But don't blink, the sun might disappear.
Actually the forecast shows at least partly sunny for the rest of this week, through Sunday.
It's about time! The rain this weekend just about drowned us. Apparently both Saturday and Sunday had record amounts of rain. Even though it was actually pretty nice and dry on Saturday until late afternoon...the evening made up for it.
I did benefit from the decent weather Saturday morning for doing my 10K up in Mount Vernon, but no such luck on Sunday. My informal training schedule (currently making it up as I go) called for twelve miles. The half marathon last weekend was actually the longest I'd gone since Boston, but from now on out I plan on staying in the double digit long runs most weeks.
I didn't head out until 10 a.m. I had oatmeal for breakfast, and it probably would have been a good idea to have it a little earlier than I did (9:30). When I'm not racing I'm not so diligent about allowing time to digest before I run. That oatmeal sat pretty heavily in my stomach for the first few miles!
I started with music on the iPod. I figured I'd do that for about five miles, then switch to a podcast for another five or six miles, and finally switch back to music to finish whatever was left. I ended up keeping the music on until my bathroom stop at seven miles,* and the podcast took me the rest of the way to twelve.
I wanted to keep my pacing in the effortless range, which for me is still in the mid-10s. I guess that's about 90 seconds slower than goal marathon pace. I am hoping over the summer to see that effortless pace drop to about 9:45 (without making an effort to get it there). I'm not saying that my goal marathon pace is over going to be faster than nine-minute-miles, but I am also working on a goal half marathon pace, which is about 8:30 (or faster, but let's try for 8:30 first).
After my warm-up mile, my pace settled down nicely. Miles 1-7 - 10:46, 10:18, 10:14, 10:15, 10:21 (and that mile had a steep uphill in it), 10:00, 10:24 (fooling around trying to get to seven miles before stopping). The next few miles I was dragging a bit... Miles 8-10 - 10:34, 10:27, 10:40. I think I was a little bored. Oh, and it was raining quite hard and windy at this point. It did rain consistently throughout; lightly for the first few miles, then rather heavily, then lightly again at the end. Mile 11 I picked it up a little - 10:18.
At the point I reached my "finish" on Grove I was still only at 11.25 miles. I had no chance but run the rest of the way to Safeway (which brought me exactly to 12 miles) and get another Americano for the walk home. (I had gotten one earlier in the morning, and they gave me an extra espresso shot in it, so with the second coffee I was at seven shots for the day. Scary.) Mile 12 (before the second coffee!) - 9:48. Guess I was anxious to finish. That's the pace I would like all of my long runs to be!
My total for the day, 12.01 miles, 2:02:37, 10:21 average pace.
I postponed my Monday run to today, to take advantage of much nicer weather (yes, the weekend rained continued, heavily, through Monday). This morning it was a little foggy but much nicer for running. Unfortunately I was a little short on time (and didn't get up earlier to compensate), so I had to cut my run to six miles. Well, 10K. Actually 6.5. I stopped at 6.7. (And this, folks, is why I never have enough time to get ready for work!)
It was actually a very good recovery/easy run. I think I am going to rename these runs General Aerobic Runs (GAR). I have never really felt the "recovery" in a run, though I certainly have felt "easy"! My informal goal the last few weeks has been to do these GAR runs at a 10-minute pace or faster. It's a bonus if I can finish the first three miles under 30 minutes, because then I can cruise the remaining miles!
Getting the first three miles under 30 is a job, though, since at least the first mile is going to be slow while I warm up. (Sometimes it has taken four miles to get to a ten-minute average.) Today mile 1 was typically glacial - 10:55. Mile 2 was better - 9:40 without too much effort. Well, there was some effort...I was heading for a bathroom and time was of the essence! Mile 3 - 9:08! This was slightly downhill and made it easy to make my 10-minute average. The remaining splits were good, 9:19, 9:27, and .7 mile at 8:56. Total 6.7 miles, 1:04:18, 9:36 average pace.
Tomorrow I have speed work on the docket. I am thinking of returning to the track, now that it has had a chance to dry up!
*Actually it was my second bathroom stop, but who's counting?