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Friday, January 21, 2011

Running in to the black hole

With consistent workouts this week my body begged me to sleep in until 6:30 yesterday morning. I did this knowing I was switching up a 4 mile tempo run to an evening long run of 10 + miles.
Not taking into consideration of how much I (think) I dislike evening runs. Let alone an evening run over 10k. It seems anything less than a 10k is a non issue. Anything over, becomes a mental job. I'm starting to believe it is mostly in my head and gets triggered from the 9-10 hour day I just worked.

I need to get over this and I'm trying.
That being said, I stayed true to my training. I ate well and clean through out the day, stayed hydrated and kept my plan that I was going 10 and then some after work.

By the time I got home and changed, along with gathering IPOD, hydration belt, Garmin and Gu it was 6:00 p.m. before I got to my start destination.

I would be running a well lit (most of the way, more on that later) paved path that should be fairly empty. I parked in the middle of Sunset beach to add a little bit of mileage.
The moon was full and the sky was clear. I opted for shorts a sleeveless tech top and some arm warmers. It seemed cold at first but that went away quickly.
I'm new to this whole Garmin training, but damn exited about the tracking and pacing capabilities. I'm a such a dinosaur when it comes to all the new technology, but I'm slowly learning.
Miles 1&2 were pretty effortless and I was cruising at 9:05 pace. (this is good for me, for now).
Mile 2 to 3.5 get away from the lit path and you start a gradual climb. This incidentally is the stretch where the cyclist was taken out a week ago. Now I have ran and road this section many times but never in pitch black with the thought and visualization of a car or two launching off the bend on this climb. It was all very obvious what went down as I kept climbing and closing in on the approximate area.
Sadly I can't see very good at night. It's even worse with random headlight reflections coming at me. But I had  a visor on and kept hunching my head down to keep the glare away and the unlit path in front of me.
I would have never imagined it being this black. I still felt good and was kind of mind wondering about cycling, and the upcoming 1/2 marathon and how we will be taken by this very spot. It made me smile and really happy to be out there getting it done in preparation.
Miles 3.5 to 5.25 at the pier showed some life of people jogging/walking/running and made me wonder as I always do, I wonder why they are doing this ? Is it a race ? a lifestyle ? New years resolution that is trying to stick ? Maybe it s because they live here ? It never really matters what the answer is, but it's just cool to see it being done.
At this point Ive had a side stitch for about three miles and I'm hoping that stopping and taking a pee break will help.
After I performed that task, I decide to take the picture of the pier, except I had forgotten to wipe sweat and fog off my i phone before shooting the picture, so this is the crappy picture you get "sorry".
Starting back up was easy,because I hate to stop when running. I may slow down to an 10:30 mile but I hate to stop or walk in fact I have yet had to walk since my return in August 2010. That being said I have stopped removed a shoe and adjusted a sock, pressed and pulled a toe etc.. But not cracked to walk yet. Granted I have yet ran over 11 miles either.
Sadly side stitch was still there, and a bunch of random crappy songs on shuffle kept coming up.
I finally got into some type of rhythm and realized this would be a tough run back. I just kept breaking it down section to section and trying to keep a decent pace.
Things got better just before coming back into black hole no mans land decent, my stitch went away and I was going to get to enjoy the rest of my run.
I descended down the black path with as much speed as I could allow being half blind. Crossed the inlet bridge and made the turn back on to the lit path.
I felt the last few miles had been a total gut check of do you really want this ? is this really necessary ? Why run through pain, when you could just stop and rest ?
Yes, I really want this lifestyle again. Yes this is absolutely ALL necessary. And you run through as much pain as possible to find out where your threshold is.Your body will tell you when enough is enough AND THAT WASN'T IT.

At the end of the day, and I mean the end of the day it was a good character run for me. It wasn't fast, but it likely wont be for awhile. But it was full of adventure and overcoming mind and body games.
I truly believe these are the sessions that make us who we are.
Run was 10.47 miles in 1:43, some miles faster than others, some miles funner than others. BUT IT ALL GOT DONE.
It's Friday and I'm hoping for a couple hour ride with and OC VELO club tomorrow morning on the new Bianchi. She's not fitted perfect but should be good for 45-50 miles I reckon.
Have a great weekend. Train smart,train hard and stay healthy.      


  1. Love it, dude. Run that section so many times. Know all about how dark it is @ Seacliff. Been thinking about that cycling accident too. I tell you what, though that slight downhill to Goldenwest is awesome on the way out and the downhill past Seacliff on the way back is awesome too.

  2. I have the same problem at night, I have a hard time seeing

  3. My dark runs seem better when it's early morning than dark evening. Maybe bc more cars are still out at 11 than at 5. I've taken more than my share of foggy, sweaty iPhone pictures on runs. Poor thing...I'm amazed it's lasted this long. And I have definitely had those thoughts crop up...what are you doing? What makes you think you can do this? Is this really worth it? And yeah, it is.

    Truly envious of the scenery you guys have to run along.

  4. It takes some huge drive to do an evening run after a work day like yours! That weather makes me jealous!

    Well done, I recommend some glow sticks!

  5. I am yet to run in the dark here at home - kind of scares me out here as we live on land and there are no street lights. Good on you for sticking it out and staying strong.

  6. great character run! im also losing the eyesight as I get older:(

    at least you dont need 3 layers of clothing:)

  7. All of my weekday training is at night after work. You need to make sure you are lit up properly but sometimes they days do feel really long.

  8. Laughing at BDDs comment.

    For side stiches I typically find a good finger or three under the ribs relieves the pain and you can keep running that way. I once ran about a mile in the Miami 1/2 marathon with my entire fist balled up under my times.

    It's all gut check time too....even the smallest run or ride is gut check b/c you question if it is even worth it when it's a mile or 3 and it all counts and it all matters.

    Great job of getting it in and sticking to your plan.

  9. My favorite time of day to run = sunset until it gets dark. Not really the safest time and maybe that's why I tend to run faster. ;p

    I'm gicing away some glow in the dark stick-ons for runners soon. Might come in handy. stay safe =)

  10. Great run! I loved this post - the mental Wins along these runs pay dividends. It really does shape us I think.

  11. Character runs are great! Good job on getting it done!