One thing was for sure - after my hike on Monday, nothing was going to be easy. My hips and my calves were sore. Most of it was from the pounding that my poor old body took coming down the 4000 feet to the parking lot. On top of that, I couldn't get out from behind my desk until 5:30, so couldn't get my shoes on and run started until 6:30 PM.
I had an eight mile run on the schedule - 4 miles general aerobic followed by 4 miles at race pace. I had some doubts that I would be able to get my feet turning without pain. The first few steps were more like tiptoeing than running. But, it was clear within a quarter mile that everything was going to be okay. I settled in for the first four miles at a comfortable aerobic pace.
I have really come to like a new route that I've been running lately. I start at the entrance to Big Corona del Mar Beach and run south to Reef Point in Crystal Cove State Park. It is a four mile out and back, for 8 total miles. The scenery is great, and there is some variety in terrain - a few small hills and inclines thrown in here and there for a change of pace.
I made it to Reef Point in 40 minutes (right at a 10:00 pace), grabbed a couple swigs of water and turned up the intensity for my run back. I dialed into HM PACE (according to my Garmin). I was working, but not too hard, and the time and scenery seemed to fly past. It was one of those runs where everything seemed to click. What a great feeling!
I got back to the car and checked the Garmin - total of four miles at 9:20 per mile. The last mile was in 8:51! Wow. I never would have thought that was possible! The best part is I never broke a heart rate of higher than 85% of max. Now to just work on being able to hold that pace for 13 miles! Patrick - watch out! Those footsteps you hear coming behind you - that's me!
(I needed to give a shout out to Patrick over at My New Life on the Run - he ran his first Half Marathon this past weekend. He KILLED the course - 1:46.57. And a couple weeks ago he was worried he wouldn't break two hours. Way to go Patrick!!!!!)
On tap today - an easy four mile recovery run. I'll make it to the gym for some stretching and core work as well. Talk to you tomorrow!