Monday, August 13, 2012

Llamas, goats, horses, & cows

Oh my.  We live quite near the Twin Cities, just 25 minutes from the Humphrey Dome, but far enough out that our short drive to the Gateway Trail takes us past quite a few farms.  I’m glad to say that the crops are looking pretty good too, far better than those pictures of drought areas that we’ve seen on the news lately.  From the trail itself we also see farms with horses and cattle plus, of course, abundant wild birds and animals, not to mention people on regular bikes, recumbent bikes, skis (roller skis?), roller blades, and any other non-motorized conveyance you can imagine.  It’s fun to just sit and watch, actually, and there are park benches for people to do just that.  We don’t - we run.

This is taper time, for a marathon in West Virginia a couple of weeks from now.  I went 10 miles, running 30 seconds of each minute, took two gels along the way (you do have to train your innards to accept those gels, else you may need a porta-potty rather badly right when there isn’t one), and plenty of water.  I carried water, as I will in the upcoming marathon.  No salt, though, and I did feel the beginning of a cramp at about mile six, so maybe I should have brought some salt along.  Happily, the cramp went away.

For whatever reason, I felt strong this morning, right off the bat, and could have gone faster.  In fact I did ramp up the speed a bit in the last mile or so, running without any walking.  I can’t do that in a marathon, but the traditional wisdom about taper time is "reduce the distance, but don’t let up on the intensity."  Today's run met those criteria.

Whining:  The right knee with PFS mumbled off and on, but never spoke loudly.  The hernia repair was totally silent!

Splits:  10:37, 10:05, 10:28, 9:54, 10:00, 10:24, 10:27, 11:02, 9:42, 9:19, total 1:41:58 for 10 miles, pace 10:12.

Baby rabbit - sort of ugly, actually,
but probably not to its mother.
After the run I went out to mow the lawn and accidentally uncovered a little nest of four baby rabbits, still without their eyes open and with very little power to move, let alone run away.  They could squirm, and squirm they did, but they were otherwise entirely defenseless.  I don’t like rabbits, they eat our flowers and serve no purpose except as food for the eagles, coyotes, and other predators, but I left them there on the edge of the woods to live or die according to the rules of the wilderness.  I suppose their mom will come back for them, but if not, perhaps they will provide sustenance for one of the predators.

Saturday, August 11, 2012:

Six of us met for the St Croix Valley Runners Saturday morning, our numbers reduced by the Gopher to Badger half marathon that starts in Stillwater and which several of our members like to run.  We took the Lake McKusick route, the faster runners slowing for those others of us, until they thought they knew the rest of the route home (they didn't).  I ran with Jim after the first two miles or so, and of course he pushed me without really knowing it.  He wanted to run an easy fat-burning 8:30 pace, easy for him, but I couldn't go quite that fast.  I like to be pushed like that though.

No walking this time, but we finished the 5 miles in 46 minutes, for a pace of 9:12, not so bad actually.  I wonder how long it would take me to do a 5k these days, with no injuries to worry about.  I’ll find out one of these days - at this time of year there is a 5k within 20 miles of us every weekend, probably several.

Friday, August 10, 2012:

Paved trails in the park today, 2.2 miles in 22:36, pace  10:16.  This completed 30.5 miles for the week.  My goal is 30, except when tapering or recovering, so this is fine.  Most of the time I’m tapering or recovering though!

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