Saturday, July 30, 2005

A Very Satisfying Long Run!

I’m really not big on birthdays, I do appreciate it when someone says happy birthday to me (thanks guys!). Some families have big parties, fork out lots of money, make a big to do. My birthday started out by getting up at 5:45 a.m., having a small breakfast, suiting up and hitting the trail for my long run at 6:15.

My goal was to run three and a half hours or about 32K/20M at approximately a 6:15/K (10:04/M) pace or slower. On Thursday it was 36C/97F, this morning my first birthday present was a temperature of 18C/65F, a gentle refreshing breeze, and overcast skies – ideal running weather!

I took the same route as my run last Saturday. This approx. 32K/20M route consists of:

- A 1K run through town.
- An almost perfectly straight 11K/7M asphalt-covered bike path to the City of Karlsruhe;
- A right turn;
- Another right turn;
- A 13K/8M long almost perfectly straight, asphalt-covered bike path back and past my town;
- A 3K/2M winding gravel-covered path circling back to my normal running trail;
- Approx. a 5K/3.1M gravel or asphalt-covered trail back home.

As I have said at the end of all my runs on these asphalt trails – I hate asphalt. By the first turn around (11K) my legs were already painful from the pounding. I did my best to ignore this and keep going. My pace was good 6:00/K (9:39/M), marathon tempo. I was able to maintain this almost to the second for the first 25K/15.5M. This was my mini goal as I need to maintain at least this speed next Saturday for my 25K race!

After the 25K point I slowed down some, my legs were throbbing from running the first 24K on pure asphalt and concrete trails. I was thankful when this finally gave way to gravel. As I finally reached my familiar running trail and the last 5K back home I was thinking how well the run was going so far. Other than the now-familiar-pain in my legs from running on asphalt I had no problems at all, the ankle was fine, energy level good, no complaints.

As I rounded the last corner I noticed my time was 3:15:00, so took an extra loop around a neighboring field, eventually ending my run at 3:20:01. I am fairly confident that I ran at least 32K/20M or more, but I cut the run 10 minutes short of my 3:30 goal. Oh well, I have a longer race next weekend.

I am very satisfied with my run today. My pace was very consistent, I didn't take any breaks other than one to play doggie and water a tree. I still had energy after the run, I didn't have to collapse on the couch for a nap. I am hoping that the pain in my legs from running the hard trails will dissipate on the next couple long runs. This is really the only factor that I need to consider at this point.

After the run I walked for about 10 minutes in the hope that this would keep my legs from cramping so fast. I then stretched, lay on the living room floor for awhile with my legs elevated on a chair for 10 minutes, then soaked in a cool bath for awhile. My legs felt pretty good after this. My wife prepared a pancake breakfast in the meantime and I was able to do some post carbo-loading.

Now, about 5 hours after finishing my run, my legs are sore, but I am getting around okay. My neighbor stopped by a couple hours ago and asked if my wife could print out a couple signs for his Small Animal Club’s yearly festival. He raises rabbits (for meat) and is the club president. When he came back an hour later to pick up the signs he surprised me with a Black Forest Cake (lots of cherries, chocolate, whipped cream with cherry schnapps) for my birthday. His wife has her own bake shop in their shed. She is baking hundreds of rolls for the festival. We are going over later for some grilled chicken and a couple pints!

Tomorrow I may skip my weight training again, I need recovery time before my race next Saturday. Next week I am on vacation, a little quality time with the missus.

Have a nice weekend!

What a great birthday! First an excellent run and then a surprise cake. I could almost taste it from here, sounds delicious.

Happy Birthday Jack!!!
Happy Birthday Jack!!! I know I didn't miss it here, but I hope it's not already Sunday *there*... It sounds like just the right amount of everything!
- Mia
Happy Birthday, Jack!

Its funny how the trail runners say asphalt is tough to run on, and the road runners complain about how hard trails are. :D

I find trails the hardest. Maybe its because you have to work your legs harder, no spring from a hard surface. Maybe that spring is what makes the trails runners' legs ache when running on the road.

Sounds like a good birthday, Jack. Running, pancakes, and black forest cake. Yum!
A happy-birthday run and black forest cake! Nice!!
Eek! I'm late!!

Happy, happy birthday, Jack!
Special food & special friends make a birthday great. And a special run! Glad you had a great weekend.
A perfect birthday: a strong run and *authentic* Black Forest cake! Hope you enjoy the week vacation, too :-)
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