Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Cooper's Loop

I’ve christened my new 8 mile run “Cooper’s Loop”. Named after my black lab who has had to run this course twice in two days without regard for his preferred pace. Of course I don’t have a clue what pace he wants to run, but I suspect it is a tad slower than we set today. When we are going nice and slow, he either runs directly on my left foot or slightly out in front. When we push up the pace, he tries to run directly behind me as if he is trying to draft behind me.

The first 100m of this course are uphill, which gets my heart beating really fast during the first 30 seconds. Although this is followed by an similar downhill on the other side of the hill, overall, the first mile is up. The next 3 miles are flat with only one traffic light of any significance. I hit this light both Tuesday and Wednesday, but it cycles quickly and doesn’t break up the flow of the run. Mile 5 is all uphill with another light half way up. I reached this light just as it turned red today and had to wait nearly 2 minutes for the signal to change. The traffic on the cross-street is too fierce to attempt a sprint across against the light; unfortunately, I really struggled trying to get back in gear once the light turned green. The combination of waiting around and running uphill were too much for my legs.

The final hill crests right after the 6 mile mark and its all downhill most of the way back to the house. Mile 6 flys by, although traffic along this section is moving along at 50-60 MPH, so there was plenty of car generated wind pushing me back. The dreaded mile 7 is a straight shot down a residential street. No cars to speak of and several nice people out walking their dogs in the morning before the sun heats up the landscape. Mile 8 is back out on the main roads with the end point in sight for the last 1/2 mile. This provides extra motivation to pick up the pace after an hour on the road.

We finished up this morning with an 8:34/mi average pace. This is certainly the fastest I’ve ever covered 8 miles in a training run. It will be interesting to see how I feel on Thursday morning. I didn't have a clue I was running this fast while I was on the road.

Hope your week is going great.

Training for the week:

Mon – Rest Day
Tue – 8.0 miles, easy, 8:55/mi pace
Wed – 8.0 miles, easy, 8:34/mi pace


DawnB said...

Phil you are doing so well on your runs nice pace!!!There is hope for my son he plays baseball and football over and over I have to tell him the benefits of runing more :) I'm looking forward to having a running pal one day :)

Amy said...

The dog drafts you...that's funny. They always say that labs are really smart though...don't they?

Hey, I'm just doing alot of catching up and noticed your uncharted waters of 16 miles! Congrats! I know that had to be a great feeling...especially when you said that you had a rope pulling you around your waist!

Dusty said...

Cooper's loop - I like it. :)

I love the drafting... smart dog!! Like the picture too!

Phil said...

I don't have a really good picture of Cooper. Trying to take a picture of a jet black dog is like taking a picture of a ghost. His fur absorbs all the light and little is reflected back into the camera. In this picture he had his eyes closed and his tail is hidden behind his body. If anyone has a suggestion as to how to photograph a dog (that hates the flash), let me know.

DawnB said...

Coopers picture looks pretty good to me, nice job. Phil, I'm currently using the Runner's Word Smart Coach. I entered the time and distance of my most recent race, entered the distance I'm training for (marathon) entered my current base 51-55 chose my long run day (Sunday). Do you want to train hard or easy? and of course I chose hard, then you get your individualized training program. My program looks like your schedule. My rest day is Monday. I've never really followed a plan before although I'm consistant with putting in the miles having a plan makes a difference. After no improvements in any of my marathons last year I promised my self I would get on a plan. So far I'm really enjoying it. Lets see what October and November brings :)