We got back from our PEI vacation yesterday. Overall, it was a great week, with the weather treating us well. We only had a couple of days with showers, and even on those days there were breaks of decent weather. We're such creatures of habit; we go to PEI for a week every summer, stay at the same place, and do pretty much the same things - golf, beach, Charlottetown on a rainy day, play areas for Cam - but we enjoy it every year.
We did manage to run some of the PEI marathon route, but not the whole thing. Faith Ann and I both did 15 miles the Sunday after we arrived last week, but rather than covering the marathon route, which wasn't around where we stay, we stuck close to Cameron and covered the run close to "home". My long run that day went quite well. It was a general aerobic run for me, and I did it at a 9:16 pace. In contrast, my 16 mile long run today back in Fredericton (in hotter weather ... not really an excuse ... also flatter ground) was supposed have 10 miles at marathon pace, but my total average pace today was only 9:30. I intentionally covered the first six miles at a very easy pace. I started my marathon pace fine over miles seven and eight. On mile nine, I was to rendez-vous with a water bottle I left off the trail, but it took me three minutes to find it! I discovered it under some grass just as I was ready to give up on it. A couple of other times I stopped to fill up said water bottle at fountains along the trail. I don't stop my Garmin for these things, so in the end I was probably three minutes longer for the last ten miles than planned. Not so bad I guess, just slightly discouraging.
As for the week in PEI and the scouting of the marathon route, I ran along it twice. On Tuesday I covered the first nine miles of it, much of it along a bike path in Brackley Beach. What a great place to run! Great scenery, no worries about traffic or canines, and relatively flat. This is the easiest part of the marathon route. On Friday morning, I covered the most difficult part of the route. On that day, I did an out and back (or back and out, perhaps?) going from about mile 24 to mile 19, and then returning to my starting point. This run covers some of the larger hills in Charlottetown, and also part of the trail just outside Charlottetown. Hopefully in the fall, I'll be in decent shape before I reach this point!
So, overall I ran 14 of the 26 miles, and probably drove along another 5 of the miles, just to check it out. It doesn't look too bad, but I bet if you ask me the afternoon of October 18th, I'll probably have a different take on it!
In other news, as I mentioned in my previous post, I'm planning on running the Houston marathon January 17th, and Faith Ann is doing the half. Registration opened for this at midnight central time (2 AM Atlantic) Friday. We got up early Friday morning, connected to Al Gore's internet, and got our registrations in. It's a good thing we didn't wait too long, as the event sold out within 36 hours, capped at 11,000 registrants the half, and another 11,000 for the full. We were afraid it might sell out quickly, and after our experience of getting shut out of the registrations for the Beach to Beacon 10k earlier this year, we wanted to be sure we got in early.
Well, I've now completed five weeks of the 18 week Pfitzinger plan, and I'm pleased with the progress. More on that in a future post. Next week's my first planned "recovery week"!