Sunday, July 19, 2015

A Sunday Morning Run

Today began early as I knew I was going to run, help clean up from the Baltimore County 4-H Fair, and walk around at ArtScape on a very hot day.  I had a good night's sleep, got to the trail just a minute or two late, and Joselyn was already there, and we began.

Starting from the Paper Mill parking lot, we went onto the trail and ran down to the zero mile marker and back--one mile at 8:29.  We had decided to head south to mile zero first because neither one of us could imagine running 19 miles (from the half mile mark to mile 10 and back) and then putting the last mile in at the end after running past where our cars were.

So we continued north and over the next four miles ran 7:50, 7:44, 7:54, and 7:58.  At that point we were averaging just about 8 min/mile which was what we had discussed beforehand.  As we continued along, we ran a couple more miles at 8:00 and 7:51 and 8:01.  Then we got to Monkton and stopped for a quick bathroom break.  We continued along with a 7:38 (hadn't stiffened up at the stop at all) and 7:46.   That brought us to the half way point at the 9.5 mile mark where we had been two weeks earlier on an 18 mile run (we had not gone down to mile 0 that day) and were at 7:55.  Not bad at all.  I thought I had seen 1:19:30 but the calculations with the data afterwards say 1:19:11.  Either way, not bad.  Not too fast at all.

We continued up to the 10 mile marker and Joselyn made sure to touch the marker when we got there.  I know I can count on one hand the number of times I have seen the 10 mile marker with a friend.  I've run the NCR Trail Marathon once, the two-person relay twice, and the NCR 20 Miler four times.  So, I've seen the marker in each of those cases, but I just don't go up that far with a training partner very often.  As we turned around and circled back to the 9.5 mile marker to complete mile 11, we ran a 7:56.  And for mile 12 we ran an 8:05.  That felt slow.  But that was keeping us right where we should be.

On the way back down we stopped at Monkton a second time--this time to refill water bottles.  Again, we didn't lose a stride.  mile 13 was 7:41.  Mile 14 was a slower 7:52.  But after that (we had a deliberate discussion about slowing down at the start of mile 14) we didn't look back.  We ran the last 6 in 7:31, 7:48, 7:29, 7:47, 7:28, and a strong finish with 7:20.  Total push at the end.  And any concerns I'd had about whether I could finish had been washed away as we came back to the start.

We were lucky to have been running on a shaded trail.  When we hit the bridge on the way back at about 0.7 miles from the finish, and there were no trees blocking the sun we realized just how hot it was.  Both of us were dripping with sweat (and had been for quite some time) but finally felt the heat entirely.

We were lucky to be greeted by Jack who heads up Team Persevere (they refer to the letter to the Hebrews).  We'd met him last summer and crossed paths a number of times.  He had a bunch of cold beverages (particularly Gatorade) and snacks.  We chatted for a bit and then headed out.

We had noticed a lot of runners on the way back.  Very few people on the way out.  But I suppose starting at 5:50-ish we wouldn't see a lot of other people.

And when I got in the car, I had a small bad of beef jerky.  It offered a great combination of salt and protein for my body.

Home and a quick shower and off for the rest of the day.

I do hope for some hillier miles as I head toward the very hilly marathon on October 10.  But not on a day with temps like today.  Looks to be a little cooler next week.  I'll keep my fingers crossed. 

Also--some notes of thanks.  I have to thank Sherry and the two younger boys for starting to clean up the cat show area without me (I arrived late because of the run) and my sister-in-law and oldest son for getting him where he needed to be since we have only two cars.  My running often happens with a little help from my friends. 

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