Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Chainsaw Running

Monday, May 28, 2012, Memorial Day:

Windstorms roared through last night, and when that happens, trees are often blown over onto the trails, so I think about bringing a chainsaw with me on the run.  That’s ridiculous, of course, though I suppose a hand saw isn't out of the question.  Sure enough, this morning the Gateway trail was completely blocked at one point by a fallen tree.  There was no way around it without going through heavy brush, but thankfully it wasn't too hard to step over it.  Apparently the bike riders were lifting their bikes over it too, because there were a lot of bikes coming through  this Memorial Day morning.

I ran 15 miles, my longest run since the sports-hernia surgery.  Time was 2:56:38, for a pace of 11:47.  That pace would finish a marathon in 5:09 if it could be continued for another 11 miles.  Maybe it could - I felt good at the end of the 15 miles - but I probably shouldn’t have gone that fast and will try not to go that fast in the upcoming Anchorage Marathon.

I ran 15 to 20 seconds of each minute, as I’ve been doing lately, but that hasn’t brought my pace below 12 minutes per mile until this run.  I think I walked faster, paying more attention to walking form.  I carried water, since water is scarce on the Gateway Trail, and took Clif Shot gels at mile points 4, 8, and 12.

The weather was actually warm and humid, not calculated for best speed, but far better than predicted.  The brim of my visor was dripping from sweat within two miles, though a smart crosswind did make the heat seem less.  My sweeties and I watched a mother turtle laying eggs in a sandy margin at the edge of the trail.  We saw herons, egrets, rabbits, smaller turtles, smaller birds, snakes, and, on the way back home, saw llamas and goats.  We had such a good time and a good run.

Whining: The surgical area ached slightly, on and off, during the entire run, despite my wearing the hernia briefs.  It was never even close to a limiting factor, however, in fact not even annoying.  The right knee with PFS (runner’s knee) mostly behaved itself, and everything else was fine.  It’s a masterpiece.

We have one more long run to do before the Anchorage Marathon, and hopefully we will do that on the Lakeshore Trail in Chicago next week, just before we hop on the train for home.

Mama turtle chose this spot to lay her eggs, and she's going to lay them despite all the walkers runners, dogs, skaters, and bikes going past on the trail:

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