Thursday, July 10, 2008

Lunchtime Dog Run

My crazy ultra running coworker convinces me to skip lunch and go running today. We have an hour-and-a-half to burn, so we figure we can get somewhere between six and eight miles in and still have time to eat. We leave The Water Garden and head west on Colorado towards Santa Monica Pier. As I expect, my coworker is setting a quicker pace than I am accustomed to, but I do not complain. My legs are feeling good, the road is slightly downhill, and I want him to push me.

Our first mile comes just before we reach Santa Monica Place. At this point, we are already running a sub-9 minute per mile pace. I suggest we turn north on Ocean Avenue since the dirt path in Palisades Park provides a soft surface to run upon (not to mention the view is quite nice). Though heading north is slightly uphill, we average sub-8 over the next mile. At the California Incline, I forget to restart my watch after the light...and I do not realize I have done this until we have run another 0.3 miles (thankfully my coworker also wears a Forerunner 205, so he keeps me updated as to our actual distance and time).

At the end of the park, we turn right on to San Vicente and run on the grass median. It is a little soft, so I try to run on patches of exposed dirt when possible. We decide to keep going east until shortly after completing our fourth mile around the intersection of 10th and San Vicente. If I can keep up with my coworker, I should have no problem recording my fastest 10K split.

After a short stretch break, we head back on San Vicente and back down the path on Palisades Park. We record another sub-8 over our fifth mile. Our time after completing six miles? 48:40. I am certain I have reached 10K in my fastest time yet.

We turn east on Santa Monica Blvd and have to navigate through the crowd as we pass the Third Street Promenade. As we continue east, we encounter a lot of red lights...the starting and stopping is almost as annoying as intervals! I start to fall behind my coworker as we pass 10th Street. The heat is starting to get to me. I start thinking about lunch. I wish I brought water with me.

As annoying as they are, the red lights allow me to catch up to my coworker who keeps pulling away, but never so far that he has to skip a light to wait for me. I can see that he is starting to get tired too. That said, we are still running a sub-9 pace.

I get a second wind as we turn down Cloverfield and towards our office. We both finish the run strong. His watch says we did over 8 miles in roughly 1:06. Mine shows 7.75 miles in 1:04:23. Not bad for him, but excellent for me.

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