I ran a few goat trails this morning along Buffalo Bayou on the Allen Parkway side as part of my 12 mile run this morning. Is that what you call the trails up and down the bank along the bayou? Well, that's what I call them anyway.
While the SMARTies were cranking out Yasso's, I was treated to an easy 12 this morning. The route of choice was Tennis Center to GRB, of course, covering the last 5 or 6 miles of the Houston marathon. The plan going into this run was to get used to that steady, 13:45 marathon pace that would get me in at 6 hours on Jan 14. But you know what they say about "the best laid plans..."
The beginning of the run found me cruising along at a 13:14 pace, about 30 seconds off my planned pace. I liked it!!! Thank you sir, can I have another? Mile 2, same story, a 13:18. Hey, this feels real good. Once I turned onto Allen Parkway, I just decided since I was feeling my oats, I'd just see how this pace feels all the way to GRB.
Mile 3 - 13:24
Mile 4 - 13:20
Mile 5 - 13:14
I was downtown, turning down the home stretch on Rusk towards GRB and victory. 6 miles exactly to the corner of the Convention center, wrapping up mile 6 in 13:08. I slapped the wall and headed back. I was suppoed to see June out there but I think she passed me real early, when I stopped at Starbucks to take care of some "problems" I was having.
Mile 7 took me to the edge of downtown in 12:52. Water at Sabine and the first of the goat trails along the bayou highlighted Mile 8, clocked in at 13:06. Surprisingly, it wasn't too wet along the bayou, especially considering last night's storms. I would have expected a lot more mud and puddle hoppin'.
More goatin' at mile 9 (13:16), then up out of the muck and back onto Memorial for mile 10 (13:22). I cranked it up a bit for mile 11 and the last 1.18 miles, running 12:47 pace for mile 11 and bringing it home at 12:35 pace. I saw June waiting at her car and I let out a patented WARHOOP!!! BRING IT ON!!! (the marathon that is).
Total time - 2:39:57 for 12.18 miles
Another 13 minute mile and I would have handily beat my half marathon time by 7 or 8 minutes. Not too bad for a training run one week into my taper.
Oh, and I did this run without the fuel belt. I scoped out all the water fountains that Doug mentioned in a comment the other day and stopped for water at each of them. It was good recon for the 14th.