Yesterday was the day for my weekly long run with Cal Coast. My plan was nine miles instead of my normal twelve. The goal was to stay aerobic and keep my heart rate below 85% of max for the duration of the run. The run itself was a rather uneventful 4 1/2 mile out and back on the San Diego Creek trail. I actually spent time thinking about how refreshing it was to only be running 9 miles.
I've been pretty tired this past week and have been catching a few extra zzz's each morning. Yesterday it bit me! My alarm went off at it's usual time (4:30), but it was so nice and warm under the covers that I shut off the alarm and drifted off for a few more minutes of sleep. Next thing I knew it was 6:20. Yikes! Since we normally start at 7 AM, I got up, rushed to get my coffee and get my gear ready. On a long run (regardless the distance) I wear my fuel belt with all four bottles full - if for no other reason to just train with it on. Well, in my rush to get out the door, I left it behind! So, I was destined to put in my nine miles without any water. I was hoping that things stayed cool and damp.
Well, luckily for me, the morning stayed cool as we ran from the coast and headed inland. I put the miles in and, with the exception of the last uphill push back to our start, kept my heart rate down below target. I also consciously thought about my form while running. I had caught myself doing the shuffle earlier this week - not bending my knees as I plodded along on one of my short runs. The real shock came at the end of the workout when I started looking at my Garmin data - 9 miles run pretty effortlessly in 1:31:53 - an average pace of 10:13! No way did I feel like I was running at that fast. Especially since my heart rate was only midway between 75% and 85% of max the entire duration. In fact, the final stat on heart rate was an average of 149bpm (80% MHR) overall. Needless to say, I was pretty pleased with the run.
This afternoon will be a short four mile recovery run followed by a trip to the gym to get stretched out. Yesterday's nine miles put me at 108 miles for February. I haven't been at these miles feeling well for a while. Also, today's 4 miles will put me at 33 miles for the week - the first time I've been up over 30 miles since the first week of December! Woo hoo!