Friday, May 14, 2010

16-Miles turn 17 BREAKTHROUGH!

Note: I'm in Sacramento today. This post was written yesterday, but delayed due to a lack of free WiFi.

I'm sitting here in the airport with my shiny new Dell laptop waiting on a delayed flight with a couple thoughts:

1.) Props to Delta Airlines for actually noticing that I am, indeed, TALL and taking the initiative to assign me an exit row seat without extra charges.

2.) Delta Airlines is now running late. No Bueno.

3.) Mixing Airborne with Rockstar should be illegal. I'm buzzing so freaking hard right now that my fingers are shaking as I type! It will be interesting to see what the girlfriend (dietitian) has to say about this apparent vitamin overdose.

4.) Now is an excellent opportunity to update the blog on our Post-Muddy Buddy long run last weekend.

Heading into last weekend I was really anxious. If it were up to me (not having Jenny motivate me) I would have done the Muddy Buddy Race and counted that as the major workout for the weekend. In hindsight, that would have been a mistake. I'm so happy that Jenny kept me us on track.

The previous 3 or 4 long runs have taken so much out of me. At the end I've been exhausted and felt like I can go another mile. My legs have been constantly sore for weeks. I think I'm beginning to forget what it feels like to have fresh legs. This makes me nervous for fear of "over doing it" and hurting myself (see last fall's Achilles tendon injury). Everything I've read on Achilles tendon injuries and rehabilitation basically leads to one thing; slowly working back up to speed over time. I'm following a marathon training schedule by Hal Higdon and lately I'm beginning to trust the schedule more and more. Here's why.

Jenny ran the Marine Core Marathon last year. She followed a similar schedule with obsessive compulsive accuracy. She had a good race. She had an awesome race by my standards. Following the schedule "slowly" eases my Achilles tendon back into high mileage weeks. I made a promise to try to follow the schedule as written as far as pushing the envelop of injury. I'm still listening to my body, but I'm following the schedule and if it says for example 14 miles then that's what I'm doing and not one mile more. If I come up short because I'm feeling like I'm on the brink of injury that's fine too, but most importantly I'm not intentionally going beyond the schedule.

Running the scheduled 16-miler the day after the Muddy Buddy was scary to me. I had my doubts, but in the end I believed in Jenny and I believed in the training program and I think that's what's important. It's almost a leap of faith. If my Achilles is going to act up then so be it, but until then I'm making progress!

Jenny and I made sure we got plenty of sleep the night before. Eight-and-a-half hours to be exact. The alarm went off at 6 a.m. and we were up and about, stretching, eating and following our routines. One of the things I've concentrated on the past few weeks is increasing my calorie intake. I'm not obsessing over it, but I've probably increased it by at least 1,000 additional calories per day and this is paying off. I feel like I'm eating all the time and almost forcing myself to eat, but I'm noticing longer levels of energy on the long runs. I ate a large breakfast before our run and allowed time to digest.

A little after 7 a.m. and Jenny and I are out the door. We start at a moderate pace and begin to chat about all things as we normally do. Jenny is a little upset because she was using the Indo Board cylinder as a roller and she feels like she may have actually bruised her ITB area of her leg. Note to all you runners/surfers: DO NOT USE A SUPER HARD INDO BOARD CYLINDER AS A FOAM ROLLER. IT'S JUST A BAD IDEA.

By mile 5 I'm feeling really good. My breathing is normal and my legs surprising feel great! I'm making more of an effort to drink and hydrate during this run than past runs. The temperature is also pleasant at about 75 degrees. I'm chatting away and so caught up in the story I'm telling Jenny that I don't notice that we've past the turn around by nearly 4 blocks. Oops! We turn around, head to the beach and start a long "into the wind" run up the beach. After a couple of miles of the strong headwind we opt to get back on the coastal road and uses the oceanfront homes as a wind shelter. We get back on the beach near the inlet, run around the park boardwalk, stop for GU and water and head back south weaving through beachside neighborhoods.

Before I know it we're 2-hours plus into the run and only have a few more miles left to go.

But some thing's wrong; we're within close proximity of my house (maybe 2 miles) and I'm feeling really good. In fact, I'm feeling like I could run another 5 or 6 miles. My feet are a little heavy, but I've got something I'm not used to and that's ENERGY! I'm feeling strong. My breathing is relaxing and I'd bet that my heart rate isn't too shabby. We round the last block and we can see our imaginary finish line several hundred yards ahead. Jenny is quiet and for the first time I'm actually having a better run than her. She is ready to be done. As we get within 50-feet I ask, "where the hell is our finish line," and Jenny responds with, "whoa, that's your first curse word this run!"

It's then that I know I had an amazing run. In previous long runs I've dropped numerous "F-bombs" as soon as the halfway point. This time I'm owning the run. We find the line and stop, walk, hug and give each other our usual post run kiss. It's a few shortly after that I re-route the run with the additional distance (my mistake) on and learn that we actually went about 17 miles. Like I said, I'm sticking to the schedule and not intentionally going any further than it states. This run was a break through for my confidence. For the first time I actually feel like maintaining our pace for all 26.2 miles is possible. And, I'm actually looking forward to our next longer run of 18 miles the weekend after this weekend!

Time will tell.

And it should be a good story to tell as well!


  1. ah, I've flown NW/Delta many times and they usually do run late. Hopefully you'll be in the air soon!

    Congrats on a great run! So glad you're feeling good and have more energy. sounds like you have your pre-run routine down and have figured out the calories you need. that's fantastic!

    Have a safe trip!

  2. Nice job on your long run!! Seventeen has been my longest so far too! Keep up the awesome work! I hope that you have a great time on your future 18 miler:)