Monday, December 31, 2012

Twenty Miles and a Wild Goose Chase

 I hate geese.

Funny, though, for the first forty-seven years of my life, I had no idea I felt this way about those long-necked, feathery bastards.  Until this past Saturday, in fact, I hadn't had much interaction with them at all.

But at around mile 13 of a scheduled 20-mile run, our paths -- literally -- crossed.

There I was cruising down the road, the rockin' sounds of Tom Petty's "Don't Do Me Like That" pumping through my earbuds, when I noticed a trio of geese hanging out near a picnic table alongside Spring Valley Lake.  As I approached, I briefly made eye contact with their leader, a large gray and white guy with a nasty scar on his beak (I may have imagined that part).  Just as I ran by them, they decided to -- I swear I'm not making this up -- go on a full-scale, take-us-to-DEFCON-one, attack on my lower extremities.  Scarbeak began pecking away at my legs while his henchgeese flapped and squawked directly in front of me, blocking my path.  I ran through them, basically, and when Scarbeak continued his frenetic peck-o-rama, I retaliated with a swift kick to his midsection, increased my speed, and finally managed to bug-out just like the remaining MiGs in the movie Top Gun.

And before anyone goes all "animal rights" on me for kicking a goose, let me just say that I'll feel guilty about that particular evasive action when I see some info about an organization called GETHFK . . . Geese for the Ethical Treatment of Human Friggin' Kneecaps.

Moving on.

As I mentioned in passing a minute ago, Saturday was my very first 20-mile run.  This is a huge milestone for me, because in all of my pre-marathon research it says that you shouldn't go any farther than that during your training because, essentially, the last six miles of a marathon are all guts and determination anyway, so there's no point killing yourself before then.  I completed the twenty miles in about 3:45 which means in order to reach my marathon goal of five hours, I just have to do the last 6.2 (a 10K) in an hour-fifteen.  Now, my best 10K so far is 58:20, so at first glance you'd think that it wouldn't be much of a problem.

However.

The 58:20 was running a 10K right out of the gate . . . not AFTER already going twenty miles and feeling like my legs were about to fall off (and it wasn't just because of the friggin' geese).  Still, the marathon's five months away, so I'm starting to think that finishing in five hours is realistic.  And as I've been saying all along, my main goal is just to finish.  Hitting a specific time goal is would just be a bonus.

Saucony Kinvara 3: The Mercedes of Footwear
I also got some great new gear during the holiday season.  First off, my lovely wife Theresa bought me a pair of Saucony Kinvara 3 running shoes, which are beyond comfortable.  Very light-weight, easy-to-see yellow, and much sturdier than the previous pair I'd been running in.  I also got a gift card to REI (an outdoors-type store) from my mom, which I used to pick up a nice running jacket.  It's all about style, right?



Next time: Fartleks.  They're not what you're thinking.




Recent Runs:
12/26/12:  10 miles, 1:47:20
12/28/12:  6.21 miles (10K), 58:54
12/29/12:  20.03 miles, 3:48:34
12/31/12:  6.21 miles (10K), 1:01:39

Countdown to My Next Event = 19 Days
Ontario Mills 10K
Hosted by the Christian Okoye Foundation
Ontario, Ca.
January 19, 2013

Countdown to the Orange County Marathon = 124 Days








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3 comments:

A Daft Scots Lass said...

Geese are intimidating.

Paula Wooters said...

Swans are even worse than geese! But seriously, those running shoes are awesome... they'll help you see where you're going. (I'm so impressed with your mad running skills!)

Eva Gallant said...

Kudos to you for staying with it and completing the 20! I'm impressed and exhausted thinking about it!

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