Santa Claus!

Some time ago, I recall, I reading Karl’s blog and he said that he preferred running late in the evening to running early in the morning. Well, I got to thinking the other day that I prefer running later in the evening. Years ago, when I was training alone, doing most of my runs around my home neighborhood, I used to run in the evening. Sometimes I started kind of late. I recall finishing a few runs as late as 11:00 p.m.

So, instead of getting up at 4 tomorrow morning to meet Karl over at Joe Walker at 5:15 am, I suggested we try a Thursday night run. Karl agreed.  We met at Marie Kerr Park at 8 pm. The weather was warmer than it would be in the morning – about 50 degrees. There was a breeze, but not too bad. It was coming from the south east.  We warmed up with a 1.5 mile loop and then headed out to do a 4 lap 6 mile tempo run, just like the one I did last Friday morning.  Last week it took me 42 minutes and 48 seconds, a 7:08 average pace. We chose to do the loop counterclockwise, but it was otherwise the same run as then. 

The course has its slight ups and downs and its stretches into the wind and its stretches running with the wind.  We headed out and did the first mile in 6:47 by Karl’s watch and the next one in 7:06.  We were running by the amphitheater on the 2nd lap when we spotted a runner coming toward us in the opposite direction. It was Justin Patananan. I said hi as he went by. 30s later I heard him running up behind us. I joked to Karl, Justin’s coming, don’t let him catch us….. As if we could run away from Justin.  Justin, is the same young man who placed 13th in last years Los Angeles Marathon!  Justin is a friend, and he apparently was on an easy run so he joined us.

I was running too hard to talk much so he and Karl talked as the three of us ran along. Most of the time they were a few strides ahead and I was just trying to hang on. Going along the dirt path on the north side of the park they were side by side and I really felt like I was flying. Somehow the image of Santa Claus popped into my mind. They were the reindeer and I was Santa Claus just hanging on for the ride. A few times I took corners a little differently then they did (I cut them) and I got ahead. It was fun to be running ahead of Justin. We finished lap2 and then lap 3. Justin stayed with us for all the way through my run. Going around the parking lot the last time I felt myself dropping back a little. I thought maybe I was running out of steam. Karl noticed and said come on Dale. I dug in and stayed with them. We went around a corner, my watch beeped and I noticed my half mile split: 3:19  We ran across the back one more time and finished the 6 tempo miles. I had not been able to see all of my splits but I knew we were under 35 minutes so I was pretty happy. Here is how the splits played out:

Distance Split time 1 1/2 Lap Pace
0.5 03:16.1
1 03:30.7
1.5 03:28.1 10:14.9 06:49.9
2 03:25.7
2.5 03:31.8
3 03:22.7 10:20.1 06:53.4
3.5 03:33.9
4 03:29.2
4.5 03:27.7 10:30.8 07:00.5
5 03:31.4
5.5 03:19.6
6 03:26.1 10:17.1 06:51.4
TOTAL: 41:22.9 06:53.8

3 thoughts on “Santa Claus!

  1. You are so ready for Bakersfield, enjoy the taper, some fast stuff next week but enjoy more rest time (active rest) Think of Bakersfield as a tempo 10K, you have the endurance to hold the pace longer than 13 miles….probably 18 miles, so 6:45 here and there is OK during your effort, it will make up for those 6:55 miles. Great job on the training!

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