Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Searching for pace group ...

Hello from Tahoe. We're up here for the week, buying some furnishings for our house, planting trees, and finding folks to help take care of our cottage while we're down in Los Angeles. We're getting nervous about all the $$ we're spending ...

I only have a few minutes, so here's a quick running update.

Long run: I ran 12 miles with a local running club in LA last Saturday. At 7 AM, on a beautiful, cool sunny morning, about a dozen of us started from the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, then ran south, along the Arroyo Seco, through South Pasadena, San Marino, and back again. Most of the course was flat, except for a long, steep hill in the middle.

Unfortunately, I was the fastest runner in the group, which is training for the Long Beach Half-Marathon next month. I stuck with the group for the first mile (a rather painful 10:49). But my legs were itching to run, so I went ahead and ran alone for the remaining 11 miles. My pace ranged from 8:35/mile to 9:30/mile.

There were several water stops, and I stopped at a couple and chatted with a few runners, who were friendly. There was one woman, however, who seemed to think it was a race, and stopped only two seconds at each water stop to gulp down some agua and hit the road. I caught up with her after each stop.

Red-faced and breathing hard, she said hello in response to my greetings, but she didn't seem to want to run with me.

Well, okay. So I ran ahead.

At Mile 10, I caught up to the some of the 10-mile group runners, and I jogged for about a half-mile (10:52/mile pace) with one of them, then ran ahead again.

One of my fastest miles was Mile 12, about 8:40/mile. Overall pace, including the slow first mile and half-mile at the end, was 9:15/mile. So I guess I haven't lost all of my conditioning from moving to CA.

I hung out afterwards with a few other runners, eating a bagel smeared with strawberry cream cheese, and watching the others stream in. The red-faced woman jogged slowly over and started stretching off the side.

"Good run!" I said to her.

She looked at me, then said flatly, "You're a fast runner."

Then she turned away.

Tahoe runs: I ran both Monday and yesterday here in the high altitude. Each run kicked my butt. The first run was only about 5 miles, but my lungs strained for oxygen in the thin air. At twilight yesterday, I ran six miles. My lungs felt a little better, but the hilly terrain taxed my legs.

So perhaps I'm not as fit as I should be ....


  1. You're a fast runner.

    Fast liver too.

    What? You hit the lottery?

  2. I wish! Nope, just mortgaged up to our eyeballs .... :-)

  3. well, you ARE a fast runner! maybe that woman is like me, and her brain just shuts down and all she could do was mumble something vaguely coherent.

    nice work on that run! i'm sure all the altitude conditioning can only help on your next marathon...which is where exactly?

  4. You are fast and you are very fit but altitude is altitude, right? You just don't have enough rbcs for running up there.

    I hope you find a run club in your area. Did you run with this one ?

    Here's another one:

    And another:

    Hopefully something will work out!

  5. I can't decide if that lady was being unfriendly or just awkward... I mean, what do you say in response to an observation like that?

    In any case, I don't think struggling at a high altitude should make you worry about your fitness at all. When I was in Peru my (fit) friends and I struggled much more than our less-athletic companions, and our guide said it was because a more muscular (less fatty) body requires more oxygen. I'm not a scientist, but it sounded good enough to me so I believed him... You'll get acclimated soon enough, but it always takes time.