Got in my long run this morning. On the schedule, Pfitz called for 17 miles. To beat the heat, I got up at 6am and was out the door by 6:30am. Another reason for getting up early was to watch the bicycle portion of LA Triathlon that would run through Venice Blvd, about a block away from my place.
I started on my initial 4.25 mile trek towards the beach, heading westbound on Venice. While the road heading west was already closed off, I did not see a single road bike for awhile. Taking advantage of the empty street, I decided to run down the wide asphalt.
Venice all to myself!
At around the 5K point, I saw the lights of motorcycle cops followed by the first group of the elites flying down on their $5000+ road bikes. When I finally neared the beach, I saw the huge crowd at the bike transition area along with supporters/spectators seeing their loved ones off. I paused here for a couple of minutes to take it all in, before continuing my way down south towards the Marina.
Swim-to-bike transition area of the LA Triathlon
Since my plan was an 'out-and-back', I knew I couldn't turn around until roughly the 8.5 mile mark. It took a lot of zig-zagging through Marina Del Rey, but I finally hit it. After a GU and water break, I turned right back around and started retracing my steps back towards home.
Bikes going eastbound down Venice Blvd
By the time I made it back to Venice Blvd, more athletes started leaving the transition area on their bikes. I started the eastbound trek back home, trying to encourage on some of the bikers as they whizzed by since the crowd support was very sparse. Those spectators that were on Venice Blvd however started cracking wise and yelling out at me, "you forgot your bike!". Yeah, it wasn't funny the first time and it certainly didn't get any funnier the 4th and 5th time I heard it.
Anyway, I finally made it back, covering 17.11 miles after about 2 and a half hours of running. All told, I thought it was a successful run. Was pretty good about running at a slightly slower pace than my goal marathon pace (which is around 8:20), as Pfitz recommends a 10-20% reduction in speed when performing long runs.
After soaking in an ice bath, it was off to meet a friend at a bar for Week 1 of the NFL...only to see my Bengals get their asses handed to them.