Monday, November 24, 2008

TIck tock tick tock (time is passing)

Two weeks from today will be the day after the Las Vegas Half Marathon.

Yikes! How did that happen? When I realized last week how close I was getting, I decided it was time to sketch out a training schedule for the remaining time before the run. It had been probably two or three weeks since I'd done a run longer than ten miles, thanks to a 10K one weekend and an out-of-town trip another weekend. I figured there was still time to squeeze in two longish runs without over-exhausting myself before the race.

So here's the plan. (We'll see how well I stick to it.) (Just for running. I still have yoga and core classes, and cardio-machine workouts on the schedule.)

Sunday, 11/23 — long run (12+miles)
Monday, 11/24 — regular easy run (6 miles)
Wednesday, 11/26 — regular run with speed work (6 miles)
Friday, 11/28 — long run (12+ miles) (seems like a good day for it, since it's a day off from work and the day after Thanksgiving)
Sunday, 11/30 — easy run (6 miles)
Monday, 12/1 — regular easy run (5-6 miles)
Wednesday, 12/3 — regular run possibly with speed work (5-6 miles)

I debated whether I should reduce my mileage on Monday or Wednesday of next week and I decided that probably wouldn't be necessary (unless of course it is to allow myself to get to work on time), as I'm taking Thursday, Friday and Saturday off from running to really allow my legs and the rest of my body to recover and rest prior to the race. I don't want another situation where my compulsion to burn calories and accumulate mileage causes me to burn myself out in advance of the race.

In anticipation of running yesterday, I mapped out a long loop around Marysville to get in twelve or thirteen miles. Based on my route, it looked like I would have to do some extra blocks (or miles) to get in the full distance. But thanks to a mistake on my part, I ended up with the full thirteen (while planning on twelve) without having to add anything extra. In fact, I took advantage of a shortcut just to finish at a reasonable time and not go too much over thirteen.*

Running in Marysville is kind of like a trip down memory lane, since I grew up and went to school there. I started out near the church I attended with my family throughout my childhood and high school, then ran north on State Street (the main drag) and past the high school. Then all the way north on 67th (a pretty busy main road), crossing back and forth frequently to try to run on sidewalks (as opposed to a shoulderless white line) whenever possible. I missed my intended turn off 67th and ended up following 71st until the road finally ran into Sunnyside at Soper Hill Road, where I followed Sunnyside back into town.

I was running a pretty respectable 10:30 pace for most of the run, with notable exceptions at a couple of long, steep hills. When I turned onto Sunnyside I was already at nine miles. I was a little concerned about how much further I had left to go to return to my starting point... but reasoned that I could always call for a ride if I hit twelve miles and still had a long way to go.

And then I was at twelve miles, and although I wasn't quite sure exactly where I was, I knew I wasn't back at my starting point. But luckily for me, I was actually at a fortuitous point, not far from the north entry to Jennings Park, and in my pocket I had a map that showed a nature trail through Jennings Park that ended near Grove Street (very close to my destination).

The cut through Jennings and the remaining blocks took me to 13.06 miles, a very respectable distance (just don't ask me how long it took to run this "half marathon"). And despite my delays on the hills and trying to figure out where I was, I finished with plenty of time to spare.

The time I needed was to shower and dress and get all prettied up** for a trip to the Seattle Symphony at Benaroya Hall. I had tickets to see the symphony perform Tchaikovsy's Romeo and Juliet Overture and Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini (as well as a very impressive Sibelius work after the intermission). The brilliant pianist performing the Rachmaninoff piece was a tall, young, skinny guy who I couldn't help thinking of as "that child." But if a child (which he really wasn't), he was certainly a prodigy, as his playing was beautiful.

Although not performed by the Seattle Symphony, here are tastes of these very delicious musical works.

Romeo and Juliet Overture

Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini

*It's not that I would have minded the extra distance. But I had to allow enough time to get myself ready to go to the symphony in the afternoon, and a couple of extra miles would have been a major problem.

**Black velvet dress. I could have been in the symphony myself!

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