Wow.... WOW! I haven't blogged since Bay to Breakers.... shame!
And here I was thinking I'd have more time to put up posts and then reality hit home with a busy work schedule plus the last few weeks of high mileage leaving me wondering where all the time went.
What I need to do now is bring you all up to speed in my training for the Seattle Rock 'n' Roll Marathon on June 26th.
May was nuts with almost each weekend being out-of-town events such as Bay to Breakers, Muddy Buddy and a weekend in Gainesville. I last left off with Bay to Breakers so we'll start the weekend after in Gainesville. This was the scheduled 18-miler long run weekend. Jenny and I decided to do it on the trails of San Felasco Hammock State Park. We were joined by Rochelle and her friend, but since they aren't in the same training situation as us they only joined us for the first 10 miles. We got a late start and the sun was already up. It was unusually humid and by the end of the first mile I was already sweating. The day before I purchased a Camelbak (Classic 2010) hydration backpack to wear. Honestly, I'm not sure I could have finished the run without it. We stashed Gatorade two miles in at a point that was also the 10 mile mark. I consumed all the Gatorade and all the water in my Camelbak well before we finished along with three GUs. The heat and humidity definitely took a toll on me. I was reduced to taking multiple walking breaks the last three miles. Jenny, of course, was a trooper and kept me motivated to finish. "Chase the ponytail," I remember telling myself several times! During the last 1/4 mile we came upon an ancient oak tree with a huge cave-like hole at the base. It reminded me of the South Park episode with the "underpants gnomes." I either imagined the gnomes coming and going from this hole or I hallucinated it! By the time we made it back to the trail head I was borderline heat exhausted. Goosebumps were forming on my arms and I was no longer sweating in the 90+ degrees heat. I colapsed upon the Earth in my TallGuySurfing tradition for after a hard long run and Jenny took a picture. We stopped at a fuel station and I purchased several sports drinks, Rockstar energy drinks and a TON of food, which I attempted to consume before making it the rest of the way home. After regaining my wits I checked my GPS and learned that we actually ran 19 Miles!!!! Sweet!
Two crazy runners going the distance on trails!
Spotting one of many deer...
The tree with the "underpants gnomes!"
Finished!!!! 19-freaking miles!
With 200+ miles on both my current running shoes (Brooks Adrenaline and Asics 2150s) I decided to get some new ones for the marathon. After trying on equivelant versions of Merrells, Saucony, Mizumo and Adidas I ended up buying the same Brooks I already have! Look how dirty 19 miles of trails leaves your shoes compared to brand new ones!
The next weekend (Memorial day weekend) was spent a home. The FishStock fishing tournament was in full swing and this year they held an inaugural 5k race. The training schedule said 14 miles. We decided to stir it up a bit by running 11 miles (actually about 10.5) before the race arriving only minutes before the start gun. We were joined at the race by Erin, Justin and a few other friends. I've run a few races in my home town and never seen more than about 200 people in any one race. This race saw 497 registered runners! Not bad for an inaugural race. Jenny and I started near the front back and Justin worked his way right up to toe the start line. I really didn't want to get caught up in a fast pace group. At the first mile I checked my watch and I was right on 7 minutes. Jenny was in my line of sight about 100 feet ahead. I checked my watch again at mile 2 and I had fallen back to a 7:20 pace. As we headed back along a scenic riverside road and the sun hit us I hit a wall. Not the kind of wall where you can't run, but the kind where you can't sustain your pace any longer. I felt my legs involuntarily slowing down. Old men and girls began passing me. Yup, I was being chicked! I lost sight of Jenny up ahead and no longer cared. I crossed the finish line at 24:50. Not even close to a PR, but good enough to get 4th in my age group and not bad at all for running 10.5 miles as a warm up! According to Weather.com on my cell phone at race start at 8 a.m., it was 86 degrees and 96 percent humidity. Whew!
After the race! Erin, Justin, myself and Jenny. Justin and Jenny both claimed 2nd place finishes in their age divisions and Justin took 9th overall.... speedster!
After the running what better activity than the beach? We spent two days surfing and relaxing at the beach. I'd also like to note (since my blog seriously lacks surfing content these days) that leading up to last weekend we finally got a decent swell in New Smyrna Beach. I surfed 7 of 8 days and the swelled peaked on Wednesday with 7-8-feet wave faces at Bethune Beach, which I charged repeatedly on my 9'0" Walden Magic performance longboard.
Tomorrow I'm in Gainesville to run the longest run of the entire 18-week schedule. A 20-miler. It looks like several of Jenny's friends are going to meet us at different spots of the run to join in for 5 or 6 miles at a time. My goal is to be out the door by 5 a.m. and have at least half the run over by sunrise. My fear is that we'll get another late start and the heat/humidity will kick my arse! Stay tuned for the recap!