Ah, how good it feels to be at home for a weekend. This was a very nice, restful weekend spent in OKC and I even managed to spend some quality hours alone which was very welcome.
Friday night was my friend's 50th birthday party/wedding reception at the Old Trinity chapel in the Paseo district. They decided to do this as a joint event since a lot of our core group of friends hadn't been together in quite sometime and it was a way for us to celebrate their marriage together since none of us were able to make the trip to Massachusetts with them. It was such a fun evening and a joy to see two women I deeply respect share their commitment with everyone. Sticking to my word, I also managed to be disciplined. I only had 2 beers, some fruit, and cake.
Saturday was the beginning of my house-sitting/dog-sitting adventure. I had two friends leave for Cancun for a week and they left me in charge of the kiddos back home. It will be a great trial run for me to decide if I want to get a dog of my own. Plus, these two dogs are very well behaved and like to be lazy. My kind of dogs! The only minor hiccup so far is the sleeping arrangements. It's going to take a few days to get used to them in the bed, but I think I will manage. The first night was a little rough because it took them an hour or so to fall asleep, but I think it will get easier as the week goes on since they will be used to me by the end of the week. I could also get really used to this living in a house thing. It's amazing how great it is to have every room a consistent temperature and a kitchen big enough to move around in. To top it off, the kitchen has a dishwasher! I think I may have to cook several meals this week and take advantage of all the extra space!
Another great football weekend for my Cowboys! We actually still look pretty solid with a convincing win on the road versus Iowa State. Our defense is surprisingly strong too. I really think we have a legit shot at the Cotton Bowl this year. If we take care of business at home and find a way to sneak one out on the road in Norman, we should be heading to Dallas for New Year's. That is definitely easier said then done though.
Today was another milestone in my short running career. I topped both of my weekly and individual mileage records with my 18 miler this morning. I started off the morning very bright and early with a 5 AM alarm clock. The boys and I were definitely not too thrilled to be hearing Dierks Bentley at that hour in the morning on a Sunday Regardless, I pulled myself out of bed and started the pre-run routine. I had to substitute mini bagels, because I forgot to bring my waffles with me when I "moved" in at my friend's house. They seemed to suffice though and I had the usual PB&J topping. I skipped the banana this go-around because the one I had just wasn't hitting the spot so I opted for 2 mini-bagels instead.
The weather this morning was pretty decent actually. Temps started in the upper 50s and climbed to the mid-60s before I was done. The wind was annoying, but not terrible. It was probably blowing 10-20 mph in the beginning and ended up around 20-30 mph before I was finished. The course did provide some windblock since I was running more of an E-W route through residential areas. The houses provided shelter and it didn't feel like you were constantly fighting against it to make your next stride.
I started the run with the OKC LandRunners group. We started in the Nichols Hills Plaza parking lot and followed the upper half of the OKC Memorial marathon course from there. They were only scheduled to do a 12-mile run so I hung with the pack for the whole run and made small talk with a group doing the same pace as I wanted for this run. The good thing about this group that lacked in the past when running with the LandRunners, were some other 1st-timers and people who were conscientious of the pace being set. They all seemed concerned about overtraining which has been one of the primary reasons I haven't ran with the group as much. In previous runs, I felt like I got caught up in someone else's pace and never really found a way to get myself out of it. I know it's my own fault, but at least I know my weaknesses. I get competitive and try to maintain pace. It's in my blood :-)
The run was quite leisurely and was just what I needed to get me through this next stage of training. I knew the last 6 miles by myself would present a struggle, but the smart running beforehand, definitely made it more bearable. I ended up stopping after the 12 miles with the group to have some pretzels and water before grabbing my own water bottles and heading back out. I kept my Garmin running during the downtime to properly account for the time out on my feet, but my pace was quicker than my Garmin showed. All in all, my avg pace without the stoppage was about 9:30 again. It seems to be a good training run pace for me.
My only negative out of this run was my left ankle/Achilles. I started having problems about mile 7 or so and it was just a nagging pain for the rest of the run. I tried several different ties on my shoelaces and tested out tight vs loose and nothing really seemed to help. I am still wearing the elastic ankle support on my long runs on my left ankle, but even that didn't seem to help much. I did manage to finish, but I can still feel the tenderness when I take stairs or walk on an incline. I am going to ice quite a bit and do a lot of stretches on my calf muscles to hopefully help alleviate some of the pain. I am sure it's only minor since it wasn't completely debilitating, but I need to be safe over the next week. I may throw in a cross-training day this week since it's a stepback week anyway. I want to be fully rested and ready for the peak week coming up. Hard to believe, but it's only 5 weeks away.
Thursday, November 5th : 5.o miles in 48:23 (9:41 pace)
Sunday, November 8th : 18.0 miles in 2:58:11 (9:54 pace)
New weekly mileage record : 36 miles
New individual run record : 18 miles