Sunday, September 10, 2006

16 Miles and a 10K

Yesterday's run started in the dark, under a full moon. It was one of those crisp fall mornings where the clouds were piled up against the mountain, yet part of the sky was clear and the moon was bright. I pulled into the parking lot at 4:50 - Sonya and Brenda were already there. Another car pulled up and we were surprised to see Angela hop out - we didn't know she was coming. We waited a few minutes, expecting Jenny, but when she didn't make it by 5:00 we started without her. (For those of you who have asked in past comments, we start this early so we will be done in time to join the rest of the Y group for coffee at Starbucks - we are a very social group!)

Our conversation started with chat about how we had all felt last week following the 20 miler. Everyone made it out to run all week, but we were all a little sore and a lot tired. The trail from Orting to South Prairie runs along the Carbon River - and right now, the salmon are running. We noticed that there were already a few fishermen in the river - we'd see them every now and then, or evidence of them beside the trail. At about the two mile mark, just beside the field where the three emu and a buffalo herd live, we heard a voice call out - it was Jenny. She got there seven minutes late and had been booking to catch up with us. Now there were five of us on the trail - another fun and social run! Angela turned around at the five mile mark - like Wendy last week, she is training for Chicago and her schedule didn't call for her to go as far as we had planned. It was just beginning to get light when she turned around. We kept running forward, nice comfortable pace, cool weather, everything was perfect. We made it to South Prairie, took a short break and started back. On the way back, once again, traffic on the trail slowly started picking up. First a couple of bikers, then the guy we always see - he runs with five German Shepards - all off leash, all in a line with him bringing up the rear. We used to see him when he had just three dogs, then four, and now five. It is amazing how well behaved these dogs are. The next thing we noticed was the fishermen in the river - there was one stretch where there must have been twenty of them! It's an amazing thing to see - and another thing that we watch for year after year. And somewhere on that river is somebody who gets there via wheelchair - every year when we run by we see the empty chair parked up on the trail. I always wonder how the occupant gets up and down the river bank, and think about how much they must enjoy their time on the river.

We finished up with a good time of 3:08. Just when we were starting to feel kinda cocky about the time, I remembered that it is actually 15.4 miles round trip - we usually add a little section in town to make a full 16. This time we didn't - our schedule said 14, but coaches Rob and Eric encouraged us to go a little farther than that. We hustled up back up to the South Hill to get to Starbucks, because - - - Emily and George were bringing one-week-old Megan to see us, and to have the baby shower that they missed out on when Miss Megan decided to come early!

Today we followed up the 16 miler with the Bank to Bay 10K. We all met up again today, including Rick and Eric, for the race. Jenny, Brenda and Angela are all faster runners than Sonya and I, but slow down to enjoy the camaraderie of our long training runs. Rick and Jenny planned to run together, Sonya and I planned to stick together, and the others all planned to run at their own pace. We were all a little worried about running this race after the long run yesterday. It's funny, usually the day of the long run, my left ITB aches all day. Then, I get up the next morning and it is completely fine. That was the case again today - I was afraid running would aggravate it, but it turned out to be fine. We had a lot of fun pre-race visiting with all the other local runners that we knew. It was 47 degrees this morning, partly cloudy. I debated about sun glasses and decided I wouldn't need them. Wrong! At the turn around we began running into the sun - and every cloud in the sky was gone. Sonya and I were feeling good, kind of cruising along, good conversation. We joked that we went out too fast - at mile one we were at 11:54, and our expected pace was 12:00. One thing we've both noticed - it used to take a mile to warm up, now it takes three or four. Sure enough, I started feeling really good at the four mile mark. The other thing is that I was really confident on the hills - I knew that our Wednesday hill run would pay off and it did! We passed tons of people on the hills. I hit the top of the last hill feeling really good - and I flew through downtown. I knew I'd left Sonya a little bit behind, but not much. I felt so good and so strong! Suddenly, I heard the cowbell and saw Eric pop out to get a picture, then, there was the finish line and the others were leaning in cheering me on. Cool! The chip times haven't been posted, but the clock time said 1:08:something. I forgot to turn my watch off till after I had turned in my chip and picked up some water.

The best thing about my time is this: the last time I ran the 10K was in 2002 (I ran the 5K for the next three years, because I had to keep my runs under an hour). That was before I started having trouble with my heart and I ran the whole thing with no walk breaks. My time was 1:05:53. This time I ran 9/walked 1 and ran the race the day after a 16 miler, and got in in 1:08. I'm feeling pretty good about that. I'm also feeling good that I'm not sore, and not tired. I think I might be able to knock out this marathon after all!

