A blog by runners. For runners.

Easy like Sunday morning

I'm on a rest day today, nothing is planned, the coffee tastes good, the weather is warm and a nice breeze is blowing in through the window. Yesterday I posted about the competition for a tagline before I went on my 8 mile run but then neglected to write about the run which I'm sure is why most of you read this rather than my occasional WalkJogRun updates about the changes I have made.
In a change from my usual approach I waited until late afternoon to run the 8 since I wasn't feeling so hot from the night before when I had a few Guinness. I spent most of the day working on WalkJogRun updates that you won't notice yet but something good is coming, just you wait ;-) I started the run at about 4pm so it was pretty warm outside. This is always a problem because it means the lakefront path is always crowded with different kinds of people.
There are two distinct groups: those who are on the path to exercise, and those who are there for leisure. In the exercising group you have cyclists, rollerbladers, runners and walkers who generally get frustrated at the overcrowding and the presence of all the leisure users. The leisure users may well be walking, running, rollerblading or cycling too but they tend to be less aware of other people on the path so they may be ambling along side by side with three other people, forcing the exercising group to veer onto the wrong side of the path to get around them. Add to that the potential for the leisure group to be smoking, wearing too much cologne or simply be goofing around it can make a run irritating rather than relaxing. The smoking really bothers me when I'm running not because I'm a non-smoker but because when I'm running I'm usually breathing pretty hard and to take in a lung full of smoke when you are winded is pretty gross. The cologne is less common but a similar concept. The goofing around usually means that just as you are passing a group they lunge out in front of you causing you to have to dive out of the way at the last minute risking ankle injuries.
I know, I know, I sound like a crotchety old man and I am very fortunate to be able to live in a city where I have a path at all rather than plot my runs around city streets waiting for traffic signals etc. But still, it drives me a little crazy so that is why I like to run in the morning when the leisure class are still sleeping off their hangovers :-)
Despite the crowded path and the heat, my run was pretty fast and went by really quickly at 1:09:14 for the 8 miles, or an average of 8:39 per mile. It felt really good and dare I say it, pretty easy. I made a point of mapping out a new 8 mile run since this was my last weekend long run before the marathon and I didn't want to just do the same old 3 mile loop a couple of times. It took me from Addison down to Oak Street beach and around the curvy part of Lake Shore Drive to Delaware and then all the way back again.
There were plenty of distractions beside the dangers of the path to keep my mind occupied. The beach was full of people throwing around a football, playing volleyball, sunbathing, making out and just plain old relaxing so there was plenty to see. The Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) have a tournament here this weekend at the North Avenue beach so they have erected a temporary stadium on the sand there and as I ran by the crowd was cheering for one of the games. I think all this helped make the run go by so quickly and my pasta diet has really helped keep my energy levels up.
I'm just 9 miles away from the marathon and this time next week I will be about 3 hours into the run so probably just exiting Golden Gate park if all is going according to plan at my 10 minute mile race pace. Tuesday I run 3 miles, Wednesday 4 miles and then Thursday 2 miles and that will be the end of 17 weeks of training and 410 miles with just 26.2 between me and the completion of the most challenging physical goal of my life.