White Clay Creek through the lens of Joel Shilliday. After two weeks of road running, I need to find a trail for a weekend run...
My training runs of the last couple weeks have largely mirrored the weather in which they've taken place. There was the 11-ish mile rain-fest, where Landy, Joel, Dominic, and I got and stayed wet with pouring rain while traveling back in time looping Oaklands into our normal Rise Up runs. I am still not sure what kind of car it was we saw, though I have seen it again while running on Oxford Road.
That run was a table-setter for this past Thursday, May 22, where Landy and I met at 3:40 a.m. on Washington Street to begin what was for me an 18-mile run, while Landy was running before and after I was to rack up 21 miles. An interesting aspect of meeting in the mornings and running from 6-12 miles regularly is that you develop a pace for that distance. For our long run, we fell into that same cadence and ended up running me to about the brink, where I never stopped to walk over the distance, but I had low energy and tired legs slogging forward and finishing in 2:42 and change, which, without bothering with the math is between 8:30 and 8:45 minute miles.
On Sunday, May 25, I decided to dust off the i-pod for a solo run to Oxford. I left my truck towards the ferry end of Morris Street, near my aunt's house, and plugged in for the run at 6:15 a.m. We generally start our runs in the dark, which is its own rush, but sleeping in a little gave me sunny skies and temperatures in the 60's.
I generally start slower, by way of warming up during the run, and run negative splits, running the second half of a run sometimes considerably faster than the first. Oxford Road had a green backdrop of woods, fields converted to wetlands, and fields ready to be planted. I took in the scenery while enjoying my self-created soundtrack and hit my 5- and 6-mile marks at just about a 9-minute pace. The clear skies and the bumping soundtrack led me to deem the day's run, "loud and clear."
I kept the same pace the next few miles, then picked it up with about 2.5 miles to go. One thing i enjoy about running with music is the rhythm and pace I develop in sync to the songs, and the additional distraction it lends if discomfort begins to take over. No discomfort on Sunday, but a methodical, mechanical stride, picking up to an outright run coming past Screamersville Road, Boone Creek Road, and into Oxford. Running against traffic around the causeway, past the Oxford Market, past the park, and to the Oxford-Bellevue Ferry dock, I clocked the run at 1:42, grabbed some rations at the market and checked the distance with my truck's odometer (still too old school for a Garmin), which measured at 12 miles, gnat's ass ("spot on," thanks to Cali cartographer Bob Savage for the map term--they use it for the degree of accuracy for a map).
Tuesday morning, Dominic and I met at the standard Rise Up Run time and place (5 a.m. at the corner of Idlewild Avenue and Aurora Street) and assumed a pretty nice pace for our rounds around Easton. Warm weather, even in the dark, was abated by a light rain, and I finished right around 10 miles (still have to measure the course) in 1:18.
A couple solid weeks of training runs of 9 to 18 miles, keeping the pace in the range where I'd like to run my next road marathon. All this talk and miles of road running, however, has me picturing trails in my head. And Mike "Wood Frog" Keene's return from mountain trail-laden Utah and the Wasatch Mountains doesn't help either ;)
Here's to hoping a trail run is coming up this weekend or in the near future!