When I was 19-years old I ran a half marathon. I did not train for it. I did not time myself. I did not hydrate properly or "carb load" beforehand. I did not even run in an official "Half Marathon Race." I simply clocked out a 13.1 mile route in my truck. Then I ran it, called it a day and went to class. I was living in Gainesville at the time and attending the University of Florida. It was more of the "can I do it" idea than anything else. I only remember thinking after the run a couple of things. First, "damn that took forever!" Second, "that's probably not good for your knees, oh well."
I never ran that far again.
This morning I ran 10 miles in 1:35:15. After the run I came to one conclusion. I am NOT 19-years old anymore. In fact, I might be stronger and wiser at 31-years old, but my body is NOT as bulletproof as 19! I'm gonna be sore for a few days!
I was supposed to run 9 miles, but the 10-mile barrier has been lingering in the back of my mind for a while now as I train to run an "Official Half Marathon" in November and most likely a real marathon in January. Really? What's one more mile when you've already gone 9 miles? So I set out to run 9 miles with that possible 10th as a sort of backup plan.
Here's the recap!
5:45 a.m. - Alarm sounds. Check the surf report (yes, I actually considered going surfing instead). Eat a handful of cashews followed by a tablespoon of honey (my old running trick) and drink a full glass of COLD water with a Shot Blok. Use the bathroom, put on running shoes, iPod and I'm off by 6:10 a.m.
Miles 1 and 2 - It's still dark. Like last week, I witness hundreds of BATS flying in a circle in the same spot. They must sleep somewhere around here. What's it called when a bat turns in for the day, ummm, morning to sleep??? Can you say they are going to roost??? Anyways, I think I'm starting to like seeing these bats! I cross a water fountain in a park at mile 2, take a sip, swish it around in my mouth and spit it out. Time for the big bridge!
Miles 2 and 3 - Hitting the big bridge at the beginning of a run is much better than toward the end. Super good call on that plan Sylvan! There are two ladies walking the bridge. They take up the entire path. I'm a big guy (see blog name) and I try to make a lot of noise as I approach them from behind in an attempt not to startle them at this early predawn hour. They are just chit chatting away and I'm forced to say "excuse me" as I'm only a few feet behind them. They both instinctively look behind them and then jump as my tallness has startled them a bit. FAIL.... but seriously, how could you not hear me coming???
Miles 4-6 - I try and pick up the pace a bit as the sun makes an appearance over the ocean. I'm just getting to the beach and I've got to run at least a mile on the beach exposed with not shade. There are no turtle tracks this time. I only come across a bum sleeping in the sand. My shadow is long. The ocean is glassy like a mirror. I stop at the beach patrol station for a water break. I sample my first ever Gu. It's orange flavor and contains caffeine. It doesn't upset my stomach, goes down well with water and in my opinion tastes better than the Powerbar Gels. A+ to the Gu!
Miles 7-9 - Nothing much happens worth noting. I make it to the park at Sapphire Avenue and start heading back to Flagler while I'll cross over the North Bridge (easy bridge) and eventually head back down Riverside Drive toward my house. I'm running slow and taking it easy, but I feel great!
Mile 10! - Of all things... MY iPOD BATTERY DIES! If almost on cue or in protest to me making it a 10 mile run, this happens now when I need my music the most! I frantically push the on button like that's going to help. Argggggggg... time to suck it up. Nothing's going to stop me now! I remove my ear pieces and try to find a tempo without music. I hear my feet pounding the pavement. I hear birds singing, car engines humming and sounds of the city coming to life. It's now that I realized I blew right past my last opportunity for water somewhere around mile 8.5 because I was mentally assessing my poor luck in timing with women in my dating life. Avoiding "water panic" I focus on where I have to go and hump it out!
Soon I'm finished. I pull off my "water wicking" shirt, which is drenched as if I swam in the ocean and it slowly starts to hit me: You just ran 10 'effing miles!!!!!!
My friend Redhead Running later tells me in a text message (after I send her a running high induced text proclaiming my accomplishment) that I'm entitled to have bragging rights all day so I've been telling everyone at work today, "I RAN 10 MILES THIS MORNING BEFORE WORK!" So far I've received a lot of confused and "your insane" looks followed by a lot of questions like, "what, why, how?" Hahahaha... If only the knew I intend to play a double header softball game tonight after work and they'll most likely stick me in left field because I'm fast and can run down pop flies. Oh joy... time to get in some speed work in the outfield!
ON A FINAL NOTE:
I was supposed to do this run on Sunday. I planned to do it Saturday morning, but a weekend full of (you guessed it) surfing and other social events didn't allow that to happen. I managed to surf about 3 sessions on both Saturday and Sunday. The first session on Saturday was again inside the inlet. This time with only my friends JB, Brian, Blythe, Morgan, Austin and myself out there. Again, we had it all to ourselves. It's like a secret spot, but the great part is it's NOT. It's in plain site of the other side of the inlet where several hundred locals, Orlando kooks, weekend warriors and "I'll kill you with my foam board" beginners are fighting over waves. It only lasted about an hour and promptly turned off. You have to be in the know as far as the swell direction, tide and wind goes....
I manged to do my FIRST EVER heels nose ride. Yup, walked to the nose of the board, turned 180 degrees around and for a second it felt like I was flying backwards with my heels off the tip of the board! On the very next ride, almost as if Mother Nature was knocking me back into the realm of mortals, I busted ass (literally) so hard falling backward that I bruised my bum. Then I lost my board (I rarely wear a leash) and had to do the Swim of Shame* back to the beach to get it.
All in all... super fun weekend. Stoke level 10!
*Swim of Shame - coined by Sylvan 2009 and now used by several local longboarders!