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  1. Today
  2. Hot weather, high dewpoint, no problem. Congratulations, Sara!
  3. You're getting pretty good at this racing thing. 🤣
  4. Yesterday
  5. Sounds like a great outcome to me! Congrats!
  6. Last week
  7. The short: Mother Nature didn't want the Plaza 10K runners to have it easy this year, so she gave us 71 degrees with thunderstorms in the area and a dew point of 68. Historically I haven't raced well in these conditions, so I lined up ready to give it my all and to be thankful for whatever that was, without any specific time or pace expectations. I ran by effort and ignored my watch, and although I had an idea where I was at since the race had a course clock at the 5K mark, I was thrilled to see the finishing clock in the 36s as I came down the final stretch. My official time of 36:52 is 18 seconds off my PR, which I ran in 56 degrees on the same course last year, but it almost felt like a PR because it was much faster than I thought I would run in the weather we had. It is by far the best I've raced anything in temperatures over 70, and it felt so good after a disappointing 5K in similar conditions the previous weekend. My official results are here, and my Strava activity of the race can be seen here. I remembered not to stop my watch for once! On my drive to the race, Psalm 23 popped into my head The long: I had a hard time getting pumped up for this race because of the forecast. I was still feeling discouraged from the Brookhaven 5K, and the weather conditions were shaping up to be nearly identical for this race. I thought my fitness was there, but I didn't feel good about showing it in crap weather - plus optimism and denial hadn't worked the previous weekend! I was at this race solo, so this was my race day pic! However, as always I got excited when I got in the race environment and began warming up. This race is very competitive, so as usual one of my goals was to place as high as I could. My other goals were to get the best out of myself that day, and to not be afraid to hurt. The race started and I settled into the effort level that felt maintainable for 6.2 miles. Several women went out ahead of me, and I began setting my eyes on the ponytail closest to me and working towards it. I latched onto men here and there to help pull me up to the next ponytail. I passed Chander, who I ran most of Grandma's Marathon with, shortly after the mile mark and encouraged her to work her way up with me. The familiar course was comforting, although I caught myself thinking, "I remember how much cooler it was last year" a few times. Mid-race focus I was nearing a woman and feeling strong when we passed the 5K clock in 18:24. I wasn't sure whether to laugh or to breathe a sign of relief, since the pace felt hard but it also felt do-able, whereas the previous week I'd been nearly dead after racing a flatter 5K in 18:23. That gave me a nice boost and I accelerated past that women, encouraging her to work with me to catch the two ponytails ahead of us. A couple of my male pace buddies around mile 4 After that point I worked with a couple of men for the second half of the race. The effort was hard but I kept telling myself just to stay with them; they would get me in the 36s. Although I didn't have a time goal when I started the race, I sure had one after I saw my 5K course split, and that was to run something starting with a 36! I knew that wouldn't be an easy task, because the final 2 miles of this course have a lot of uphill and I've always positive split on it. Also, my coach told me that humidity affects us most in the second half of a race, which seems like a good explanation for why I positive split everything in the summer even though in general I consider myself a good negative splitter... I started to hurt really bad with 1.5 miles to go, but I was gaining slightly on a ponytail about 30 seconds ahead and wouldn't let myself give up, just in case! Running near the men helped a lot, but as they sprinted in the final 0.2 I didn't have much left to give - by that point I also knew that I wasn't going to move up or get caught in my female position. As I came down the final stretch, I saw that I was going to make it in the 36s and broke out in a smile! I remembered to not stop my watch right at the line in hopes of getting good finishing photos! The woman who won my age group was from Flagstaff, AZ Post-race, I ran an 8 mile cool down with great company, which has become tradition for this Sunday race that always coincides with marathon training (probably because I am always marathon training, bahaha!)! I felt pretty good on the slow cool down until we climbed a massive steep hill in the final mile, in search of Sharon's car... The race took about 8 photos of us finishing our cool down, hah! The more I reflected on my race, the better I felt about it. The woman who won the race last year in 34:36 ran 35:24 this time for second place, and she is in top shape preparing for the Twin Cities Marathon. Another fast female who ran 35:09 last year finished in 36:09 this year. I finished in front of a women I've never beat before, who ran 36:10 last year and 37:27 this time. Thinking about it that way, I felt that being 18 seconds slower than my 2018 time was perhaps equivalent to a 30-40 second PR, and this was sure a better checkpoint than my race the weekend before! Pretty happy with these grade-adjusted paces except for mile 6 and the final 0.24 - those show I didn't have much left to give! I wish mile 4 was instead mile 6 I wrote about my Plaza 2018 race here and my Plaza 2017 race here. Clearly I need to keep running this race every year, because I have never come away thinking it could have gone any better. I'm thankful I returned for the Plaza 10K magic in 2019. Psalm 23:1: The Lord is my Shepard, I shall not want... 23:6: Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. My course 5K splits were 18:24 and 18:27! Post-race brunch company Hahaha!
  8. You look ready for a good marathon! I'm getting an implant as well. But it's way in the back so I am just toothless for 4 months. Stupid aging.
  9. Maybe avoid Madonna for the time being. Or forever. Go T-Rex!
  10. I'm jealous of the fall weather. Best wishes to T-Rex! Also I can't believe your training cycle is almost complete!
  11. So many miles! You are going to be well prepared! Great picture of T-Rex! Where is that taken?
  12. ocrunnergirl

