It's been a long week. Nancy's dad was discharged from the hospital on Tuesday and moved in with us. He's unable to walk or do much for himself, so Nancy and I have been alternating vacation and working from home so that somebody is with him during the day. We'll need to figure out something for the longer term, but he starts outpatient therapy for half days next week so hopefully that will ease things a little.
To top it off, Gavin and Dylan both had to go to the doctors this week with various infections and are both taking medications. Dylan came home from daycare on Friday, went down for a nap and slept right through.
Well, right through until we were getting ready for bed that is. I ended up sitting with him while he wanted to play. It was 1 in the morning before I finally got him to go back down.
So when my alarm clock went off at 3:30am for my 20 miler I had a few choice words for it!!!
My plan was to get an initial 7 miles by myself, then join some friends for a Scenic loop before adding on whatever was needed to make it up to 20. It was one of those mornings where I was super forgetful. First I had to go back home for my Garmin, then I realized half way down to Town Lake that I'd forgotten to eat any breakfast. 20 miles on an empty stomach? Great idea genius!!!
Oh well, I figured I'd see how long it took for me to bonk.
So I did the initial 7 miles, and arrived back at the rock to see my friends disappearing around the corner, having already started their run (jeez guys, I'm only 3 minutes late). I chased them down and settled in for the duration (to be fair, I don't think they expected me to show).
I ran a little conservatively, since I had a stiff back (from all the kettlebell swings) which didn't particularly enjoy the hills. I finished out the scenic loop and was about a mile and a half short, so I took the trail that looped around to Deep Eddy, cut up to Lake Austin and ran out to Exposition and back. I hit 20 about half way back down Veterans, happy to be done.
It took me just over 3 hours, and I averaged right at a 9 minute mile. Not great figures, but not bad considering my lack of calories.
I didn't really have any after effects, and spent long portions of the rest of the day making sourdough bread, pizza dough, playing with my new panini grill (made some great sandwiches for lunch), and mowing down the jungle that was our back and front yard.
It finally looks presentable again - hooray for me.
Then this morning I had plans for another 15 miles. I met Clea at her house, and we ran the 3.5 miles over to Duval where we met up with Steve, Michelle and Michael for an 8 mile danish. Going up Shoal Creek I fell in with Michael and started chatting away. Before we knew it, we were pushing the pace - it was me and Frank all over again. Then Michelle took it on and I went with her. We were running 7:30s and I was wondering why I was doing that when I had done 20 the previous day and still had extra miles to go afterward.
We stopped to regroup at Burnet, and I spent the rest of the Danish portion of the run alternating between chasing Michelle and telling myself to back off and not to be so stupid. Ego eventually got the better of me and I ran a fast last mile or so.
Steve was kind enough to bring extra iced water to top us off, and Clea and I set off for the last 3 or so miles. We slogged up Duval and continued chatting away. The last few miles along 51st absolutely flew by. We were running strongly (about 8:10-8:20 pace), and I couldn't believe it when we hit 15.
As a reward we decided to walk the remaining quarter mile or so as a cooldown.
I had none of the soreness I experienced after last week's 18 miler, probably because I'd hydrated well all week. I ran today's 15 miler faster than yesterday - at an 8:30 average - which I was very pleased with, especially since it was so horribly humid.
One of my (few) advantages as a runner is that I recover really quickly from these long runs. These are the kind of weekends when I can put that into practice.
I'm looking forward to the cooler weather. 35 miles this weekend though - gotta love that.