runnin, riddin and lovin
Last weekend, I got to participate in my third half marathon race with Monique at the Surf City venue. 20K mix of people between the marathon, half and 5k. crazy.
When we first ran this back in 2006 it was the longest physical activity that Monique had ever completed. We ran side by side and finished in 2hr 20min and it was a struggle for her to just finish. After our ride yesterday it is hard to imagine Monique struggling to finish anything. She looks to get stronger the longer she goes too. I’m really stoked to be headed into our first Ironman journey together.
Last year at the Surf City half marathon we ran our own paces and I finished with a PR of 1:35:33 (7:19min/mi pace). Pretty stoked with the amount of running I had in my legs and the bike focus. I was pretty close to that time (1:39) a few weeks later running off the bike at the Oceanside 70.3 including getting a little lost in transition. Not going to make that mistake this year!
I had plenty of steady running going into the half this year. Finishing 30/30 and trying to be a more balanced TRIathlete helped. Running IS fun! While I have slowly been chipping down my slow and steady pace but I have not ran with my heart rate over 155bpm in a long time. My steady pace was dropping to about ~7:15min/mi and getting closer to 7min/mi pace. Improvement but I must admit I was a bit shocked when I saw my paces for the race. My coach Gordo suggested that I take the first 3 miles as a warmup and shoot for my best average pace over the next 10 miles.
Trying not to get caught up with “the race” and the people huffin and puffin around me in the first few miles was the hard part and I felt like I was holding back but I was running at about a 6:40min/mi pace…oops?.. Thought I went out too fast and it was faster than I was ever running but I just focused on my breathing and knew I could still turn it up if needed. Mile 5 is when I started rolling ~6:25 pace for the next 7 or so miles. Expectation exceeded and I was just stoked at any pace by then. Kind of weird how you can hold a pace even if you dont “practice” it…. Exciting! Finished in 1:25 (6:33min/mi pace) and got myself a new PR but more importantly proof that “its” working! Monique sqeeked in under 2hrs!
I need to work all weekend to close out a project that I have been working on since June of 2009. A new network upgrade that is going to start tonight at 8pm and probably finish sometime Saturday at noon. Around the clock. Brutal but good mental training and I love my job. Only bummer is I will probably be toasted on Sunday for VDay….
So…yesterday Monique and I headed out for our early VDay brick. The last couple of years we have done a pretty “adventurous somethings” for Valentines and we got an early start this year. We packed our snowshoes, crampons, h20-prof this and that and headed for the mountains!
The plan was to climb GMR with our gear to the base of Mount Baldy. The Glendora Mountain Road is one of my favorite rides and the conditions were ideal to make it an adventurous day. Once we completed the ride to Baldy ski resort we would lock up the bikes and snowshoe to the top for a tea party. We had a few routes in mind for the trek and then we could take the long or short ride back to the car. All of this “planning” took place yesterday morning and on the drive out there. We did some 6,000ft of climbing on the way to the Baldy village and it was quite the workout with all of our gear and the conditions.
As we got closer we also came upon more obstacles. Sometimes it was black ice. I learned my lesson about why it is not smart to think you can ride over it and practice your balance. We found a few downed trees and land slides too..
Then when we thought we could enjoy the last few miles of downhill to the village but we had snow, snow and more snow. I did not realize how much work it would be to ride through the snow but it was a unique experience and a ton o fun.
Unfortunately, I still had to get on some con-calls later in the day and we were running out of sunlight, food and time so we had to cut our adventure short. bummer. No snowshoe action after packing all that crap for 5plus hours and 6K of climbing! We did get to test our gear and pack list and now have a itch to get back on the route soon and bring some friends along.