A quick note on Riley's time trial. He PR'd, but came in ninth - the top seven are varsity. Right now he's number two JV guy, with high hopes of making varsity next week. Varsity is always the top seven times from the most current meet - that includes the JV times. Riley has a great attitude though - he's happy to run, happy to be a captain, and is pulling for all the guys on varsity. If he makes it great, if not, doesn't really matter. He appears to have gotten his laid back racing style from me, rather than Eric. I'm pretty proud of him. Oh, that reminds me, Eric took first in his age group, with a 38:23ish time. (Again, results aren't posted, these are our watch times).

Edited for official results: Eric 39:37 (my error, I don't know how to read the Garmin report)
Michelle 1:08:27


olga said...

Well, miss, of course you are ready for a marathon! And yuo should feel good about your time. Next race don't be afraid to kick in last mile:)
I remember how, too, it suddenly started to take 30-40 min to warm up, not it's often over an hor. Crazy.
Congrats to Riley's PR (hope he gets to Varsity) and to Eric's AG award (38? is it min? for 10k?)
Solid weekend.
Oh, and, hm, when do you sleep?

Wes said...

Ahhh, a sixteen miler followed by a 10K race, LOL. I am SO humble in your presence :-) I'm glad to see that you were able to post such an excellent time, including your walk breaks. It's kind of funny with me too, in that I feel stronger after I get my second mile in, so I'm wondering if I need to run at least 10-12 minutes this Saturday for my warm-up before my 5K. We'll see!! Excellent weekend for ya!

JustRun said...

Wow, Michelle, you are every woman. Thanks for a dose of running inspiration.

Anonymous said...

Michelle -
You ROCK. Are you sure you and Sonya don't want to travel out to Chicago in 6 weeks??? Angie and I decided it's tons more fun to run with the group then it is to go it alone. ;-)
Great job on the long run and 10K, you look very strong and pleased in your finish pictures from this week and last week.
I can't wait to hear more - I need extra inspiration going into these long weeks for me, and I'm running on a sore tendon, so your reports keep me motivated!
~ wendy, <><

robtherunner said...

I am glad you followed the coaches advice even when we usually do not follow our own. Sounds like you all had fun and tell Eric nice job. I'm glad I was not there to get beat again.

TryAthlete said...

Oh, that explains why you all run at some ungodly hour of the day.

Your running family (immediate and surrogate) rocks!

Sarah said...

Nice! There's no doubt you are ready for Portland. : )

Thomas said...

After the 20 miler last week, 16 feels like a walk in the park, doesn't it? And congratulations on the 10k, looks like you're doing ok.

You're well prepared for the marathon. You'll enjoy it.

Steve said...

Congrats to you and the rest of your family for some great running this past weekend! You sound like one hardcore running clan. I still don't know how you get up that early to run. I'm still trying to figure out how to get myself out of bed before 6. Even the lure of Starbucks isn't enough for me.

Robb said...

I'm really impressed with your effort and your everyday cheery attitude. You are really logging some big mileage. Congrats.

Ironayla said...

Glad to hear your 16 miler and the 10k all went well. You are going to do great at Portland!!!

I hope Riley makes Varisty!

Annette said...

How funny that you mentioned it taking 3-4 miles to warm up. I've noticed that about myself, too. I guess the body gets used to longer runs. Weird!

You're doing awesome with your running! Sounds like your focus is better than mine right now. :) Keep it up - you'll do great at the Portland marathon!

Rose said...

That is some serious milage you are logging! Good for you. And I'm glad to see you have the whole running/Starbucks priorities working together to your best advantage.

E-Speed said...

aren't those itb injuries finicky. It so strange how one day they will keep you from running another inch and the next you are running a marathon with no issues.

Sounds like the whole family is running great! Congrats!

Ryan said...

What a great group of runners! A coffee after a long run is the best medicine! You're irrefutably ready for a marathon, bring on Portland!

Sarah Elaine said...

Well done! It must have felt great to run that 10K after doing 5's for so long.

Marathon, here you come!

craig said...

Sounds like some great running and you sound like you are really enjoying it too.

Nicole said...

Awesome on all respects!

I admit I'm jealous you sound like you have such an awesome group of people to run with all the time. I had that when living in St. Louis and miss it.

I really admire your determination and support of each other.

And, who could go wrong with Starbucks.

BTW - thanks for the advice that is what I really needed!

D said...

16 miles followed by a 10K - WOW. Nice. You are really getting the mileage in and keeping your HR low!