Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Runnin', runnin', havin' fun!

"We're running, running, having fun in the sun, feels so good I can't slow down."
-Carlos Jones

That pretty much summed up my past weekend. It seems odd to say it, but it felt great getting back to running on the roads. The focus since April has been the trails and now I look forward to getting back some of my lost speed.

Weekend runs
Sat: 18 Long @ Hinckley Reservation. (2:24:48)
Sun: 6 Easy @ N. Chagrin; (50:52)

The weekend kicked off early Saturday morning with the Rocky River Sole group. Hinckley for 18 miles with Chuck, Scott, Tara and Mike. My last run here was the 23 miler before Boston. What a great hill course. This was the same group of friends that I followed around the Columbus Marathon on my bike. It was nice to catch up with running pals I haven't seen for a while. As for the hills of Hinckley, I agree with the person who said, "If you can run here, you can run anywhere." I found a better elevation chart here. Scott brought along his daughter's friend Michelle, who took top 5 at this year's NCAA in the 5000m. We ran with her for all of about 1/4 mile before she disappeared ahead.

The fun continued Saturday afternoon and evening at the Burning River Fest over on Whiskey Island. Unlike the stifling heat at the Tall Ships Festival, the weather here was pleasant and the cool breeze blowing. I caught an afternoon nap and made it down for the last two acts. Carlos laid it down for a short 90 minute set and the wild crowd begged for more. The highlight for me was his old First Light numbers, Running and Apartment Living.

Lucky for me, it was an early show and I got home at a decent hour. Normally this is not the case as I try to make my social and training worlds collide with late night shows coupled with early morning workouts.

Sunday morning I committed to volunteering at the Greater Cleveland Triathlon with Mel and Todd and their race team Snakebite Racing. Tara and I met beforehand for a short run at the North Chagrin metropark before I headed over to the tri. She was happy to have someone come over to the eastside for once. Six recovery miles added up to a 24-mile weekend. Sweet. It felt really great to get the miles back up.

We worked the mile 30 aid station of the bike course of the Half Ironman Triathlon race (1.2 mile swim/56 mile bike/13.1 mile run.) This was my first time volunteering at a tri and I had a blast. The bike course had a last-minute change and we had a hasty move of the aid station, but we made in time for the first rider. Time-wise, mile 30 seemed just a little bit less than the half-way point of the race. As I observed the racers, I could tell those who were in the groove and comfy and also those who were struggling a bit. The temps were relatively cool for summer racing, but the humidity still lingered in the air. My job was to hand out Gu--not always easy while the cyclists zoom by. It was a treat to get to cheer some acquaintances along such as my ultrarunning buddy Jim Harris and also Alan (qcmier.)

As the action dwindled down, I headed home. I thought about heading to the beach to watch the run, but it wasn't sure how crowded the Fairport parking lot would be. I know I missed a great time watching all the finishers. I did, however, get to hear some tales from IM USA from TriEricTri. Even with some of my ultrarunning exploits, the IronMan Triathlon distance seems mind-boggling to me?!?!?! As I left I wished Mel good luck on her first Half-IM next weekend.

The running continues:
Mon: 4 Easy (32:48); cooled down with 4x strides
Tue: 8 LT (59:51); 4mi Tempo run (mile splits-6:39/6:31/6:27/6:29)

What are training partners for? My Boston training partner Andrew is ramping up for the Philadelphia Marathon in about 13 weeks. He's an early-bird too. Well, there's no way I could knock out a 4-mile tempo run on my own. But thanks to him, I had someone to chase for 4 miles of threshold pace at a good clip. This run went much better than last weeks solo tempo run attempt.

So yeah, this weekend I've reconnected with some old friends as well as made some new ones. I've been "Running, running, having fun" and it feels good to change it up a bit by returning to my road-running roots.

Feels so good I can't slow down.


Blogger E-Speed said...

sounds like a good weekend! Freaking 18 miles in 2:24 at Hinckley!, thats fast! Great workouts!

10:45 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

It was great having you at the aid station. Thanks for helping out. You should have gone to the finish. It was fun sitting around with everyone.

7:43 AM  

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