CU XC Womens TeamAfter running 18 miles Saturday, I almost skipped running 10 miles with my friends this morning in lieu of sleeping in.  My legs were so heavy, dragging myself out of bed took real effort.  So glad I joined everyone though.  The Boulder backroads make for a gorgeous run.  And the morning air is starting to cool down with the approaching fall.

Six of us started out running together this morning from the Left Hand Trailhead on Neva Road.  Several cars and vans carrying the CU Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Teams pulled up just as we started.  A couple of the women quickly passed us on Oxford Road.  We estimated they were running at about a 7 minute per mile pace.  I talked to them later back at the trailhead and they said they were running under a 7 minute clip.  Imagine running that fast for even one mile.  These girls can maintain that for ten.  This picture shows some of their team smiling afterward.

We took a different route, turning onto Ouray Drive to run north up to Nelson Road.  Otherwise more of the CU Team would have passed us.  They kept to Oxford, which is also a pretty road.  I think Ouray Drive might have a bigger set of hills.  The girls in my group turned around after 4 miles for an 8 mile run.  Nelson Road is about 5.25 miles so us guys got in over ten.

My legs were weak on the hills.  Recovering from an 18 miler isn’t easy for a 52 year old.  I did have a massage yesterday though which helped.  I normally focus massages on my legs but I think my back benefited the most yesterday.  The increased distance lately has left it somewhat compressed.  I know visiting a physical therapist is all the rage nowadays but I’m a fan of massage.  I’ll take the more relaxed atmosphere over clinical any day.

My marathon training remains on schedule.  I’m confident already at this point I’ll be able to complete the Boulder Marathon in October.  It’s just a matter of how fast – or how slow.  I ran a 9 minute pace for my 18 miler yesterday.  I think it’s a fair estimate to say I’ll be able to run that pace for a full marathon.  I’d like to run an 8.5 minute pace but will totally be happy with 9 minutes.  Six more weeks of training.