Sunday, January 07, 2007

Home alone

All the preparations were made, breakfast laid out, coffee ready to start, spare gear packed, post run snacks chilling, and even woke up 2 minutes before the 6am alarm. Almost out the door but then decided to check my email and 'Oh, oh, Andrew's cancelling out sick with dizzy spells and general unwellness'. Darn, I hope that flu bug is not catching via email but glad that I double checked.

So, no great rush to get on the road and may as well have another cup of coffee and catch up on bloglines while waiting for the sun to come up. It's been kinda slow in blogland this weekend, either everyone is busy, sick or just not running and posting. Finally around 730 it was time to just do it. I was not particularly looking forward to 20 miles today and the missed opportunity to run with Andrew and Marc made the distance seem that much more daunting. My initial plan was to do a few 5 mile loops around town with pitstops at home for gatorade to break up the run a bit. I'd also loaded up my new ipod shuffle (very cute) with some ZZ Top and Phedippidations podcasts for company (very poor substitute for Andrew & Marc though).

The starting temperature was 3C (38F) with gusty westerly winds and the 1st 5 miles went OK with one quick stop to talk with a friend. On the return leg home I found there was still plenty of juice in the waterbottle and so veered off on the bare grass of our local golf course and then meandered around town again with trips to all the sideroads, cemetaries, trails and parks that could be found. As much as possible I prefer to stay off the pavement when and try to save my legs; that and the fact that it's time for new shoes with my best pair pushing 400 miles (others are at 700 & 800).

Finally after 13 miles I trudged back up my driveway for a refill of gatorade and courage before heading out the highway for the last leg of the journey. By this time the temperature had warmed up slightly to about 5C (43F) but there were still occasional patches of black ice here and there and the wind still remained strong (and it seems always in my face). The pace was quite slow today, likely feeling the effects of yesterday's intervals and also the lack of a fellow pace pusher. The music and podcasts helped keep the mind occupied and finally IT WAS OVER! Man, that seemed like a long way today! 20.1 miles in 2:51 for 8:30 pace including stops. That makes 9x20 mile weekends in a row and we'll be going for 10 next weekend with company this time, right A?

This coming week will be a rest week of sorts as I'm away for work meetings in Dartmouth, NS and it's time for a little recovery before the big push to Boston really begins. The plan is to keep the long run and rest day on Monday but to cut all my other runs by 50% by time. So runs of 30, 45, 30, 60, and 30 minutes are the plan with some strides & intervals thrown in. It will be a little strange running so short as I'll barely get warmed up most days.

Good running and watch out for that flu bug that's going around!


Andrew said...

I'm glad you checked your email. I got up just in case you weren't going to check it.

Way to get in that 20. It is hard to do by yourself. My attempt failed at 4.5 miles today on legs that held no snap, and a body with no energy.

To top it off, my right leg is overly stiff and I might need to tend it more agressively. A basket case really.

I talked to Marc on the phone. He went for 18 and ended up with 6 tortuous miles. Something is happening and it's not good. Better not leave the country Mike!

Unknown said...

A sign of consistency with 9 weeks in a row with a 20 miler in the books. Enjoy the shortened run week. Hopefully it will freshen the legs up a bit for the big push to Boston.

Michael said...

Very consistent running, good for you for getting out there. I remember having a conversation with Peter Reid a few years back, him talking about why trains alone. In most cases, your friends won’t be out there alongside you during the race. Doing some solo long runs is a great way to build the willpower and fortitude you’ll need on race day.

Are you going to be taking any easy weeks prior to building for Boston?

Jamie Anderson said...

Great job on the solo 20! I've only very recently caught on to the fact that doing multiple loops that stop by the house make long runs much more enjoyable.

Thomas said...

Well done on heading out on your own, your consistency is admirable. 9 20-milers in a row! Wow, and to think that before you started that sequence you were wondering if you could do more than 3 in a row.

I know that phenomenon with the wind in your face. Sometimes I wonder if someone up there has a big hairdryer and keeps wafting it into my face just to annoy me.

UMaine Cooperative Extension said...

Mike - Well done getting the 20 miler in! Sorry to have missed the run.

Olga said...

Unlike Jamie, I am not so sure about multiple loops through the house. I'd probably be home drinking coffee after the first one:) More power to you, and yay for 9x20M in a raw!

D said...

I'm w/Olga on the loops that pass the house. I'd rather go farther from the house and make the only stop near my house the end stop. Does this make me a weak runner I wonder??? Nice job on staying consistent.

DawnB said...

Great job on the run Mike

Dawn - Pink Chick Tris said...

Good for you for going it alone. I ofter run alone but now that I've got such a great group to run with I really look forward to our runs.

Your last comment got lost Spam. I rescued it but never got an email on it. Fridays are my bike day and I'll build the kms slowly on the trainer til I get the hang of those clippy things.

Phil said...

Hope you stay healthy. It seems like nearly everyone I know is either sick or recovering from something. Great job on your weekly 20 milers ... as you said, it is much more difficult to get through these alone.