Well, I have officially entered into the world of overtraining according to Coach Steeeve. And I wouldn't have it any other way. Today was the Houston Striders Tour de Memorial, a training event, with runs of varying distances through West Houston. Runners choose from:
The Lad and Lassie Stroll - 3 miles,
The Brawny Rumble - 8 miles,
The Awesome Studly Run - 14 miles,
or the full Tour de Memorial - 18.4 miles
The highlight of the Tour was the water station contest, where various club members compete for the best water station along the course. The 18.4 mile course was planned to pass by each of these homes with opportunities for shortcuts back to the start along the way for the shorter runs. Then, we all ended up back at the start for fun and frivolity and a little trash talking.
This was a tough week for me to run a new distance PR following last Sunday's 25K race. Hal called for 16 not even knowing that I RACED last week's 15+. With the 30K race in 2 weeks, I'm running the risk today of overtraining a bit. Because of this, I took it very easy today. Not that it matters...18 miles is 18 miles, no matter how easy you take it. But I took my time at the water stops and visited with the peeps. Also, you had to be careful and follow the map or risk getting lost. So, there were frequent, short walks for mapreading.
I didn't even time this run or keep my mile splits like I usually do. I basically used my Garmin just to monitor my pace. It's really easy for me to slip up over 15 - 15:30 min/mile pace so I just used the Garmin for a check. For the most part, when I was running, it was running around 14:00 - 14:45. At around mile 14, Bill caught up with me and I ran a 12:25 minute mile with him to the next water stop. So, one tempo mile, done. If you're sharp, you're wondering "How in the world was BILL catching up to VIC?" Well, to finish with the rest of the runners, I had a 3 mile head start. I started about 45 minutes before everyone else which worked out really well. I ended up finishing just behind June by about 5 minutes. As I came around the last corner, I see Bessie waiting there, clapping her hands and sporting that beautiful smile. Then I hear the cheers of my fellow runners as I come up the sidewalk. I know I've been accused of being a finish line snob and not recognizing cheers from friends there at the end. I wanted to do away with that reputation today so I actually ran hand-in-hand for some yards with Bessie, like Jack and Jill but with no hill. Then I acknowledged the rest of the awesome group by waving my fist in the air and finishing with really cool handshakes for everyone. I hope that was better.
I can't stop thinking about how lucky I am to be a part of the Houston Striders. These people in this club have meant the world to me. My blogger friends as well, some of whom are members of the Striders, have become such a wonderful part of my life. Thank you all for your friendship and your encouragement and your inspiration. Anyhow, let me save the rest of this speech for January 14th. :o) Thanks Striders for such an awesome event.