That set the tone for the rest of the run. I dropped him off at his car with an average pace of 6:17 over 11 miles. Thankfully, the rains stopped and it became a nice day for a run. I followed the TOU course to Mile 24 then headed home. I slowed down once Paul left, but tried to keep the pace reasonable. My legs complained but they got me through. I even was able to finish strong with a 6:27 mile. Thanks for great run Paul. Definitely memorable.
I was out exploring out on the Logan wetlands (west of the Landfill) and had an encounter with a crow. This is the second time in as many weeks that a crow (likely the same one since it was in the same location) came after me. It would circle around and fly right at my head from behind. It would practically land on my head squaking before circling around again. The second time it happened today, I did some karate / kung-fu thing with my hands to protect myself while screaming at it. It was freaky. I quickly decided to arm myself with a rock and wait for it again. It wisely held its distance so I had target practice with rocks. I missed, but it finally left me alone. Stay away from the crows.
Today's long run was 21.5 miles in BSF canyon. We joined up with the ATK running group for free food and rides to the top. Well, near the top as we started at mile 4 of the course then up to the start then back down. We ran some at 7 some at 6 and some in-between. We even hammered up the big hill for no good reason at all. Good fun run.
T-2:2x:xx (not exactly sure since I forgot to start the watch after a drink break or two). (6:4x ave)
This afternoon I joined Jon for a big workout. The plan was 4 mile warmup, 8 miles of tinman tempo pace (6:15 ish) then cooldown home. I could tell within a mile of the warmup that things were going to get rough. It was warm (80's) out and my legs were LEAD. The tempo portion began OK, but by mile 2 I was done. Or so my mind and legs were telling me. We ran on the TOU backwards starting at mile 19 (for the tempo portion) so we got some decent hills in both directions. My splits were very different from Jon's since he stopped for a pit stop and almost caught me then quickly dropped me in spite of me taking a quick breather in the shade to try and recover a bit at mile 6 of the tempo.
As you can see, things got ugly quickly. Just one of those days. The effort was there though. Hopefully, I can recover by saturday and run a great half. I feel like I ran a marathon right now. Awful.
T-1:44:48 (6:59) 159 ave 175 max (averaged 168-172 during the tempo)
Top of Utah Half Marathon (13.1 Miles) 01:15:56, Place overall: 16, Place in age division: 4
Top Of Utah Half Marathon
The plan for the day was to PR. I don't win many races, or even get close so what does it matter what place I get? All I have is my time. Of course, that is all relative since my Half Marathon PR is run on an aided course, so even with my time (all I have) I must put an astrick by it since it is on a cheater course. So, my goal, well, it was to PR. So, how did it go? Well, I tied. Yep, my chip time was the same as last year (current PR). Where is the love?
That said, I am actually pretty happy with today's result. Sure, I was hoping to PR, but with my lack of training this summer I was not going to be suprised to run a 1:17. I was able to put it all out there and give it a go. Here are the details...
Adam stayed the night with us last night and that gave me an opportunity to pull out the race reports from last year. I never miss an opportunity to get psyched up for a race. That opportunity gave me an idea of my game plan. That plan was simple. Run 5:3x until you can't, then run 5:4x until you can't then run 5:5x... you get the idea.
Adam and I picked up Paul and we shuffled with the masses onto a bus. Paul kept me entertained the bus ride up which was a nice change from starting out the window and wondering what I was thinking doing another race. As we approached the starting area I had a brilliant thought. Are the 2 "permanent" port-o-pots still in the same location as they usually are? Yep, I spotted them hiding behind the 50 race specific POPs. Ha, perfect. Our own elite bathrooms. I could only imagine what the 300 people waiting in line thought as we wandered behind the POPs numerous times to do our buisness. Yep, no lines, no waiting. Forget the race, this was the highlight of the day.
Once they finally got the race going, (they struggled to get 2200+ people off the busses and behind the starting line for over 20 mins) I quickly settled into my death march. I was soon left in the dust by the true elites (Paul, Taren, Alexander, Seth....). I decided to stick to my plan and run my race. That meant that for the most part I would be running by myself (except when I got passed). The canyon went well and I attacked it the best I could.
Mile 1 - 5:28 (166 ave HR)
Mile 2 - 5:39 (179)
Mile 3 - 5:41 (179)
Mile 4 - 5:42 (178)
Mile 5 - 5:32 (178)
Mile 6 - 5:32 (178)
Mile 7 - 5:35 (177)
Once I exited the canyon, I immediately missed the nice downhill along with the ~10mph tailwind. From now on, things would get interesting. I caught my last glimpse of Jon on Hollow road on his way to a great race. Adam and Walter were near each other, but they were still pulling away. Once again, run by myself and try to hold on. The highlight during hollow road was seeing the family tailgating while cheering on everyone running by.
Mile 8 - 5:55 (176) Things are not looking great....
Mile 9 - 5:58 (175)
Mile 10 - 6:05 (173)
The legs are now shot and no way to get them to go faster. The body seemed to be shutting down slowly. Keep it together and the PR is still possible. 5K left. 2 miles of uphill, followed by 1.1 of good downhill.
Mile 11 - 6:12 (175)
Mile 12 - 6:25 (176)
Mile 13 - 5:40 (181)
Finish - :31 (184)
Watch time was 1:15:58 but I started it early and ended late, so I had to wait until the official results came in for my chip time. Turns out it was a tie. 1:15:56.
For the cooldown, we visited the course again. Twice. For the first trip, we ran back to mile 12 were we saw Marci coming in. We decided to harrass her to the finish line as a group. She ran great and earned a huge PR. The second time, it just to harass the other runners as they finished. Saw lots of neighbors and friends running. 5.4 miles (warmup was about 2 total).
Congrats to the hundreds of runners today. I do love the TOU half. Why? I don't know, but I do. Some seriously good times and places posted today with the stiff competition. Now, to prepare for the TOU marathon...
AM: 6 miles at 8 min pace. The calves are sore but manageable. The problem was the waves of back pain I was experiencing. It would stop me dead in my tracks. My back didn't hurt yesterday. Maybe I just slept on it weird. I will see if it gets better tonight. I will likely head out for more tonight with the kids.
PM: 5.5 with the kids. We headed out to Blackhawk park via planet walk. I even let them play.