    trail walking

    Beautiful pictures! You're still running so it's all good news!
  13. Fun race! Good luck this semester.
  14. ALWAYS run against traffic! Jealous of your cooler weather.
  15. DrWhiskers

    trail walking

    You sure got to experience a lot in just one run. Keep sharing your photos with us!
  16. Fall weather is delightful. The mornings here are hinting at it, but this week summer has come back with a vengeance (90s all week), which guarantees my Tuesday night speed sessions last a good 30 minutes longer than I'd like because our coach is smart and gives us extra cool down time between components of the workout. I probably wouldn't mind if it wasn't a 30 minute drive home after. I'll be thinking of T-Rex!
  17. Tuesday - Myrna Trail. 6 miles. 77o. 17 mph. Cloudy. Out of the six miles there's about a half mile that follows a little trail through a couple of small nature areas. It ends (or starts, depending on which way I'm running) where Myrna Street ends, so I call it the Myrna Trail. Not really a trail, but it's more of a trail than anything else I get to see. Even picked up a spider web, so that's pretty nature-ish, right? Wednesday - Phoenix Lake. 3 x 3200 intervals. Total 11 miles. 70o. 3 mph. Mostly cloudy. I consider this the day the summer weather lost the war with fall. There may be some more hot days, but the trend is most definitely improving. This brings me to my "duh!" moment. I remember being so amazed in week 10 of training for Marshall how my speed jumped dramatically. Until this week, I'd always attributed it to some magical point in my schedule - so many hard runs and a threshold of mileage somehow. Nope. Just the early fall cool down. Five years I've been waiting for that magical return. And it came this week. Don't get me wrong. I've been working very hard and running plenty of miles. If it were 80+ outside this would still have been a sucky, struggling run. But this was a fun and fast, 100% in control, workout. #1 - 7:25 (flat) & 7:33 (28 ft up), #2 - 7:24 (20 ft up) & 7:25 (flat), #3 - 7:19 (30 ft down) & 7:27 (52 ft down, but 3 stops in the last half mile for traffic - grr). Encouraging. The last pair I ran into one of the local running groups. Probably 20-25 of them coming at me up the bike path. Running past a group like that during a fast interval never happens. It's always during a slow recovery so I look like a sloth, so it was nice to think I appeared like a fast old guy instead of a slow one. Thursday - Schoolcraft to Haggerty. 10 miles. 73o. 5 mph. Cloudy. Usually I'm pretty meticulous about my running routes. Lately, I've been less so. Just start out in the next direction counterclockwise from the last run, go as far as I think I need to to get the miles on the calendar and loop back (or run an out and back). This one gave me a couple of miles on a part of Schoolcraft I've never run on before. It's double-laned and separated by a big median, but the traffic is very light, even in late afternoon. Still probably should have crossed all the way over to run against the traffic on the other side, but I was feeling extra lazy and stayed where I was. I guess I was hoping for some more sidewalk than I ended up getting. There was an extra wide shoulder, so that helped. Still, every time a car came past in the outside lane, I got a little nervous. Not recommended. But it was a nice run, mostly at 8:30-ish pace, except for a couple in the middle where I had some climbing. Decided to duck into one of the community college buildings for a drink at their fountain at mile 8. Friday - Madonna. 6 miles. 70o. 8 mph. Cloudy. Interesting thing on this run was the guy cleaning out the bed of his pickup. He had a big shop vac and was grabbing one piece of whatever was in the bed at a time and taking it by hand from the end of the hose (it was too large to actually vacuum) and put it in a trash bag on the ground next to him. And that wasn't the weird part. Inside his open garage was a naked female mannequin. Don't see that everyday in a suburban garage. So many questions. Saturday - McKenna's Bridge. 16 miles. 