Sunday, August 31, 2008

4 Weeks to Akron

<- The VR group before the 20 miler run on Saturday in Akron (photo courtesy of Nick B.)

Yesterday I joined the VR group for another 20 miler along the Akron course. I knew that this was a mistake because I had already done too many miles this week, plus I ran on Friday. Normally, Friday is a rest day and it has been like that for a long time. But, I dropped my car for service in Independence and I decided to run back home (I like to combine running with errands). Total of 9 miles, and I was tired.

I drove to Akron via Riverview Road (no highways). The weather prediction was “sunny” but there was thick fog covering the valley. Driving was a challenge. I met the “usual suspects” at 6:30 am in downtown Akron. A large group, maybe 40+ runners. After the first slow mile, I picked up the pace and joined the lead group. Things were going well at first, but when I stopped at the first water station in the Sand Run Parkway (about halfway), to my surprise, no one else stopped. So I got separated from the group and ran the rest miles alone.

I was gradually getting tired. The last water stop was at the Firestone HS. I could see the running group in front. At Stan Hywet we crossed paths as they were coming back and I was going up. At this point I thought I would catch them, since last week this section was the strongest for me. But this week, it was actually the weakest. Someone had said earlier that this stretch (From Stan Hywet to Market St) is called “Death Row” because a lot of runners are struggling to run it. I smiled when I heard this because I ran it strong last week, but this week I was out of strength and started walking. So it was indeed “Death Row” for me. Nick B. was behind me but he was having trouble too, doing the run/walk thing. Maybe the high humidity (I was soaked in sweat) was a factor too.

Going down Market Street (last week I had my fastest miles here) was no fun. The sun had finally come out and I had forgotten my hat, and that did not help either. I was happy to get done with this run!

My mile splits tell the story: 9:09 8:06 8:14 8:07 7:59 8:05 8:13 8:18 8:28 8:14 8:46 8:49 8:33 9:09 9:45 9:04 10:55 9:56 10:36 10:30. The first 10 miles are not much different from the previous week, but in the last 4 miles I averaged over 10 min/mile while last week these were faster than 8 min/mile.

At the end, it does not matter. I am happy I put a lot of miles this week (57). I am only concerned about my weight which is going up (I have already gained several pounds since Greece). The Buckeye ½ M is next week. I am planning to run it strong and maybe set a PR. We’ll see…


Sensationally Red said...

Sounds like you and I felt similarly taxed on this run. I just hated that cool fog over the valley, but at least you finished your run. See you at the Buckeye Half--I'll most likely be volunteering somewhere along the course. Good luck on setting a PR

*hannah* said...

Wow, what a great blog you have! I will definetly be checking in! You do tons of long have you been running?

DrT said...

Thanks Hannah! I have been running since 2001. I started running to lose weight and fell in love with running. Hope you like it too!