First off ... a big welcome to any Sunday run lurkers making a visit to the site. You can comment anonymously and I will not know who did it ... except, by what you write, I can pretty much guess who you are ... Chris.
Today's long run of 24 miles loomed in my head like a race distance that needed some attention; as in let's rehearse what we do on marathon race day. That started Saturday by not running and floating in the pool. Sadly the floating part didn't start until 4 p.m. after hacking the yard into shape with the hedge trimmers for a few hours.
I insisted that Mrs. T whip up some pasta for dinner and she delivered very well with some spaghetti and meatballs with salad that tasted mighty fine. I was full, especially after a bowl of fatten-me-up cherry vanilla ice cream ... with dark chocolate syrup. Ummmmn.
I slipped into bed at 8 p.m., read for an hour, then snoozed 'til 4:30. I got up, made it out onto the road by 5:30, set a heading to loop Lake Ivanhoe in Orlando, snake back up through College Park, turn at the Church of the Right Turn and make it to Park Avenue by just before 7:00. Mission accomplished with three minutes to spare. 8 miles in the book with 16 to go.
The Sunday morning con-run-gation was larger than usual with Father Jack leading us in spiritual remembrance of the sweat we were about to break. Ed was back again. Wendy and Mr. soon-to-be-wed-to-Wendy made an appearance for the first time in forever. The lovely Lytle graced us with a return engagement after many weeks away. Chris and Christy were on hand as they have been religiously for many weeks. Those who skipped will not be defamed today. I'll give them until next week.
The run had its moments. Everyone stuck together as I reprised the Zola Budd low-key race appearance again, this time with more details from the race director. Then Ed, Chris and Lytle took off after a mile. I stuck with Jack, Christy and the Wendys. Then an orange-clad sprite of a runner closed on us from behind. Kelly was seeking Chris and the Sunday run crowd. I pointed him out, way ahead of us, so she and I ran together to the four mile water stop.
Kelly ran NYC last fall, as did I, but her experience was nowhere near satisfying. At the park where there's water (is that a water park?) we stopped, talked with Chris, Ed and Lytle, waited on Jack & Co., then drank all his cooler full of Gatorade. The mandatory walk block allowed Ed to recount for all his harrowing exploits as owner/prosecutor of a Bridgeport, CT bus company that the employees turned into a late night chop shop.
At the five mile mark Lytle, Kelly and Ed went short, down Mizell and home. M&M Wendy had fallen off or turned back. Christy, Chris, Jack and I pushed on. I was at mile 13 on my clock.
Somewhere along the way Chris started talking about the hockey mom VP candidate and politics. I listened until he asked what I thought of her and the presidential race. I find Palin palatable until I look at her record; and then I shared with them the insights I had found in a book called the Swamp, a history of the events and politics surrounding the development of Florida. It's all about the water folks; and politicians (mostly Republicans) have rarely shown any serious concern for the environment, hence my inclination to vote Democrat.
I was practicing my race strategy today of running a mile then walking for a minute. It was allowing me to do 11 minute miles which is a little above my race goal but below my worst race paces. It was another scorcher out there with a lot of sun. I was managing fluid intake pretty well. On the 10-mile course there was Jack's Gatorade, a water cooler at mile 5, my ZippFizz at mile 6.7, a cooler of blue Gatorade at mile 8 (the best!) and the water fountain at Rollins at mile 9.3. The run-walk pattern held up well for me.
In keeping with my race day strategy I decided I needed to practice deployment of counter-measures to Runner Susan's hard-body preparations for Chicago. Damn those plates. She's going to be running the whole damn way. I know it.
It was in New York that I had my best race and it was partly thanks to Susan that I did so well. Around mile 19 she gave me an over-the-counter pain reliever so today, at mile 16, I took one too. If I can't feel the pain, I can keep up with her in Chicago.
At Rollins I said goodbye to Chris and Christy then headed on the lonely last leg of my run. I had 18 done and six to go. I managed to keep up the run a mile/walk a minute routine until I hit the wide-open spaces of Baldwin Park. Their trees are not mature enough to provide shade so I wilted and took two walk breaks each mile for the last three miles. Thanks to a stop at Seth's house at mile 20, I took on 12 needed ounces of orange Gatorade.
I finished the 24 miles in 4:26, lost five pounds, yet felt good enough to walk the dogs after I took on fluids and a pool dunk. I have a good food plan working: English muffin with jelly and peanut butter before I run and bacon-egg-cheese English muffin sandwich afterwards, plus yogurt.
Five weeks until the race and one more practice run at race distance in two weeks. Yes - a 26 mile training run. We'll see how that goes. 40 miles this week. 100 to go.
[Jeanne - yeah, I know. This is a tome but I was inspired. It was almost race recap distance.]
Post script - picked up #1 son from airport tonight. He came back from a wedding he was in in Rock City, Illinois. Turns out the bride had just raced in New Haven where she won the 20K national championship. She was a star at U. of Georgia back in the day, as was her groom. I've run New Haven - twice! Jon, Bill J. and Dianna were there this year. Nice race.