ORN: 12.3 miles, 2:00:16, 9:47/mile
What a whirlwind this Labor Day weekend has been! Flew to Colorado Springs early on Friday morning, helped David and Susan pack the last few items on a U-Haul truck and I was on the road, headed east, by 2:30pm, as were they. The two of them, along with twins Andrew and Nathan, plus 2 month-old Berneice and dog Callie drove straight through and got to Lafayette 10 minutes shy of 24 hours later. I drove to near Hays, Kansas on Friday, spent the night and got home around 11:30pm on Saturday night. 1,100 miles of driving and a great chance to see America’s heartland. Plus, I even got a lunch at Waffle House in Kansas City. We had a group of about 17 from our church show up at David and Susan’s new house on Sunday afternoon and in 53 minutes, we had the truck unloaded, everything in the house (including washer, drier, couches, beds set up) and cleaned up. Awesome.
I really enjoy driving (I always wanted to be a trucker…so this is as close as I get) and it hit me somewhere in western Kansas that I like driving for many of the same reasons I like running. I don’t mind being by myself. Both involve distance and time and planning and dealing with breakdowns, while still making the goal. So, I could bop along with my thoughts, a new-to-me Michael W. Smith CD and then scanned the AM radio dial at night for baseball games from across the country (who needs XM when you have ionospheric bounce??).
It was nice, then, to get back and get my weekend long run in on Labor Day. The schedule had a step-back week, calling for just 12 miles. Out I went on a beautiful morning, with little humidity and temps in the mid-50s. And, bang, I had shin splints! Wow, where did that come from? Haven’t had those for a year or more. Was it linked to all the driving and traveling?? For whatever reason, the first five miles just plain hurt. I decided to simply use it to simulate what I’d do in Portland if it happened. I slowed a bit, focused on form and just kept moving. Slow indeed…the first five miles were right at 10:00/mile. Ugh.
Amazingly, around mile 6, the pain subsided and I began to enjoy the run on the beautiful morning. I dropped the pace to my planned 9:40/mile pace and it really felt good. I pushed the last two miles, doing them in 9:11 and 8:58. It was nice to feel good at the end of a long run.
This week is the last big week of mileage. I’ll go 5-8-5 the next three days, then 20 again on Saturday and 5 at marathon pace on Sunday. I still dither about what my marathon pace is, but, for the moment, I’m sticking with the plan to go off at 9:20/mile on my Garmin.
Persevere. Shin splints or not.