Saturday, January 29, 2011

20 Miler!

Just got back from finishing the final 20 miler before the Myrtle Beach (forgot to include that last time) marathon which is 3 weeks away.  I did something I thought was a blast...I showed up at a weekly running club that runs on Saturday mornings.  It's really designed for members but I figured I could check it out, meet some new people, and maybe find a running partner for the day.  About 40 people showed up which was larger than I anticipated and they had maps laid out starting at 6 miles going up to 20 miles.  It was pretty funny because I grabbed the 20 mile run map and it was front and back full of turns every half mile or so.  So, I spent much of my run navigating which ended up being great because it takes your mind off of  how far you've run.  I ran part of the time with a lady named Rebecca (Sal, not to worry we were in a group).  Rebecca is a crazy athlete who has completed 5 or 6 ironman triathlons including the world championships in Kona, Hawaii.  She is quitting her job at the end of March to coach people who are training for marathons and triathlons.  This was perfect because I was able to ask her all kinds of questions (remember I don't have a nothing box so while most people like to run in silence I was yapping it up) about training, eating, race day routines, injuries, etc.  This was also perfect because I'm cheap and it was free advice..ha!

At mile 15 or so, the group split and EVERYONE went one way and I (alone) went another!  This is where the mental aspect of running kicks in.  At this point, I'm tired, my leg is starting to ache and I'm alone with 5 miles to go. SIDE NOTE: I thought everyone had daydreams.  Not like a fleeting thought that runs through your mind and you get distracted but I'm talking full on dreams where you meet people, have conversations, and scenes come and go.  Apparently, not everyone has these.  END NOTE.  Somewhere between 15 and 20 I had a daydream that there would be a group hanging around the finish that might help cheer me on as I came down the final half mile stretch.  This was not the case.  I rounded the corner and the only thing cheering me on was an empty milk carton that used to contain orange gatorade.

So, I walked around a bit, stretched, then hopped in my car and headed to Great Harvest Bread Company in Smyrna, GA.  It was the best breakfast sandwich ever!!! Seriously!  I sat and enjoyed a cup of coffee, thanked the Lord for giving me the strength to get through my run, and enjoyed a sausage, egg, cheese, and herb mayo on honey whole wheat.  I also got my sweet bride a oatmeal blueberry muffin which I know she'll be excited about.

My run today represents the peak of my training.  From now until the race I'll be tapering (slowly reducing my mileage).  This is a huge relief and something I am very thankful for.  What a beautiful day!!!

Friday, January 28, 2011


I love sharing anything and everything with people.  It makes you feel connected and it's just part of my personality.  Every time I run I have a million thoughts, stories, and experiences I think would be fun to share with others.  Hence, the purpose of this blog.  I wish I had started this sooner because man I've had some amazing experiences running (ice, snow, rain, sleet, mud, perfect days, sunrises, sunsets, mountains, Africa, experiences with the Lord, etc).  I can't wait to share many of those as they unfold in the future but for now I'll start with my run yesterday.

I am training for a marathon that's 3 weeks away and my goal is to qualify for Boston 2012 which means I have to run a 3:10 or better (7:15/mile).  So, each week I run some easy runs along with some grueling intervals (really fast miles mixed with slower miles) as well as tempo runs (runs that average faster than my goal race pace).  Yesterday I ran a 7 mile tempo run and it hurt!  I got to mile 6 and realized I had to run a 6 minute final mile to hit my goal and I did it!  At this point in training my body is pushing hard against me screaming "what in h$** are you doing!"  I think I'm part crazy because I love this aspect of running and life, but I think there a many people who would agree the pain is exhilarating!

There is a theory that men have a "nothing box" where they can go and honestly think of nothing.  Scottie, one of my best friends, assures me I have no such thing.  Yesterday as I was running I had a few thoughts:

  • Man, this hurts worse than yesterday...Can I make it?  Am I going to fail?  It would suck to fail after all this training.  Lord, help me to find my value and purpose in you and NOT in running
  • Do the people living in these houses realize that 26,000 children die everyday from preventable diseases while they enjoy a 10,000 sf home...I think I should let them know
  • Lord, forgive me for judging!  Please break my judgmental spirit and give me the Love of Christ for all people
  • I sure hope someone from work drives by and sees me running...that would really make me look cool
  • Dude, get off your cell phone
  • And then I honestly went to my nothing box for a short time
I was able to endure mostly because me and Sal were going on a date after I got back and I couldn't wait to be with her, catch up, and chow down!  I'm resting today (hoping the pain in my leg dies down) and am going for 20 miles tomorrow...yikes.  I'll let you know how it goes.