Monday, March 02, 2009

Running and the Law

On Saturday I was supposed to run long, 19-20 miles. I did not plan on including a 10K "time-trial" in the middle of the punishing workout, but Mindi challenged her readers to a "virtual" 10K "race." She did magnificently; read her report here.

I start my run at a very conservative pace. The first six miles averaged 8:18, and I could feel the fatigue in my legs. Damn. Was it the three miles I ran on Thursday with 40 seconds on, 70 seconds off? I did average 6:57 for those three miles. A sign that my legs might have been on the verge of over-training was when my recovery run on Friday had my legs protesting a bit. Naturally, I just did not feel "it." But I got ready to run at least the pace I ran on my last half-mary (6:57).

The first half mile is too conservative as I glanced at my watch and I saw a 3:36 (7:12 pace). I have to pick up the effort. I do. The first mile is a not-too-bad 7:05. The bike trail is fairly flat with a couple of grade-separations (under-passes). The second mile comes in at a more "decent" 6:56 and I have thoughts of negative splitting the race. I continue the same perceived effort but I notice the stride is shortening. Mile three, 7:05. Shit. I tell myself that 7:05s are not that bad, especially on beat up legs. I desperately want to quit. It's just a workout. I am supposed to run long steady pace, :-) I decide to hang on and take one mile at a time. It also helps that Mindi had much worse circumstances and she did it; and did it rather well. Mile four 7:04, thank goodness I have not slow down. I concentrate on my form. I am not hurting as much as if I was racing others, but it is very close. Mile five, 7:02. Yes. Only one mile and change to go. I know I can finish this thing. Mile six, 6:53. One last quarter. I cover it in 1:45, or 1:30 for the .215 of a mile. Final time is 43:35. And I am so exhausted. I know I will not be able to do the 7-8 miles left to complete the scheduled run. I compromised on doing 15 total miles. I rationalized that the quality of the 10K should more than make up for the lack of distance.

On another related note: it had been thirteen straight days of running and the month of February had me averaging 57 mpw. My legs are definitely tired. I had arranged to meet a former co-worker for an easy Sunday run around the Rose Bowl (RB), but I was hoping he would cancel as I felt I needed a day off.

I meet him at 10AM sharp. He is wearing sandals and cargo shorts. WTF? He tells me he has to be elsewhere at 10:30 so we would have to postpone the run. I say fine, I'll tag alone. We come back to the RB and the day is just gorgeous, maybe a bit too warm. We run a route that is rather hilly. Luckily, we are running easy. Still, the hills were tough.

I finished feeling good about my 14-day running streak. We then make our way to re-hydrate. An hour later we decide to drive but a block away to have a bacon burger. We are in separate vehicles. I park and I look on my rear-view mirror and what do I see? A patrol-car with its lights on. Shit. I promptly go for my wallet and pull my license. The Officer comes over my side and asks me for license, registration and insurance. I hand him the license and look for the insurance and registration. I fumbled the two and he notices that I do not have a current proof-of-insurance. I assure him the insurance is current. He asks me if I know why he stopped me. I say no; and I didn't. He tells me that I made an illegal turn, a "no-turn-on red."

He walks over to his car and gives my info to his partner. I am upset that I did not see the signs forbidding my infraction. All along I have been calling the Officer Sir.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity he comes back. No pad on his hand. Good news? Yep. They decided to let me off with a warning as I was some 20 miles from home. I was so relieved. But the anxiety stayed with me for the better part of the remaining day. That combined with several restless nights and the mileage accrued made for one extremely tired old dude....

May you all have a wonderful week!