The kids are still sick / not sleeping at night but my knee was feeling normal so I was able to get out yesterday when the girl was napping for my long run. I didn't have any big plans other than to go for about 2 hours. I spent a few minutes on gmap-pedometer and mapped out this run: http://bit.ly/dlsINZ .
I started out with a slow warm up mile leading out to the tunnel trail and then turned right toward Ray Nash instead of left toward Kopachuck. I followed Ray Nash for about a mile until I had a bad gassy feeling and started looking urgently for a restroom. I knew that there weren't any around so I had to quickly find a secluded spot and do the "bear in the woods" thing. I really hate it when that happens on a run.
After that unplanned pit stop I tried to find my pace again and got back on track through the rolling hills. I try not to worry too much about pace but at the same time I try to push the pace so that it's Long Steady Distance and not Long Slow Distance. The weather was overcast and for about 30 minutes the sun actually made an appearance which was a welcome change. The roads lead me out to Wollochet and then up the short steepish hill where I continued on down Wollochet instead of following the road up 40th. I headed down to Cromwell for the first time ever on a run. I'd been down there on my bike once a few years ago and all I remembered was that it was hilly. The road heads down quite a while and then goes along the water for a mile or so which presents some nice views of Fox Island. I headed up 62nd ave which was just one long hill and got a few odd looks from some residents out gardening. At the top of the hill 62nd turned into 32nd (exciting yes?) and I headed to 70th and then up a short hill to Horsehead Bay rd which is a nice 1 mi. steady descent. I was about 11.5 miles into the run at this point and wanted to push the pace on the descent.
It was hard to do the math as I was between mile markers as I started the descent. I kept the pace under 7:00/mi for the whole descent and then over the little bump at the end of the descent to another shorter descent. I did about a mile and a half at 6:40 pace which felt pretty good and left my legs a little rubbery. Luckily I only had a little over a mile left.
I kept it strong until I had a mile left and then trotted in at a 9:30 pace to cool my legs down a bit. Happily I have only a tiny bit of soreness in my knee that I've come to accept as normal since surgery. I managed to keep my average pace under 8:00/mi for the whole run including the slow first and last miles.
Now for an unpaid review:
I gambled on my sock choice, going with Drymax trail running socks on recommendation from the Wilderness Running Company blog ( http://wildernessrunning.com - check them out, they're great!). I've been running in the same 10 pair of Wright double-layer socks for the last 12 years and they're finally starting to wear out, (damn they're durable!) so I'm testing out new socks. The Drymax socks are meant for trail running and conditions where you have a good chance of getting your feet wet. It didn't rain on the run but I did step in a creek with one foot on my pit stop and didn't feel it through the sock at all. They're quite a bit thicker and more comfortable than the Wright socks as well. No blisters or other foot irritations so I'll stick with them. I'm not terribly picky with socks as long as they're more than just simple gym socks. I've had luck with Recovery Socks, Wright socks, these Drymax socks, and Injinji Tetrasoks (with the individual toes. They look odd but work great!) So add Drymax to the list of socks that work for me. It'll be interesting to see what works when I get to 3 hour long runs in the next month or two.
So I've been mostly limiting my long runs to 2 hours because of the whole "kids"excuse and my daughter naps about 1.5 - 2 hours most days. For the 50K I plan to run in April I should probably up that to a 3 hr run at least. I haven't figured out whether I want to start incorporating walk breaks into my long runs as they increase in distance. I don't want to drag them out too far as my main limiting factor right now is time so I'm trying to be efficient in how I use the time that I have for running. On the one hand I want to get as much out of the hours running that I can but on the other hand if I end up doing walk breaks or a run/walk ratio on race day, I don't want that to be the first time I've tried it. When I did my 50 mile run 8 years ago I ran a 30 mi. training run with a 2 min walk every mile and then ran the race at an 8min/2min run/walk ration with great success. I'm thinking about running the Redmond Watershed Preserve marathon at the end of March as a training run for the 50K. It's a trail marathon, something that I've never done but would like to. It's all about finding the time I guess.
In any case, the stats for the run yesterday: