I hadn’t done three runs in four days at all this year, but since I worked from home Friday and had Monday off, the opportunity was there. I also haven’t run much with my brother Adam, and this weekend also allowed for that, too.
Friday morning we got out just after 6 a.m. and went for our old “short three-mile” loop. We talked most of the first mile and didn’t go freewheeling down the hill at the end, but still did an 8:18. I started feeling my lungs really starting to work in mile two, and was pleasantly surprised to find we had actually done it a bit faster than the first. Third mile was the slowest, but still only about five seconds off mile one, and I really had to work at the end, but we still finished with an 8:14 average:
I’ve only run the Short Three (we call it that to differentiate its 3.1 mile length from the slightly different “Long Three” 3.5 mile loop) a few times this year, and Friday morning’s run was faster than those by 15-20 seconds per mile.
I did the same loop in the same direction solo on Saturday afternoon, not really intending to push too hard. But when I saw I was at 8:01 after the first mile, and I did another surprisingly faster second mile (7:56), I kind of didn’t want that effort to go to waste, so I maintained as best I could at the end. Even though mile three was my slowest, I kicked hard enough over the last tenth of a mile to get my average pace down to an even eight minutes. This beat even the 8:04 three-miler I did last month. The only faster run I’ve done this year was a 7:46 two-miler.
I took Saturday off, except for a couple nine-hole rounds of disc golf at Schneider Park – I lost to my daughter, then to Adam, but still had a lot of fun – and Adam and I went out Sunday morning again just after six. Took it completely easy and ran the Short Three again, although we did it backwards to challenge ourselves with the big climb at the start of the third mile.
The surprise here is that we actually got faster over the course of the run, and managed to keep a pretty steady pace even up that hill.
An even 150 miles on the year, so as of May 27, the 147th day of the year, I’m an even three miles ahead.
Truly a high point of 1983.
GeekDad has published my two-part recollection of seeing the final chapter in the original Star Wars trilogy on opening night – 30 years ago this weekend.
Lapti Nek and Yub Nub forever.
Not too sure about that goofy guy at the beginning, but I know several of those other people, and this looks like a fun, seriously nostalgia-inducing movie.
Brian and Karl visited me – gosh, a couple summers back, already? – and talked Star Wars toys and 1980s kidhood for a couple hours, and it was a blast. They were talented and professional, and I’m really excited to have played even a small part in this project.
Week 19, I only got one run in – a 3.5-miler to the post office and back:
I stopped my timer while I was actually in the post office (marked by that spike on the green pace line). Considering I didn’t feel like I was pushing myself the first mile, since I was carrying an 8×11 inflexible envelope, I was surprised to see my sub-eight-minute time. Even with my third mile slowdown, this was a good run.
I didn’t have a chance to run on Sunday the 12th, but I had enough of a mileage cushion for the year that I wasn’t too worried about it.
Week Twenty, then, I thought I’d throw an extra run in early Friday morning, since the weather was good, and I wanted to make up for the previous one-run week.
Four miles, out and back. Best time for that distance this year, and I did mile four quicker than mile one, even having to climb the hill that benefits me so much at the end of the first mile. Felt good about this one.
Saturday, then, I did the four mile round-the-block loop:
I don’t know if it was the work from Friday’s run, or the fact that I’d only run a day the week before, but despite a good start and finish, miles two and three felt really difficult, so I just kind of focused on enjoying the weather and the run itself.
Later, while I was getting ready to do some yard work, I felt a lightning shot of pain in my lower back. It’s happened from time to time since an injury a couple summers ago. I took it easy the rest of the day and hoped I’d still be able to run Sunday, but I woke up the next morning still sore.
May 20 is the 140th day of the year, so at 140.7 miles, I’m still just ahead of my mile-per-day goal.
Dad died the same day ABC aired the last episode of The Wonder Years. I watched it Sunday morning for the first time in awhile.
Still miss him.
Weather-wise, what a fantastic weekend for running: a little bit on the windy side (at least in the mornings), but clear and sunny and warm.
Interesting to look at the numbers, since I ran the exact same 3.5-mile route in opposite directions on Saturday and Sunday.
So, here’s Saturday’s run:
My best average pace of the year for this loop, and the first time I’ve cracked the 30-minute mark on it. And this surprises me a bit, because I ran this one in the direction that puts a big climb 2.5 miles in, but that green pace line is pretty steady most of the way, until I tried for a bit of boost at the end.
Now here’s Sunday:
This time, I ran down that hill (and into a steady headwind) at the end of my first mile – and it looks like I had a much tougher time keeping a steady pace – again, until the last half-mile push. I never felt like my speed was varying that much, which is a bit weird, but there it is. And overall, I came in a second slower than the day before, but still better than any other 2013 trip around this loop.
Because I’m not running four days a week like I do when I’m preparing for a race, I’ve really felt like it’s been a struggle to improve my pace, but this weekend reminded me that I have also been varying my courses, so I don’t always have an apples-to-apples comparison. I’ve run this loop more than a dozen times, though, and looking back, I’m finishing about 47 seconds faster than I did back in January, so I guess that counts for something.
Also: 129.2 miles for the year.
There’s yet another robin’s nest above our front porch light this year. Yesterday, there were four blue eggs in it. When I got back from my run this morning, I noticed a piece of blue shell on the concrete.
I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a photo of hatchlings that I’m absolutely certain are less than a day old, or that includes the newbies side-by-side with unhatched eggs. (And it looks like #3 might be arriving soon, if I’m judging the chip on that egg correctly.) The picture’s a little blurry, but it’s difficult to shoot into the nest sight unseen, and I didn’t want to cause any more of a disturbance.
Kelsey and I popped into Hazel’s Heroes this afternoon because a) Free Comic Book Day, and b) Sean and Stephanie Forney were there, and it’s all of three miles from my house. (Hey: Before I forget – Sean’s running a Kickstarter for his Scarlet Huntress Anthology, and it’s packing a bunch of cool stuff at pretty much all the backer levels, for both individuals and comic shop owners. Try as I might, I can’t get the video to embed, but it’s really worth checking out.)
Here’s what I brought home from the store:
Four freebies on the right, and two purchases. That July 1983 Comics Scene is full of good stuff I’m going to scan and share, and I bought the Star Trek IV adaptation for Kelsey. (Could I have said no? Sure, but then it would have been double dumbass on me.)
“The Madame,” by Josh Ellingson.
Hey! You! In Seattle! Like weird and cool monster-y type art and stuff? You probably want to go to here: Tentacles, A Squiggly Art Show Curated by Bonnie Burton at Ltd. Art Gallery in Seattle.