I got up early and drove out to Gilbert, a Phx suburb to the East. Who decides the names for all the suburb communities? They all sound like Shakespeare wrote them while under the influence: Stratford Fountains, Buggering Coven, Our Boxes are Bigger. I finally found Ashland Village and parked in front of Adam, The Boring Runner's house.
We were running together, not on the same path, but with the same finishing time and agreed to meet up at his house afterwards for coffee, pool time, and Parcheesi. We both rounded the corners onto his street at the same time and ran it in together. Adam claims his run was "shitty" but mine was good even though I did goof my math at one turnaround which resulted in a total run distance of just under ten miles.
I ran out of his subdivision and south along the canal. The scenery was typical South East Phoenix: bedroom communities, shopping malls, and Pima cotton fields. It really is beautiful out there. New development mixed with established agriculture and rural life. I passed a couple of blue tick hounds guarding a farm equipment yard and they were hoarse from barking (presumably) since Tuesday. On the way back, their barks were strong again. I can only assume they had received their weekly food and water rations.
I will also say that the canals out there are much nicer to run on than the canals in central Phoenix. The canal path was paved for about the first two miles then transitioned onto smooth dirt with very little canting. Almost no other runners out there, and I can't decide if that's good or bad. It depends o the day I suppose and yesterday there were just the right number of other people. If Sartre was right, and hell is other people, then yesterday was a bit of heaven. The weather was a cool 65 degrees and I felt strong all the way.
I've been concentrating on good form including a 180 cadence. I'm not wearing a metronome, but I do think about turnover and not slouching into a slow rhythm. After my run this past Sunday, I was extra cautious about my lean and did not have the back problems again. My scheduled pace was 11:08, but I ran at just over 10. Slower than I have been going lately, (I just can't make myself run in the 11's). I need to keep my LSR's at a slower pace, especially as I increase mileage. I have my first 20 miler from this plan in 5 weeks. Adam and I agreed that running too slow can cause gait issues and other related problems, so that's my justification.
We stood around in the pool for a while icing our feet, and Adam sloshed his Sony mp3 player around in the pool and and showed how it still worked (he was a little pushy but I didn't buy one), and then I made my way back home. It was nice to see some different land, spend some time with a neat running friend, and I hope to do it again sometime soon.