Sunday, February 14, 2010
16 Miles with a very special appearance by Shia Labeouf
Perhaps I should have checked the calendar. I thought that my planned 20 miler in two weeks will perfectly land three weeks before the race, but in talking with Linda today, I realized I was mistaken. Next weekend marks three weeks left until the marathon. The 20 miler should be next week. Yikes!
Even if I do 18 miles next week I think I'll be okay. I've done enough races and I'm sufficiently trained to complete a marathon. I doubt I'll be setting any personal bests, though, but I think I should still manage to finish. Linda and I decided to shoot for 18 miles next Saturday, and if we're feeling fine, we may add on a couple more miles. However, if I'm feeling anything like I was today, that might prove to be tough.
Today's run was a down-up-down experience. Katie and Rob ran with us for the early miles. Katie left after 7.5 miles and Rob joined us for a couple more miles before turning around. For most of the first seven miles I felt very sluggish. I had no particular problems but I just felt slow and off. We were going to run a little past JPL but we were astounded to discover that the recent rains have washed out a road leading up the Angeles National Forest trail right by JPL. I can barely remember what the bridge looked like. I imagine the small, quiet stream that normally runs under it must have been a raging torrent that day. There were tree trunks on the road and lots of debris. The road was passable but there were signs posted prohibiting entry and there was a Forest Ranger truck parked down the road, so we just turned around and headed south.
We took a little break back by our cars to drop off Katie. Rob offered us some gum drops and I think it worked wonders. I ran a great stretch for the next four miles, barely taking any walk breaks. I may have paid for it in the backstretch, though, because I lost fuel coming back. I wasn't breathing well and had to slow my pace a bit. The warmer temperature and the sun beating down on me played a part. However, that four miles towards South Pasadena was a terrific stretch. I was in a groove and felt like I could keep running for a long time. Runner's high! Too bad it didn't last.
Needless to day I did make it back. The worst stretch was the mile along the arroyo from the horse stalls in South Pasadena to the La Loma Road bridge. I felt a little better after catching my breath but I ran a little slower and focused on my breathing. There were still some hazards along the way. A black dog ran right into me and almost tripped me up. Then there was a rather large Viking on the trail.
At the end, though, I was given a little reward. As I shuffled to the finish line a scruffy, shirtless guy was walking towards me. He wasn't overly buff but had some nice definition. He looked natural, which I liked. It took me a while to realize that it was Shia Laboeuf. He smiled and slurred what sounded like a hello. I'm not a big fan, but I can't deny that he's a good-looking kid. Really, it was a nice way to end a tough run, but next time I'd prefer Paul Rudd.