Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Either side of sunrise

I ran a mile to the track this morning. At the track I ran 4 x 800 with 400 recovery. My times were 3:35, 3:39, 3:39, and 3:39. Then I ran a mile home for five miles total. Even though I ran hard I never felt like stopping. Usually when it comes to speed work at least once during the workout I feel like I’ve had enough. This morning I felt good and I was as charged up running the last repeat maybe even more than I was on the first.

Saturday morning I ran 15.5. I was scheduled for 15 but on Oyster Creek Drive I was zoned out enjoying the exploration of my own mind since I left the iPod at home. As I approached Oak Drive I realized I was supposed to have turned on Circle Way and no matter what I did I was a half a mile out of the way. Oh well.

As part of my long run I ran the trail behind McLean Park onto highway 2004 to run over the Brazos River Bridge twice. That is one of the few ways to get in hill repeats in Lake Jackson. On the way out I scared a Whitetail deer (a doe). She ran off into the woods 50 yards ahead of me. On the way back in both me and a eight-point buck scared each other off of the trail as I turned a sharp corner and there he stood. We both jumped at the same time as he bailed off of the trail and into a wetland area.

Both of those runs are examples the reason I run. I am training to run a 50k. That is the destination. But the journey so far has been so good. It feels good to push myself at the track and feel my body respond by getting stronger. It is cool to lose myself on a run so much that I miss my turn. I also like to be surprised by nature when so many people would miss it because they are breathing artificially cooled air while lying in between their warm sheets. I would rather sweat in the damp air of a Saturday morning on either side of sunrise. It is so good to run …

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

This and that

This weekend I missed my long run. There was just wasn’t enough time to fit it in. I don’t mind missing a scheduled run here and there but I really hate to miss long runs. Last week was a cut back week so maybe it won't matter too much that I missed running long. This weekend is a 15 miler which I hope to run Friday morning before Andrea and I go to Houston to hang out.

Tuesday I ran speed work at the track. I ran a mile warm-up to the track and then ran 6X400 with 200 recovery. My times got progressively slower – 1:41, 1:42, 1:43, 1:45, 1:45, 1:47. I ran a mile cool-down back home. It felt good to run hard.

Friday morning if I make my 15 mile long run the last mile will be my 1000th mile for the year. That is the earliest I have ever reached the 1000 mile mark. My goal was to average running more than 100 miles per month. That should not be a problem since I am really picking up the miles for 50k and marathon training … assuming I do not injure myself.

Also two weeks ago I signed-up from the Chevron Houston Marathon. Andrea and her sister Gwen are signed-up for the half again. Jakeb decided to forgo the half this year for basketball.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Brazosport Relay Triathlon

I was on a team called “Hot Fuzz”. We came in 1st place for the Male Corporate Division. Our team really should have come in 2nd place but the winning Male Corporate team was in 2nd place overall and took the overall Male division trophy. Since there is no duplication of awards we got 1st Male Corporate.

Our swimmer Greg swam the 1k in 14:24. The 1st runner John ran his 5k in 24:05. I ran my 5k in 22:51. Wes rode his bike for fifteen miles in 38:13.

The weather was hot and very humid. I think we did pretty well and it was a fun event.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Austin and Town Lake Trail

Andrea and I spent last weekend in Austin. It was time for us to get away from Lake Jackson and be alone. We had a great time eating good food and shopping as Andrea tried to spend what was left of her birthday money.

We stayed downtown on 5th street and IH-35. Saturday morning I woke up, drank coffee, stretched and headed out of the door to run on Town Lake Trail. It has been years since I ran in downtown Austin but I remember Town Lake (which is actually a river) being an excellent place to run.

As I ran south on Travis toward the river I miss-stepped on an uneven part of the sidewalk and aggravated my twisted ankle. I was mad and limped around for a while contemplating walking back to the hotel room and forgetting about the run. I thought about it while I walked and said “Forget it, I’m running on it”. After a couple of strides my ankle started feeling better and by the time I made it to the trail I completely forgot about it.

I ran past members of the Austin Rowing Club as they cleaned their crafts and got them ready to launch onto Town Lake. I turned down a slight grade and was blown away by the number of people who were running on the Town Lake Trail on a Saturday morning. There were training groups running together getting ready for some unnamed race. There were both moms and dads pushing strollers with kids who were content to ride. There were couples running together and there were runners running alone, some pushing themselves and some running at a comfortable pace.

Town lake is the most festive place I have ever run outside of a marathon. It is like a party of people who have their health and ability to move in common. We navigated the trail together with a sameness of purpose.

I crossed the lake on a foot bridge made especially for those moving under their own power and ran back the way I came on the opposite side of the river. The south side of the river trail passes Runtex – one of the best running stores in the world. Runtex puts out igloo coolers with water, free to whoever is using the trail. I crossed Congress Avenue Bridge and headed back to the hotel. This was one of the best runs I’ve had in a while. I lost myself in the atmosphere and forgot that my ankle ever hurt or that running takes any effort at all.

Town Lake Trail is a great place to run.