There’s No Boulder

Well, the first week of taper did not turn out to be very taper-y. In fact I ended up with a new mileage PR. How did that happen? I didn’t keep count during the week, extended a run or two because I felt like it, and then there was today.
Briones Reservior
The program called for an MP run, but this wasn’t going to happen because I would be running with the group on a roller-coaster of a trail alongside Briones reservoir. I compromised by showing up early and going for a fast solo 4 miler along the road. This was a nice little Big Sur practice, because the first mile ascended 320 ft, then it rolled for another mile before I turned around and headed back. I was experimenting to see how fast I could go downhill at a marathon effort level or a bit more. A bit unrealistic, since that hill was steeper than anything at Big Sur, but I managed 6:20 with a burst to 6:02, according to the Garmin.

A few minutes later, the group was standing around in the still-chill morning air being briefed by Karen, When someone remarked “Haha Jim, your shirt is steaming!”
So far so good, but then Joe suggested a run all the way around the lake, and I foolishly said yes to this 13-miler. It’s been over a year since I was last here, and time smooths out the hills.

Mud. There was plenty of mud. We had to keep kicking its dead weight off our shoes. After some steep oscillations, around mile 5 the trail started to go up. It continued up around each tantalizing turn and apparent crest.
“Um Joe, does this go up forever, like an M.C. Escher illusion?”
“Actually the plane crashed, and this is Hell. Or perhaps it’s Heaven. After all the gradient is quite runnable and there is no boulder to push.”

The vistas got more extensive, and there was finally a top after 400ft of climbing. Joe, having run fewer miles than me, was the pacesetter, and towards the end of the circuit I let him go on ahead. This was getting to be stressful and I am, after all, supposed to be tapering.

Some taper. Last week, my supposedly peak week, was 73 miles. This weeks total, which should have been around 50, was 77, after running 17 miles today. Am I the only nut who makes this sort of error?

Speaking of mileage, Loraine put her finger on my reporting problem. “You’re been telling me to make most of my miles easy, but in your blog, you always seem to be going fast.” That’s because I haven’t been reporting the easy runs, and yes, that is wrong. I’ll make some changes around here shortly.

UPDATE: Not only do I have trouble with basic math whilst running, but apparently for some time afterward. I messed up the heights of the hills in this post, and have now corrected them. I had forgotten to subtract the altitude of the bottom of the hill!

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9 Responses to “There’s No Boulder”


  1. 1 Flo April 12, 2009 at 7:07 am

    What a great post, really colorful and well written. Lol, you’ve created your own brand of taper, have you? 🙂 Be good from here on in (I’m sure you will).

  2. 3 Loraine McVey April 12, 2009 at 11:15 am

    Great post Jim. Just teasing about the fast blog stuff … whatever you’re doing, it’s clearly working.
    Peter, those are beautiful photos.

  3. 4 jime2 April 12, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    Flo: Thanks, but Im not sure if the Jim reverse-taper(TM) technique will catch on 🙂

    Peter: Nice pics! (and not just because I’m in some of them)
    I’m steaming and chatting with the other Jim, in photo 3 (I’m the one in black), and 6 thru 9 are Joe and me getting smaller. Wow that looks scenic, and only slightly marred by the presence of a couple of silly runners.
    I see that your RunningAhead/Google and my Garmin disagree about the height of the hills around Briones. I’ll need to check that.
    Speaking of Google I must shamefully admit that the above photo was provided by Google Image Search.

    Loraine: Tease away. All feedback welcome.

  4. 5 jime2 April 12, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    Peter – height mystery solved (poster error) – See update.

  5. 6 Christi April 13, 2009 at 6:07 am

    Great run report!!!

  6. 8 Jim E April 15, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    Thanks for the link, Flo. I had not seen that. Some useful snippets there. All the advice I have seen emphasizes conservative early pacing. Okeydokey, but then I’m a chronic negative-splitter anyway 🙂


  1. 1 peterhome.com » Briones Reservoir Trackback on April 15, 2009 at 11:13 am

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Race PRs

5K20:43 (LMJS 6/28/09
10K43:44
12K54:36 (Across Bay 3/21/10)
15K1:09:51 (LMJS 19/27/09)
Half1:31:28 (Kaiser 2012
Marathon 3;13:14 (CIM '11)

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