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Back and Forth, and back and forth, and back and forth, and back and forth….

Sounds boring….

but, as I said on facebook the other day – runs on the aqueduct are only boring when you run them alone. So, after yesterdays gale forced run cancellation I needed to get in a long run this morning.

At 5:45 I got started on the aqueduct at Ave S, alone. It was dark and a bit eerie, but I have done this a few times now and am getting used to it. I carried a little (but quite bright) flashlight but I left it off most of the time as I was totally able to see. There was considerable wind coming from the southwest, so there were two stretches in the first mile that were particularly tough. Once I got around “crazy corner” it was better. It was also pretty bad approaching the final corner out at 2 1/4 miles. Still I noticed splits just under 9 minute pace going into the wind. 8:58 – 8:53 The turn around mile was 8:42 and coming back 8:12 and 8:30. At the end of the first loop I was joined by Eric. We headed out into the now tougher wind.  Eric and I went 1 1/2 miles and turned back in order to meet the 7:00 am crowd.

Chuck, Lauren and Lance Close were there to head out into the wind again. Lauren and Eric started out quickly and I was staying with them. I tried to hold back a bit for Chuck and Lance but Lauren kept pulling away. Fighting crazy corner I let up not wanting to waste too much energy and Lauren got 25 meters ahead. Eric quickly caught her. I heard her yell come on Dale. So I surged. Actually I surged a number of times till I caught them. This mile had a split of 7:56. The next, trying to hang with them through the headwind and the turnaround was 8:28. The next 2 with a tail wind were 8:30 and 8:14.

At the starting post, we waited a bit. Eric and Lauren decided that they were only going out for 2 more miles. So I let them go and waited a couple of minutes for Chuck and Lance. Eric finished his day with 10. Lauren had 7. On the final back and forth, Lance also turned around after 1 for 7 miles total. Chuck and I did the whole thing.

So, I finished my longest long run since the OC marathon last May. 18 miles in 2:34:01. I averaged 8:33.

Next week, Chuck is off to Miami for yet another marathon. Lauren is doing the Tinkerbell Half Marathon at Disneyland. I am registered for the Bakersfield Half marathon. I am not sure who all is going with me…..

I don’t think I am back to Half Marathon PR shape yet (1:31:38). I am planning on doing the first half at marathon goal pace and then see what happens. If I am able to speed up a bit, I will be under 1:40. If not, I won’t.

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