It's been a few days since I posted anything here. I almost always post at least some sort of drivel on weekdays. But, my second job has me up against a tight software deadline, and I was out of town for the weekend. Not touching a computer for 3 entire days was kind of nice, although I was worrying a bit about that looming deadline. Recently, I've been putting every spare second into that second job, it seems.
Anyway, on Thursday morning, I ran a slow 4 miler. The day after I wrote a post about improved recovery, I had a short run where I felt like crap. Oh well. That wasn't an important run anyway.
Friday, I took the day off work and started the day with a planned 22 miler. I ran relatively well for 18 miles, had two rough miles (hilly) and then felt better for the last 2 miles. My per-mile pace was slow, but it was about 25 seconds per mile faster than the 20 miler I did 4 weeks ago. By the time I get to my 24 miler three weeks from my marathon, I hope to be consistently running 9:00 pace for my 20+ milers.
Right after my run, I hopped in my car and headed to State College, PA, to hang out with my brother for the weekend and go to the Penn State-Oregon State football game. Oregon State lost a lot of people to graduation, and they simply aren't a good team at all right now. Penn State completely dominated them, and Penn State was playing without some starters who were suspended for their involvement/connection to a call to the police that resulted in some marijuana being found. One of the missing starters was a pre-season first team All American defensive end, according to Sports Illustrated.
My brother and I talked about this a bit over the weekend. To me, as an athlete, the idea of using weed two days before a major athletic event seems really stupid. I'm sure that some people find the concept of ever using it stupid, but my perspective there is more "relaxed" than that of many people. But, my brother and I also talked about being college students, and how our thought processes were at best pretty immature, and at worst, downright stupid, in those days. I don't know if it's just a "guy" thing or just all younger people. I wonder if it's just the sheer quantity of testosterone that younger guys deal with - they feel invincible and risk taking doesn't seem as dumb then as it will seem when they look back on it with a few decades of growth.
Overall, Penn State's football program has looked very poor off the field for the past few seasons. Whether people root for them or not, there was always at least a grudging respect of JoePa for running a clean program that forced athletes to be students as well. Lately, there have simply been too many arrests of these athletes and this past week was another black eye.
This morning, I arrived back at work to find some more details about our Reach the Beach team for this coming weekend. Based on the times we submitted on the race web site in our runner profiles, I'm one of the faster runners on the team. I thought this was a much faster team that was focused on a sub-24 (7:12 pace for 200 miles), but we don't seem to be capable of that, which is fine.
I did volunteer for a 4th leg, so I've got 23.8 total miles. The team captain ranked the relative difficulty of each runner's legs, and I came out with the most difficult. But, it will be perfect marathon training. That relay starts on Friday morning, so I'll be out of the office for another long weekend in just a few days. We should probably finish about noon on Saturday.
My toughest leg is leg #3 - 9.3 miles - the longest leg on the course, but not the toughest leg overall. My friend Dick has a slightly shorter leg that is much tougher.