Hitting the bricks. That was the plan for today since I signed up for a road race next week - the Leavenworth Half Marathon. I set out to see how my body would handle the pavement and it probably comes as no surprise to anyone who runs that today was harder than Friday when I ran slightly longer on dirt. It just proves to me that dirt is where it's at.
I felt fine leaving my house and surprisingly was not too sore or tight. This made me realize that I should not count on feeling this way and that I need to stretch more! Bad Martin.
Descending through Interlaken was a blast. It was damp, the sun still had not fully risen, I had a fantastic song on the iPod and I was not cold. I felt so removed from the city and all my wordily concerns, almost like floating. Sounds hoaky but there you go. Then the road flattened out and I rapidly descended back to earth. :)
I didn't really see anyone until I hit the Burke-Gilman Trail. Then I met several small groups and individuals running the other direction. I waved at every one and for the most part they all waved back.
I had been hitting all the lights perfectly on my way down and was feeling like I was riding the green wave. As I approached the Fremont Bridge I saw it closing and thought I was going to time it just right. Today, even the bridge was going to accommodate me. Almost. I climbed up the stairs just a tad to early and had to stand around for about 30 seconds before the gate swung open. Here I met the only people I saw going the same direction. It was a man and woman and they had on GPS watches and were talking pace, splits, all the same dorky stuff cyclists talk about. :( I would have turned the volume on my iPod up but this playlist as quiet for some reason and it was already maxed out. So instead I busied myself with eating my one gel I had brought along and tried to ignore all the techno-babble that was going on.
Cruising along Westlake I found a good rhythm and it was very pleasant. There is one short stretch where you can run along some old railroad tracks which was a blast. I guess I like it when you have to pay attention.
ASIDE - I have a friend that likes jus the opposite. He prefers smooth surfaces and likes to be able to zone out when running. Different strokes I guess.
As I rounded the south end of Lake Union all I could think about was the Howe Street stairs. It seemed like a good idea when I was mapping this route (gotta get in that hill!) but now of course I was petty much dreading it. I could feel my speed tail off a little as I approached the turn and then for the first time I had to wait for a car so I had to come to a complete stop. I made the mistake of glancing ahead and all I could see was up, up and more up.
I had three goals when I started this run.
- Finish it. Sounds easy but hey, I had not run this far on pavement yet this year. This goal I accomplished.
- Make it all the way up these stairs going two-at-a-time without stopping. Except for the couple of seconds it took me to straighten out the tongue of my left shoe because it was hurting as I crossed Lakeview I accomplished this goal too.
- Not have to stop when I got to the top of the stairs and least be able to keep running no matter how slowly. This I did NOT accomplish.
When I (barely) made it to the top of the stairs I was so freaking winded! Thinking back I am not sure if I have ever run these stairs all the way from Eastlake to 10th…! And believe you me, when I say 'run' I of course mean a pace that is just barely that. I did try to kick it in for those last four sections just before the top but man. Ouch.
I hit the top and had to stop right then and there. And then I had to bend over and put my hands on my knees as I sucked wind. After maybe 30 seconds I walked the few feet up to 10th, waited for a few cars to pass, crossed the street and then promptly walked another block to Federal before I slowly started running again. Whew.
After a few blocks I felt much better and at some point while heading back - perhaps with about one mile to go - I picked up the pace a little. Man that was hard.
After a huge snack and a quick rinse in the shower Shelley and I headed over to Discovery Park for a walk around the Loop Trail. There were a TON of people out walking and running. Some of them were really fast. This one group of college-age guys blew by us going the opposite direction looking a lot like a cross country team or at least some very motivated recreational runners. We also saw this small Asian woman that was absolutely cruising along. And we saw her three times! She had a hand-held bottle and was moving so incredibly efficiently - like gliding. Only fast as hell.
The walk was awesome. For lots of reasons. It let me work out the run and Shelley and I talked and saw some really beautiful trees, leaves and a magnificent view from the bluff. The water was so calm and you could see the eddies from boats for miles.
There were also lots of dogs - many of them off-leash. Hello people…! I used to be a dog owner so am sympathetic but c'mon.
A little rest, some more stairs, a little run, some more rest and I think I'll be ready for Leavenworth. What's my goal? After my second MTB accident I was doubtful of even participating… Then after I tried running and it worked I was hoping I could finish. Then after a good run on Wednesday I figured I could come in under 1:40 for sure. Then after these two runs Friday and today I am suddenly crazy optimistic and am hoping to hit 1:30. That was my goal last year but I was just starting to hurt my IT band and I had to stop and remove a rock from my shoe. And I still did 1:34.
I also know that if I go out too fast I will fade at the end. Here's hoping I pace it right and that I have a good day! :)
|Breakfast||5:00 AM - banana, Builder's bar, water|
|Workout Food||small bottle w/1 tablet Nuun and one scoop HEED, gel|
|Injuries||ribs are really sore from Friday's trail run|
|Time of Day||run - 7:20 AM|
walk - 10:30 AM
|Weather||run - low to mid 50s, light mist at the start, dry sky by the end, cloudy, calm|
|Course||run - around Lake Union and then up the Howe Street stairs|
walk - Discovery Park Loop Trail
|Time||run - 1:25:31|
|Distance||run - 11 miles (if MapMyRide can be trusted…)|
walk - 2.8 miles
|Pace||run - 7:50 min/mile (assuming the distance is correct)|
|Equipment||run - Brooks Defyance, iPod, hand-held bottle|
|Clothing||run - shorts, short sleeve active T, long sleeve active T|