So this morning I was up and out early; dark o’clock early, 13 miles at 8:04 was the prescribed distance as per the FIRST plan that rounded out week 1. My paces are way off clearly demonstrating that if you don’t use you lose; no running for two weeks has really left the edge dull. I always end up kicking myself after these off periods as even just a mile here or there would have made a difference…oh well another lesson learned the hard way! I had set my Garmin to nag me if I fell out of the 8:00-8:10 range, despite my best efforts my splits were a bit wobbly; 8:56, 8:02, 8:09, 8:19, 8:02, 8:03, 8:18, 8:14, 7:54, 8:14, 8:17, 7:59, 7:50 and 0:47 just to make it a tidy half marathon, I finished +1:30 over target so it wasn’t too bad and it was my equal longest run this year, it’s early days but need to start driving the paces down, of course this is the objective of the plan, reading between the lines I have pretty quick long runs at the weekend and short to medium fast runs during the week and as the plan gets towards the end they merge.
After a quick change I was heading out to pay my volunteer dues at the PCTR Malibu Creek race, that being said the dues are minor and it’s a chance to catch up with some friends. I was a bit late and just caught the tail end of the 8:30am start, but I caught up with Danica who had been checking in the runners and Rachael who had started but felt tight in her Achilles and discretion being the better part of valor had stopped after the first mile, she’s running the San Diego 100 in June so the last thing she needs to do is blow her heel running a training 50k race, I headed out to my Aid Station stop. The Aid Station was set up after the one river crossing on the course, last year it was mid calf, this year with all the rain we had mid thigh and a couple of shorter runners over waist and even mid chest, there was more then one runner that took an early ice bath today!
I met up with some friends from the Trail Runners Club who I hadn’t seen in a while; both are solid ultra runners, Rachael came along and together we helped the mid to back of the pack of the first loopers and the second loopers, the race is basically two 25k loops, you can read my race report from last year here.
Being late to arrive meant I missed Billy, you can read his report here. I did finally meet Penny who I have chatted with on Twitter and whose blog I have been following for over a year now! Evan came flying through in about 2:30 and went on to set a new course record! And another friend Emil was manning the other Aid Station.
As you can see beyond the race it was a great social event and a chance to generally shoot the shit about running and all that good stuff with some like minded people, it was also another reminder of both how much I am missing the trails and I am looking forward to my return to them.