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March 31, 2013 / jessicamcelroy

Long run with old and new running buddies

This weekend my parents were in town. I had a great time showing them all the things I have come to love about Berkeley and the Bay.

My dad is planning another visit for the San Francisco marathon in June. I’m working on convincing him to do the half marathon while he’s here. He has been trying out a training plan for the past couple of weeks to see how it goes before he commits. He’ll definitely sign up, but I think he just needs some time to get used to the idea.

While they were here my dad and I got some good runs in together. We did an easy four miles along the Bay Trail on Friday. Normally this route affords some nice views of San Francisco across the Bay, but when we were out the visibility was poor. Here’s a super duper exciting action shot from that run:

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For Sunday my training plan had me running 14 miles, and my dad was scheduled for 7. We ran with my friend, Josh, the one who had talked me into signing up for the marathon in the first place.

Josh ran the Chicago marathon in 2011 in an extravagant demonstration of sibling rivalry. He had always considered himself the runner in the family but when he heard his sister was preparing for a marathon (a distance he had yet to reach) he couldn’t let her do it without him.

We started at Josh’s house, did a scenic 7 miles around Lake Merritt and up through the Oakland hills (a shock to my dad’s system, coming from flat-as-a-pancake Houston!) before circling back to Josh’s for a half-time water/fuel break and a chance for my dad to break away.

The second half of the route we took was a bit monotonous and industrial. Josh and I ran it significantly faster than the first half (yeah, negative splits!), probably because we were getting eager for it to be over.

We took a nice soak in the hot tub afterward which felt divine on our tired muscles. Although, I just googled and learned that hot tubbing after long runs is actually  not recommended? That’s advice I’m ok ignoring.

It was my first time running with Josh, and we seemed to work well together. We both have a (relaxed) four hour time goal in mind for the marathon, though we share the attitude that just finishing strong is a worthy goal in itself.

Josh and I talked most of the way through, which made the miles go by quickly. By the end of mile 14 I felt tired but not totally spent. Part of me worries that those are signs I didn’t work hard enough, but according to good ol’ Hal Higdon, it actually means we did the long run right: He says that long runs should be done at a conversational pace (as much as 90 seconds slower than marathon goal pace), and at the end you should always feel like you could still go a little further.

All in all, it was a solid run in good company with great weather. Now next week it’ll be my turn to plan our route.

11 weeks to go!

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