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Saturday, September 23, 2006

Long Run Number 1

So I have pretty much decided that I am going to do the JFK 50 miler. That being the case, I needed to make the decision that I am going to train for it. This meant giving up a scheduled 50 mile bike ride this morning and going out for a long run. This will be backed up by another by another long run tomorrow.

I set out by myself and fell into a slow and steady pace. I ran at a speed I knew I could maintain throughout the run. It was felt different going for a long and knowing that I didn’t have to push myself. Normally I would start increasing my pace as the run wore on, but by training for ultra, the key is to set a pace that I can maintain for the duration. It felt good to simply run and not have it be hard or much of an effort.

The day started overcast and humid with the threat of rain on the horizon. I logged 7 miles before it started to come down. Just as it began to rain, I saw another runner loaded with enough fuel belt flasks to survive a trek through the desert come to a stop and throw his hands up in resignation at the rain. I yelled out at him that he should let a little rain stop him, to which his reply was that he was out here for 16 miles. He asked me if I was also training for the marathon to which I replied I am training for more than that, and what are you going to do come the marathon and its raining on race day. I don’t understand people that let a little bad weather stop them.

I rained for the next 7 miles of my run, during which time I felt my shoes getting heavy and soggy. I didn’t really didn’t care though and found the rain cool and refreshing. The wetness of my shirt started to give me some nipple chafing and my nose started to sting from the feel of water getting up it when I breathed in, but other than that I suffered no ill effects such as blisters, wrinkled fingers or drowning. Just as soon as the rain stopped, the sun started to come out. I tried off pretty quickly and ran steadily for another 3 miles. At this time my friend Chris came out to join me for the remainder of my run.

We talked about the usual things that guys do when they are together; bitching about their wives, running, work and sports. At one point we got to talking about how we used to drive when we were younger and we both agreed that we drove like assholes and probably should not have been allowed behind the wheel of a car. I said how I still drive a little fast on occasion, but no where like I used to. Chris ran with me for another 5 miles, bringing my total for the day to just over 23.

After my run, I ate, showered and dressed for a trip out to my brother’s house in Long Island. My earlier conversation where I stated I was a much better driver than in my youth came back to haunt me later in the day. I let some of my old impatience strike me and I wound up hitting the curb while trying to get around someone and blew out my right two tires.

It was quite aggravating but somehow I wasn’t too pissed off at myself. I think having my kids with me made it more of an adventure than a tragedy. They were all excited about helping me change the tires, giving me water or wiping the sweat off my forehead. I couldn’t change both tires since I only had one spare. I called Chris to come rescue me. I figured I could change one tire and then have him drive to a tire place to get one fixed and then return so I could get moving again. I guess I got lucky though since I discovered that one of the wheels was stuck and I couldn’t have removed it for anything. It would have been a great waste of time. Instead I had to wait over two hours for a tow truck and Chris took my family home while I waited. I did manage to get a good supplemental strength training workout, although I think I could have lived without that after running 23 miles and planning on doing another 20 miler tomorrow.

We didn’t make it to my brother’s house, but we still had sort of a happy ending. Chris took his family and mine to a restaurant later in the day and I was able to meet them there after I got the tires replaced. I had a nice BBQ dinner and a beer and the kids had a great time playing with their friends. The day didn’t go as planned, but overall it was a pretty decent day.


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