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July 25, 2009

How I spent my summer vacation...

To some people I know, I've done nothing my summer vacation. It's been nothing but racking up scores on Facebook games and watching Saved by the Bell reruns on TBS. While these are both true, I've also been doing some work on the 5k planning, and other work related things this summer, as well. Plus, I've been to two weddings. However, the one advantage of being a teacher is the downtime created by having summer off. This has provided me with, as you may have guessed, the perfect opportunity to workout and hope to achieve my goal of running the Hartford Marathon this fall.

This week has been a momentous week. To start, the wife and I celebrated our 5th anniversary. Huge deal. Also, the baby will be a year and a half old tomorrow (18 months, really...78 weeks...really!).

But for many, this week would not have been a great week to train. You see, it rained all day Tuesday, was cloudy and cool on Wednesday, and Thursday it was cool...and wound up raining again. Last night, we had a full on thunder storm that spooked the dog. For many people, the rainy, cloudy days are not days they want to go running.

Personally, I cannot understand this logic. This was the perfect week to run. After my recovery run tomorrow (2-3 miles), I'll have covered more than a marathon this week (!!!!), having already ran 25.38 (remember, my week starts each Monday). So yes, I had a great week of training. I love to run in the rain. Like a Junior Mint, it's very refreshing. So, on Tuesday, I had a great run in the rain. Five and a half miles in the rain, and I booked it. After a run like that, you're going to be soaked, so why shouldn't it be with nice cool rain? Though they probably think I'm crazy, I'll never understand why people don't like to run in the rain.

The rest of the week went very well, too. The cool weather really helped. Yesterday, it got warm and muggy, however the thunderstorm last night helped to cool off this morning (though it's currently in the mid-80s). If only I had gotten a decent night's sleep (oh that dog!), today's run would've been even better.

You see, today I had to do ten miles. This would be my 2nd longest run ever (the half-marathon being the longest). To achieve success, I tried to stay close to home...really close. We have a very comfortable loop around our neighborhood that's 2.04 miles. It's got some good hills to train on, as well. So, to get ready for the marathon, I decided to do 5 laps of the loop. Each time I got back to the house, I stopped by, went in the garage and had a sip of Gatorade (Orange G2, of course). My thoughts were, this is something like the marathon course, as there will be water station every 2 miles or so. I just need to worry about where the port-o-potties are!

Strangely this run was not monotonous. I saw the neighborhood in various stages of the morning. Some people walked. I saw at least 6 different runners and a few bikers. As it got later, lawns started to get mowed and kids came out to play. The scenery was the same each time around, but at the same time it was quite different. That really helped. Plus, the short distance meant I would get a short break every so often.

Combined with the excellent workout weather, I had some excellent musical accompaniment on my training this week. Here are the playlists, along with the workouts...

Tuesday-5.53 miles
Wednesday-4.12 miles
Thursday-5.53 miles
Saturday-10.20 miles

Today, once again, the song that carried me over the hump on today's 10 miles (right around the 5 mile mark, too) was All These Things Things That I've Done by the Killers. It gets me every time I'm mid-run, and never fails. It's definitely got to do with that Nike commercial, Courage. Even though I'm running, I can always picture four things when it gets to the I've got soul portion: Pre shaking his head after a race, Lance Armstrong beating cancer, and busting up the mountain on his bike, Michael Jordan with the NBA championship on father's day, the year his father was murdered, and finally the quick snippet of Jon Lester right after he pitched the no-hitter after he beat lymphoma. These pictures just run through my head, and I find myself running faster. Courage has got to be the single most inspirational commercial to hit the airwaves.


S July 26, 2009 at 7:06 PM  

I'm telling you...damn fine song!

marmie July 26, 2009 at 8:22 PM  

I don't know the song and when I played your u-tube there was no sound. :(
love your idea of 5- 2mile runs to make your 10 miler. i'm doing 8 tomorrow and have a long winding road(s) wirh several big boy hills to conquer. wish me luck.
YOU ARE ON YOUR WAY TO THAT MARATHON...and the Brew Run should be....a shot of beer. :) (instead of piece of cake....)

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