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?