There’s stuff going on in my extended family which has been an emotional rollercoaster lately (it’s all working out happily for the best, but it didn’t look that way for a while!) and I’m seriously behind on many things in my life. I still want to keep up the blog but it may be more intermittent. I’m definitely noticing both the great advantage of running in keeping me calm and working out the worries and preoccupations, but also the extent to which mental distraction can detract from my running if I let it. It’s a balance, like everything else! There is still so much to learn. As the mileage has been building towards the big day, just keeping up with the runs is hard enough. I haven’t been thinking about tempo/interval/easy training, or working on my form, or doing special quad exercises (which would be a good idea)–but if I want to run more marathons after this one, I can integrate all those things if I want. For now, enough to get the miles in! Helpful guy Jim2 says that long-distance runners continue improving for 10 years, so I have at least 6 more years of getting faster and better ahead of me.
Medium run, 7 miles, 1:19:11; splits 10:06, 11:58, 11:47, 9:44, 11:49, 12:36, 11:12.
Good run. About 3 miles in I could see across Stanley Lake (the other side of the loop) and it looked a long way away–cool to think I’d be running there. New wildflower: hog peanut (seems to grow just in one particularly shady wooded stretch).
Short run, 4 miles, 43:32; splits 10:48, 11:36, 10:55, 10:13.
OK run but one of my toenails had been rubbing against the inside of the next toe. It didn’t particularly hurt but when I got back my sock was bloody! I didn’t notice at first (we got a phone call, so I didn’t stretch first thing) and as it turned out I left red marks on the kitchen floor. Once I got the sock off I realized it wasn’t bad at all, but it was unsettling!
Long run, 16 miles, 3:02:03; splits 10:34, 10:51, 11:16, 10:16, 11:11, 10:37, 11:22, 11:16, 10:50, 10:56, 10:59, 12:05, 13:33, 12:21, 12:23, 11:15.
Miles for the week: 31 (4/7/4/16) WEEK 9
I wore a band-aid on the toe that bled on Friday, but it worked its way off part-way through the run and I had to take off my shoe and sock to get it out. I’ll try to avoid getting in that situation again!
My first 16 miler–and it was just fine! It is harder and harder to walk up the steps to the front door after a long run, but other than that, not much difference. A nice sunny morning, but turned foggy after I crossed the ridge. That was cool–totally different atmosphere. Approaching 858, the dirt road crosses a small lake/large pond. There was a blue heron on each side–one perched way out on a submerged log, scenic in the fog. Where the road bordered a field, there were dozens of orb-weaver spider webs highlighted with dew drops–I’ve never seen so many. Further along there was a dead sumac tree with a few orb webs at the ends of the branches–very Halloween if it were by itself. Dead green snake in the road–they are so pretty, but I have yet to see one alive (rare dead as well, this is only the second I’ve seen in a decade).
I had the best encounter so far, near home on Moran Road: in procession, a dog, two enormous draft horses pulling a low cart driven by a large man in his early sixties, the cart pulling a gigantic tractor tire full of scrap metal, and bringing up the rear, a brown-and-white goat. The dog was quite friendly but soon tired of me and forged ahead. The man introduced himself as John something (I had a hard time making out everything he said, but I figured out his last name from the mailbox later) and told me he was exercising the horses for an upcoming horse pull competition. The goat was very friendly and let me scratch its head while he talked. He asked me if I knew why he had the goat and I said “To keep the horses company?” (having heard that horses often like goats as friends). Not just that, he said. His exact words: “If the sumbitch horse gets sick, the frigging goat will die.”
Ragweed’s been blooming for a while (it’s hard to tell the difference between the buds and the flowers). I know I’ve missed a few other new wildflowers…
Short run, 5 miles, 53:03; splits 10:57, 10:13, 10:40, 11:00, 10:14.
Wow–almost a minute and a half faster than my previous best 5 miler! I’ve felt like I was plateauing for a while, but that’s more like it.
Medium run, 8.05 miles, 1:30:57; splits 10:35, 11:56, 11:54, 11:05, 10:14, 11:27 (1.05), 11:23, 11:50
Good run. The dog I met on Monday’s long run accompanied me for quite a while, which was nice. There’s one cluster of vipers bugloss on Bowbridge Road; I wonder if it was planted by someone? I got goosed by a stone! I felt something fly up from the road and then all of a sudden it felt like something was biting my Achilles’ tendon. I yelped and jumped. When I looked down it turned out a pebble had caught right between my tendon and the lip of the shoe.
Short run, 5 miles, 54:11. Splits 10:56, 10:13, 10:45, 11:35, 10:42.
A relatively hard run–18 miles within 32 hours adds up, I guess! It was humid, my legs were tired, and I’ve been short on sleep lately. I actually walked for a second on the last hill before home–I didn’t intend to, but I was distracted and my body just went “okay let’s stop.” Kind of weird. I guess that’s why focus is so important!