Friday, June 26, 2009

Long run redux

Yesterday's long run was really fun, as I think I mentioned. I got started a few minutes late (seems to be a theme in my life these days) but still finished on time. I took most of the same route that I usually bike to work, mostly because it has quieter roads, less traffic, and fewer traffic signals. I ran with my Camelbak on my back filled with water, wallet, breakfast (cream of rice + protein powder), and 2 larabars for snacks at work. I wore a bike jersey because it's a little warmer than my running tops and it has a huge pocket in the back. In the pocket I stashed 2 Gu packets, 1 pack of Gu Chomps (strawberry w/ caffeine - YUM) and a serving of GF pretzels so I wouldn't have to worry about searching for sodium at work. I just ate a banana before I did the run, and had 1 Gu pack plus most of the Chomps on the run. A chomp here, a chomp there... tastes like strawberry jam. yum. Plus I wore my fuel belt with 1 water container on it in case I needed to refill my water a the park. Refilling a Camelbak from a drinking fountain seems impossible  (Plus the fuel belt ensures my running pants stay up! Must stop buying running shorts/pants without draw strings!)
The weather was great! A little cooler than I expected, high 50s, but it was perfect after about 10 minutes. Funny how when I first started I thought I was cold, but I was too lazy to turn around and run back 5 minutes to get a long sleeve shirt to wear! Silly considering I had so many miles to go...
I ran the 4 miles down to the gym and used it for a pit stop. (Hey, I'm paying the monthly fee, might as well use it for something.) Then ran to the park and ran along the bike path away from work for a mile, turned around and headed to downtown. I must have misjudged the time when I was on the bike path because I thought I didn't have time to run the whole 12 miles, so that's why I only ran 2 extra miles on the bike path.
My route has three spurts of traffic lights and they are at the very beginning (3 of them), middle (2), and end (5, 6, 7?). It works well when I'm on my bike because it gives me a warmup and cooldown with a little break in the middle. Running though, I wanted as few lights as possible downtown. Last time I ran from the park to work, I had to stop at almost every light, and on the bike it doesn't bother me because it's such a small portion of my workout and I don't usually consider the ride from the park to work a workout anyways, but when I'm running I want every mile to count. So I ran through the mall which saved me 7 blocks of lights. Before that though I ran in circles around Old Sac to get the mileage up a bit higher since I was just at 9.5. I ran in circles downtown too, looking for an ATM so I could buy some coffee, but eventually gave up and just ran around the capitol until I hit 12.0. Got some stretching in, showered, and showed up at work on time with a bit of a red face.
My knees started hurting around the same time I started running through the mall. Wondering if the concrete surface in the mall and on the downtown sidewalks contributed to it. I tried to walk 1 minute every 8-10 minutes. It's a lot more convenient to just run 1 minute every mile though. I try to hit my lap counter each mile, so I'm already paying attention for that. But to do that and try to keep track of every 8 minutes.. too much work!  But next time I think I'll try to walk a little more often. My pace was great. Almost the same as my 12 mile run in AZ two weeks ago. 11:18 min miles (AZ was 11:19).  My legs were a little tired in the morning and still are a bit tired today, but they feel pretty good and are pain free again.
I had to work late last night, so was stuck with the dilemma of using another emergency ride home (only get 6 per year though!) or riding home as the sun was setting. I rode home fast! I took a new route that I think was definitely faster. I made it home in 25 minutes - record time, and on my hybrid. I got lucky with the lights too though, lots of green. I passed an old vagrant-type looking guy on the bike path and he caught up to me at the light to leave the park and said "hey - pretty good for a girl". I wish I'd come up with a good response at the time. Instead I just sped off when the light turned green and left him in the dust again, never to catch up to me again.
Had an early day at work, so ended up driving to work. Twice this week. ugh. Definitely missed the bike ride. Hoping to get out early enough to swim on the way home.

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