63o. 7 mph. Cloudy. The sun did come out for the second half, but it was awfully nice for a long run this morning. Since I'd missed my first 16 miler, I was really looking forward to this one. Brought the Fuel Belt and two Hammer Gels (G every 2 miles and HG at 5-1/2 and 11). Picked up the bike path at Five Mile then followed it all the way to Hines Drive. Easy paces. Then there's the hill on Five Mile up to Sheldon Road. It's at about mile 7, and climbs 105 feet in the last 400m. There was a cyclist heading down, then up again while I was working it. He came down again before I reached the top. Getting his hill work in, too. Another runner passed in front of me as I entered Northville. I was slowly gaining on him until we got to the steepest part of the climb to downtown. I still had 6 miles to go and he looked to be finishing up, so I let him go, saving myself for the last few climbs I had and my plan for a fast finish in miles 12-16. Mile 12 is where the highest point of the run is, so I would cruise in from there. Miles 1-12 were all 8:40-9:00. 13-16 were 8:04 (-82 ft), 8:12 (-26 ft), 8:14 (-28 ft) and 7:53 (-37 ft). Monday - Lyndon & Merriman. 10 miles. 58o. 7 mph. Cloudy. In fairness, I ran yesterday and today in the morning, so it was dark and clouds had nothing to do with anything. Guess it would have been nice to see the moon and stars. This is my first of 3 longest tempo runs (8 @ tempo pace). Wasn't quite as fast as last week, but after the long week last week (58 miles), I'm happy with the effort, especially since I'm trying to work on pacing, and the pacing was better than last time. Plus, dark runs tend to be a tad slower since I have to concentrate on my footing more. 8:11, 8:10, 8:08, 8:07, 8:11, 8:06, 8:12, 8:04. Tuesday - Bates Burger Loop. 7 miles. 63o. 3 mph. Cloudy. This dark run was smooth from start to finish. About 9:00 pace until the last few that crept down to 8:50. I saw the other day that they finished the trail through the woods from Wayne to Gill Roads. I've decided not to run there in the dark because of the possibility of skunks crossing my path, or getting gored by a deer. When did I become such a scaredy cat? I was actually thinking about not seeing any wildlife in these two early morning runs as I bypassed the path for the quiet street when I saw a deer feeding on someone's flower bed. He/she watched me until I got 20-30 yards away before bolting off and into the woods behind the house across the street. Anyway, feeling good. Loving the almost fall weather. My only concern about NH is the hills since I don't have enough of those in my schedule. Hopefully if I take it really easy up them, they won't eat me up and ruin the second half. Lesson from San Francisco. As a youngster, I chipped one of my two front teeth a couple of times. It's been repaired a few times since then, covered with caps, had infections that may or may not have affected my life and running. Last winter I had a guy in there again to clean out an infection and he discovered a large crack in the root. Too big to repair or grind away the damage. It had to be removed and replaced with a permanent implant or a bridge. Being one of the fronts, it's a bad spot for a bridge, aesthetically anyway. Trouble is, with all the previous work up there, most of the bone in that tooth socket is gone, scraped away. So, now they have to try grafting in bone from a cadaver and hope it takes sufficiently to allow an implant attachment. Did the first part yesterday morning (hence the early run). Now I'm toothless for 4-6 months with my fingers crossed for the graft to work. I have an appliance as a temporary replacement but I have a bit of a lisp now to go with it. Finally, this afternoon T-Rex and I are driving back West for her return to school. Glad it's a cutback week. That's the reason for this morning's dark run. Hoping to make it to Cheyenne tomorrow early enough to get in the 12 miles I need for Wednesday. The other days I'll be at Dad's place, then flying home on Saturday. Most of all, hoping she keeps her anxiety under control and can stay get through the whole semester. Her and her mother, who worries even more than she does most of the time. Me, I just run. And, it's two and a half weeks to taper. How did that happen?
  18. amarie2009

    trail walking

    Beautiful trails! Nothing like that around here...
  19. Dave

    trail walking

    The slower you go, the longer you get to appreciate those views.
  20. MichaelV

    trail walking

    Looks like a wonderful place for a trail run/walk.
  21. You can gain a ton of fitness in 5-6 weeks - go get ‘em!
  22. SIbbetson

    trail walking

    Beautiful pics!
  23. SIbbetson

    August Recap

    That interval workout is great! I’m with you on being able to spend months marathon training but could never do something like Beach Body. Also I was sad to hear ELP was closed due to flooding.
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