Boston Qualifying Training. Nothing better than free baseball tickets, sure the wind had been taken out of the sails earlier in the day when Colorado beat the Brewers to eliminate any chance the Braves had at a post season run, but who cares, it was a great night, the weather was cool and I was going to get to squeeze in some father son time. Like everything these days it was going to be tight, especially when I had a 20 miler the next morning and I was already tired from the morning swim.
I finished up work making 2-3 calls, Wil practiced being a teenager listening to his iPod, as he and I road to football practice. The boys practiced great and were still carrying the swagger from the weekend victory. Finishing up practice I rounded up the gear and Wil and I were off. Back home, I managed to swap boys, and stuff a bowl of spaghetti in my belly all in less than 10 minutes. Healthy way to eat, not really, but I knew I would need the carbs for the 20 mile run.
Jack was in the car, we picked up a few of his buddies and off we went, down to Turner Field. The friends are good kids from school and both have played on my football teams.
The game is a decent game, and there are some good plays but really it is more the event, the boys out having fun on a school night, eating peanuts, drinking coke, and goofing off… we should all do that a little more. We hang out until the 8th inning and decide the game is a wash, Braves are packing it in for the season and we decide to head back to Alpharetta. Besides, I have a 20 mile run. The balancing act.
Quick shower and getting everything set for the morning run, it is 11:07 when I hit the bed, not good. 5 hours of sleep, in addition to the fact I had very little sleep the night before, not the best recipe for success, but no whining. "The sheets are cool" the last thought I have in my head as I drift off… I woke up once at 3:40, the next thing I know it is 4:07. I slip out the door and make the all important bottle drops.
Jay and I meet at LTF, good spirits though we are both a little anxious about this run. Target today in 8:45, a slow pace, but is the idea of 20 miles that makes you stop and think, hmm.
Jay meditating before the runThe run is good, we start off a little sluggish, on pace, but more effort than expected. Heading out we see two big deer in the first mile, I wonder if it is possible to ride the deer for the next 19 miles. The image of Jay and I riding the deer through Alpharetta makes me laugh to myself.
After 4-5 miles, things start feeling better. Jay is impressive on the run, considering a PR on a half ironman five days earlier. Me, I feel great, I think about the fact that my left leg is not providing any issues and my stride is balancing out, that is a good thing. There is a lot left in the tank and I consider how much easier it would be to step on the gas and knock this out. But that is not the goal and I stay on pace. As we cruise past the 10 miles mark, which happens to be a Waffle House, I consider the fact that I feel a heck of a lot better than I did 2 weeks ago on the first 20 miler. My nutrition seems better too and I feel as if I am running more efficiently. The bottle drops seem to be at the absolute right spot as well.
Mile 10 also marks the beginning of a 2.5 mile climb, you know you are building strength and endurance. It also feels good when you crest the final hill. For the last 6-7 miles, I am running easy, sure the legs are feeling it a little, but I am energized. Far better than 2 weeks ago when I was pushing it at mile 17.
Finishing the run, Jay and I see the Ann Marie, Corey, Susan and others at LTF. Ann Marie who we had passed nearly 2 ½ hours early had finished her 20 mile run as well and looked to have enough energy to go run 20 more.
Jay and I do a quick stretch and hit Cracker Barrel for breakfast. The last 20 miler we were both famished and weak desperately needing food. Today, we both felt good, though we knew it was time to re-stock and give our body food necessary to recover.
It is necessary to use a high speed camera when photographing Jay eating
This marks the end of week 6 in the training program, my wieght 179. 10 weeks to go... !