Jeff’s Post – What a Fun Weekend!

Can’t believe the weekend is almost over but time flies when you are having fun.  Some would say starting the weekend out with a 20 mile long run isn’t fun but I’m still enjoying the challenge.  I’ve got the Marine Corps Marathon at the end of the month so I’m in full blown marathon training.  To say I struggled during my long run last weekend would be an understatement.  There were times I thought my Garmin was malfunctioning, I just couldn’t find any speed and the run was tough both mentally and physically but what I’ve discovered over time is that you learn something in almost every run and I certainly know I will have both good and bad runs.

I won’t lie, I wanted a good long run this weekend.  I was up bright an early on Saturday and left with my flashlight before the sun came up.  I felt ok up until mile 4 and then I just started feeling great.  I felt light, I felt fast and I felt full of energy.  I chose a rather hilly route and I was attacking both the downhill and uphill sections, I was focusing on my pace, my drinking and I took 2 Gu’s.  I have been crashing at about mile 16 and I mean crashing but not on this run.  In fact, my fastest mile was at mile 17 with a 7:48.  I finished my 20 miles at 2:43 with a 8:08 pace.  I think I had tears in my eyes when I finished.  I have struggled at the marathon distance finishing my first two marathons last year in 3:58.  I know I’m not a 3:58 marathoner and although I was 6 miles short on this training run it gave me the confidence I wanted and needed.  Tamara keeps telling me that I only need to run a 3:57 and she is right but I know I am faster than that and she knows it too!  I have another long run next weekend and I wish it was tomorrow, I really can’t wait to get back at it!

Tamara and I had the morning available on Sunday and decided we wanted to get the bikes off the trainers in the gym and get them on the road.  It was a beautiful morning and I was excited to get back on the bike and I know Tamara was too.  It has been over a year since I’ve been outside on the bike and even longer for Tamara.  And all I can say is what fun!  We rode from our house to a local run/bike trail (still envious when we were passing runners) and back.  This was a fun 16 mile loop and boy did Tamara attack this thing.  It was all I could do to keep up and really couldn’t most of the time.  The weather was perfect for a ride.  And what did we do when we got back…..we dropped the bikes ½ way down the driveway in our pseudo transition area, threw the running shoes on and went for a run.  I’ve done this a few times in the gym but no recently and boy were my legs jello….but they quickly recovered and before I knew it we had finished a fast 4 miles (7:29 avg pace – First mile was 8:02 and the last mile was a 6:54).  As we were walking down the driveway Tamara suggested a swim in the pond but I passed.  Really can’t tell you how much I enjoyed our bike ride and run – can’t wait to do it again!

A few other weekend notes – So proud of my mom (she will get her own post one day) but since she has retired she has become this crazy walker – she walks miles and miles.  I gave her my old Garmin and she loves tracking her time and distances.  This weekend she participated in a local 5k run/walk and wouldn’t you know she took home 1st place in her age group.  She was fast walking with a run across the finish line.  She dropped by on Saturday to show us her medal!  Yeah Mom and keep it up!

Shortly after my long run on Saturday I was working on a box garden for Tamara and crushed my finger between two railroad ties.  I will spare you the pictures but Sunday (after our bike and run) we grabbed a lighter, paperclip, pliers and performed a little at home surgery to relieve the pressure on my fingernail.  After a few tries….instant relief and a scream from Tamara.  Thanks You Tube for helping us with my little issue!

55 miles this week – 72 total if you include the biking.  I’m super happy with that and hope the legs aren’t too sore in the morning.  Have a great week and Happy Running!