So the first day of my action packed three day weekend has come to a successful close. Another way to look at it? The first 9 miles of the 41.4 I have scheduled for this 3 day weekend are now logged into the books.
9 on the 9th - 1:14:36 (8:16 pace)
I had fun in December when Nancy organized the virtual run 8 on the 8th, so I jumped at the chance to take part in 9 on the 9th. The problem came when I had already had a 10k scheduled for the 9th, and a trail marathon on the 10th. So I could have ran an extra 3 miles on Saturday, or even used the first 9 miles of the marathon, but that wouldn't be too accurate since I would be running both those races differently than I would a 9 mile run. Thus I decided to run the 9 on Friday. It would be demanding, and I won't know how running two events two days before a marathon will affect it. But why not give it a try? After all, if I plan on running a 50 miler then I'll need to see how my body responds to the stress. Anyway, this would also be a good opportunity to work on my pacing for the Napa Valley Marathon in March.
Mile 1: 8:36 - I had taken a nap and wasn't completely awake. Nonetheless, this was a bit slow for what I wanted to run. I was also enjoying the scenery, running alongside a creek, trying to ignore the freeway on the right.
Mile 2: 8:05 - This was more like it. Passed a few runners, a few bikers passed me. An uneventful mile.
Mile 3: 8:09 - Sped this one up a bit. The time doesn't show because I stopped for a 15 second water break. I knew with the run today and the run tomorrow that I had to take every opportunity I could to keep myself hydrated for the marathon on Sunday.
Mile 4: 7:58 - Was feeling pretty good with this mile. Passed a mother pushing her baby in a stroller and tons of dogs walking their owners. Was also running alongside a lake which, in conjunction with the freeway off to the left and the highway to the right, made it a bit windy. Really, the run is better than it sounds. Lots of noise and cars, but also a couple of bodies of water, a ton of trees and a creek with countless animals. I've seen bobcats, turkeys, squirrels, hawks, deer. There are even elk, mountain lion, fox, wild boar and coyotes roaming the hills, but I haven't seen any of them yet. You name it, we have it. Of course you don't see them all the time but the variety is fun to look for while running this trail.
Mile 5: 8:07 - I'd hit the turnaround and was on my way back, running over the bridge and back to the lake. Came across a good looking woman walking her dog, exchanged smiles, and I was amazed to remember her from my run on Monday. Geez, I should run this trail more often. But is there ever a correct way to approach/talk to someone while running and walking a dog? If there is, I don't know of it.
Mile 6: 8:19 - Uneventful and fell off pace a little. It was getting a bit toasty. I had decided to not wear a hat today and that makes a huge difference. Usually the hat soaks up the sweat, but without it it felt as though I was sweating buckets. It was the hottest it had been in quite a while, being in the mid 60s, and the average the last month or so has been low to mid 50s. Obviously great weather compared to other places in the US that are in 20s and 30s. But this was hot(ter) nonetheless.
Mile 7: 8:43 - I love finding places to run that have water fountains along the route, which is why I love running this route so often. This time I took a 25 second time out and stopped for water and to catch my breath. Despite the stop I was still a little off pace, which makes sense the longer you run.
Mile 8: 8:26 - I'm running along and I see a lady and her husband biking towards me. I think nothing of it. I mean, the bike path is 9-10 feet wide, how much space do you really need? Anyway, the damn lady didn't move out of the way! She kept riding next to her husband as though she had no reason to move. Almost running off the trail, squished to the far right, I dodged the rude biker. Okay maybe not that bad, but if I hadn't moved she would have ran me over and blamed me for taking her space.
Mile 9: 8:03 - I stepped this one up and wanted to try and run the last mile the fastest. The whole way it felt like I was running way faster than any other mile, and yet it is only the second fastest mile. I think I started running faster already a quarter of a mile in, so that would explain not running faster than mile 4.
All in all this was a great run. I didn't feel too tired and I could have ran it faster, but then I would risk being too tired for the marathon. So a nice, evenly paced run it was, and I know I'll be ready for the marathon in Napa Valley. Tomorrow I run the Valentine Fun Run 10k in Campbell and will work on my speed, hoping to run an average sub 8 minute mile. My PR is a 7:30 pace for this distance, but ever since I've started focusing on the longer distances I haven't ran the shorter distances quite as fast, but I'm still hopeful that I can set a PR.
And what's next? 10 on the 10th? Or maybe 10k on the 10th? Either would work. Can't wait to read Nancy's great recap.