Sunday, November 16, 2008

Muddy 14.3, Snowy 16.3, Grungy 26.2

Nearly every Saturday morning, usually around 8:00, you can find a group of mostly SERC runners at Lock 29 in Peninsula, gathering for our run through the woods. These are consistently my favorite runs of the week. Although we always start and end at the same point, each run is unique. We following different paths, or at times we seem to lose the path entirely. The weather and seasons change. The flora and fauna follow those cycles. For example, as the trees lose their leaves, the views change, the horizon opens up and the sky gets bigger. This Saturday, thanks to rain that fell overnight, the ground was covered with wet leaves, making for slippery footing and concealing rocks, stumps, and branches. There were a few close calls, and Steve Hawthorne took a nasty fall. His knee was bloody, but otherwise he was OK. Where it wasn't slippery, it was mucky. I nearly lost a shoe at one point. Still, it was a fun run. As usual, I wore my Garmin 305, and was able to download a satellite image of the route, with the time distance, and elevation stats as shown below.
From August through April, I usually skip the post run brunch with the group so I can get home in time for the football (soccer here in the USA) broadcasts from England. This week, I was so hungry after the run, I decided to stay. We went to Fishers Cafe, an institution in Peninsula. Since some of the usuals were away for the weekend at various races, there were only five of us: Dave K,. Dave P., Connie G. and her young friend Patrick, and me. I'm glad I stayed, because I rarely get to talk with Connie. She is among the best ultra runners in the USA, and she has lots of great stories, including her recent trip to Italy for an international ultra competition.

On Sunday, I ran with a sparse SERC group in Solon. I put in a few early miles in the snow, and tagged on a few after to get to 16.3 miles. I am trying to follow (loosely) Pfitzinger's plan, and he recommends that I run my long runs slower than I have been, so I tried to stay around the 8:00 to 8:10 mile/hr pace. I ended up with an average of 8:09 minute miles. After I got home, I had big bowl of delicious French onion soup, and a muffin with currant jelly, and a cup of coffee.

I gave more thought to my plans for 2009. I have been looking for other races, before and after Boston, that I would like to run. I decided I'll run the Youngstown Mill Creek Half-Marathon as a Boston tune-up in March. It's a good race at the right time, with lots of hills, perfect for a Boston prep race. Still, I wanted to decide on a late spring or early summer marathon. I did Cleveland last year, and I might still do it this year, but it falls only a month after Boston, and I don't think I can give it my best. Besides, I don't want to get into a groove (or rut) of running Boston then Cleveland every year. So, I decided to sign-up for the Seattle Marathon on June 27th. Sue and I want to see our son Alex and his girlfriend Kalena, so this will be more of a vacation that a marathon trip. And I am already excited about running in Seattle; It'll be a new adventure. The route takes us from downtown, across the floating bridge to Mercer Island and back. This should be a great run. Anyone else want to go?

No comments: