This morning I had another 6am date with Venus and Luna for another try at a 20 miler before Surf City. It was 43F (6.1C) and clear and both of my companions were shining bright in the crisp clear pre-dawn sky..
Rather than running from home I prefer to do a 6.75 loop course through the Baylands from my office. That way if I have to abort (as I did last time) I can take a short cut and be back at my office in only a couple of miles at worst.
On my last long run (12 miles) and this one I tried wearing my Zensa calf sleeves. I've never worn them before during running (I bought them for wearing during long airplane flights) but I now think they may be helping...
Also visible are my white 'garden' gloves which I needed at this temp...I like them because if I lose one they are cheap ;)
I did 3 loops of my course for a total of 20.28 miles @ 10:11 pace. (117 HR, cadence 82). An easy pace for me normally, although not as easy as it might have been back when i was peaking for SF last July.
My calf was never a problem, however my right upper leg hip/groin were pretty tight. I've been doing exercises to strengthen them and I guess I need to do more stretching there. When they got too tight I stopped and power walked 10-30s to loosen them up and this seemed to work well. I also power walked from time to time just to (hopefully) reduce the recovery time (a la Mr. Galloway's idea) since I'm so close (11 days). Normally this would be the taper, but since my mileage has been low, I don't really need much of a taper, but I DID need the confidence that my long run machinery was still working.
At any rate, I seem good-to-go for Surf City, California Dreamin' Series Finale here I come! Tomorrow we can check the 10 day forecast for the weather and see what we're in for.
In other news, my brother-in-law Charlie has reached the 17 mile long run mark in his Hal Higdon training buildup to LA. He doesn't own a Garmin and so really has no idea what kind of pace he's doing..probably quite fast (9-ish m/m) He is well on track and should be good-to-go if he keeps this up.
After Surf City I have a slightly longer pause before LA (2/6 to 3/20...funny how that seems 'long' to me now) and so I can do some actual recover and then some trail running to build up for 4/20 (Skyline-to-Sea 50k)...LA just being a training run for that ;)
As I mentioned before I'm doing 7 marathons and one ultra in one year (clock started in July with the San Francisco Marathon). (This is to get Marathon Maniacs 'Gold' level award).
Its very weird to have all these marathons so 'close' together. The training you do is very different. And, of course, you can't begin to run any kind of PR pace because you don't have enough time after your recovery and before your next race. Any minor niggles are a much bigger problem because you have less time to work things out. But that's okay...it's a different kind of challenge to keep it all together to toe the line and finish 8 in a year.