Saturday, October 28, 2006

Sweet Sixteen

Well, more like an Okay sixteen miles. This is the longest I've run since last October, training for Honolulu. Once again Shannon and I ran together. Pace was erratic because we couldn't start from our usual Rose Bowl spot because of a UCLA football game. Thus, I wasn't sure where the mile markers were. But we managed to do just fine.

Next week, the Santa Barbara half-marathon!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Running Ten Again

Dinged my heel working out, so I didn't run all week. Today we did ten miles. For whatever reason, turnout was rather sparse. I ran with the 11-minute pace group. To be precise, my teammate Shannon and I ran solo most of the way. A beautiful autumn day, mild temperatures, great running weather.

This afternoon, former teammates Nick and PJ tie the knot. They've known each other since grammar school and have decided to travel the rest of the journey together. I wish them the very best.

And so say all of us.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Racing a High School Girl

Bought new, light-weight running shoes for track practice and shorter races. They weigh considerably less than the heavy honkers I wear for long distance and marathons.

This afternoon I was trying them out around the Rose Bowl. I'm running a moderate pace, on my fourth mile, when I pass a teenage girl. I hear her speed up, so I speed up. She keeps pace behind me and speeds up some more. I up the pace ante yet again.

Suddenly other teenage girls start cheering. Apparently they are her teammates. "Come on, Nikki! You can beat him!" I realize I'm in a race with some kid on a high school cross-country team.

For a few seconds, things went my way. I held the lead as we zipped toward a pack of walkers and joggers. I cut around a mom with a stroller, but Nickki looped around two oncoming joggers and zoomed ahead. A teammate with a clipboard and a stop watch cheered as she crossed her finish line.

Nikki shook my hand as I ran past.

I kept good form and pace until I passed over a small hill out-of-sight. Then I sucked in air like they weren't making any more and finished my last mile at a reduced gait.

But man, those shoes! I felt so speeeeeedy!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Damp 14 Mile Run

First sprinkles of the year showed up at mile 6 of a 14 mile run. Just enough to wet the rocks on the hills we had to climb. But the weather remained cool — a perfect distance climate.

I finished strong but felt rather stiff the rest of the day. After our upcoming 16 mile practice, I'll be heading home to soak in an ice bath. This ghastly practice actually speeds recovery.

Fourteen miles is the furthest I've run since spring. I'm slowly making my way back up the marathon ladder.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Lost Runners of the Foothills

Once again a UCLA football game forced our Team to redeploy. We met at a nearby park and ran from there. Joining us were the Korean-American Running Team, the Pasadena Pacers, Run With Us running store team and every other harrier group that usually assembles at the Rose Bowl early Saturday mornings. Our normal routes had been taken away. We were compelled to improvise. Runners scattered into the hills and trails above the Jet Propulsion Laboratories, passing each other like commuters on a busy street.

Here is a quick shirt breakdown:

Team in Training - green and purple lettering on white, Cool Dry fabric.

Pasadena Pacers - red cotton with a running shoe logo.

KART - day-glo lime green.

Run With Us - a shirt that says, "Run With Us."

Participants in the Santa Barbara Half-Marathon ran nine miles. Phoenix Rock 'N' Roll Marathon (me) ran 12. And the Honolulu Marathoners, 14.

Thanks to an early start, we had an early finish.

And away we went to our weekends.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Bonelli 10K

Pleasant rolling hills around a duck-filled lake. That pretty much describes the terrain of the Bonelli Scenic 10K. This 6.2 mile race was a San Gabriel Valley Team in Training "road" event. In fact, were it not for Team in Training, this inaugural race would've been seriously underpopulated. As it was, the low numbers made for an enjoyable dash around Puddingstone Lake.

Of the three 10Ks I've run, this was my best time. A pleasing surprise since I merely wanted to finish my first race since April's accident.

Afterwards we went out to a local IHOP. But they had given away the table we reserved. So we went to Red Robin instead.

Fine carbs were had by all.