|Sean and I after the 2010 Napa Marathon|
|A fun group run to the top of Big Rock Ridge|
During my 2 mile warmup I kept sneaking glances at the Garmin. I always get nervous during the warmup; when I'm all stiff and feel heavy and the adrenalin hasn't hit my muscles yet and the pace reads something closer to 8 minutes than 6 minutes. But after a couple of miles and a couple of strides things shake into place and I know I'm ready to go. I love to run mile repeats, tempos and long intervals on the Mill Valley - Sausalito bike path. It's a couple of miles long with no cars, great views and you can see pretty far ahead and get a nice gauge on how far you have to go. The wind can be challenging and yesterday morning it was swirling around in all directions. During my first 3 mile segment I was supposed to run it at 5:45 pace but the headwind kept changing and while it was not unbearable it threw my pacing off a little and I could see that my Garmin was all over the place: anywhere from 5:35 to 6:00 pace. But once I finished the three miles my average pace turned out to be 5:50. Close enough.
I then did my classic Cascade Park loop through Downtown Mill Valley for the next 6 miles. I love to run through the downtown area just to see what is going on, who's out and about and whether any cute new stores have opened. I don't think I've actually ever shopped at those little boutiques downtown but it's always nice to dream. Once I got back to the bike path, I'd already put 11 miles under my belt and felt ready to tackle the last part of the workout: three mile repeats with 1 minute rest. I downed a Gu Roctane and turned out 3 miles at 5:35 pace with nary a sore muscle. Hmm it turns out tapering and recovering actually works! I feel so ready for Napa, ready to run faster and harder than I've ever run before.